Mumias Sugar terminates Leopards sponsorship
AFC Leopards’ relationship with Mumias Sugar Company could come to an end in the coming few days, Nairobi News can report.
This development was exclusively revealed to Nairobi News by the club’s organising secretary Timothy Lilumbi.
“Our sponsors have informally shared with us their intention (to pull out), understandably because their priorities now lie elsewhere. The club is now awaiting a formal notice that should arrive by the end of this month,” Lilumbi said.
An employee of Mumias Sugar Company which is based in Western Kenya also confirmed the development, on condition his identity is not revealed.
“Our main objective at this moment is to pay farmers, not football players. We have been in several talks with the club officials and advised them to explore other ways of generating income,” our source said.
The decision by the sponsors to pull the plug on this six-year old relationship with the club is widely believed to have been influenced by the financial woes facing the company.
The company announced cumulative losses totaling Sh 4.3 billion in the past two years alone, and was reported to be on the brink of collapse until President Uhuru Kenyatta commissioned a Sh 5 billion bailout plan last month.
Besides, the sponsors are said to dissatisfied with both the performances and the club’s image as portrayed by the media.
This move is certain to deliver a big blow to the 13-times Kenyan Premier League champions’ operations and could even threaten its survival.
Mumias has pumped in about Sh 100 million into the team over the past five years, with a majority of the allocation channeled towards payments of the players and technical bench’s salaries.
The current deal worth Sh 30 million per year was set to expire at the end of this season.
The club is already battling serious financial challenges and is yet to play its players allowances and match winning bonuses for the past two months.
Leopards is now set to become the second most popular football club in the country to lose its financial backing, following the public divorce between Gor Mahia and Brookside Dairies at around this time last year.