Why clubs are in the red
Although releasing players and signing others is necessary to strengthen teams, the move is one of the factors stopping Kenyan football from progressing.
The main culprits are top clubs such as Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards who sometimes offload as many as 10 players at the end of a season, yet some could be sold to earn the clubs revenue.
At the end of the 2013 season, Gor fired 13 players including vice-captain Moses Odhiambo, Ivan Anguyo and Joseph Njuguna. The three would have fetched a good sum of money in transfer fees.
In more professional leagues, when players are past the halfway mark of their contracts, their relevance to the club is assessed. Those who don’t measure up are sold off to recover investment.
Such business oriented thinking has earned former Queens Park Rangers and Tottenham Hotspur coach Harry Redknapp his nickname, ‘the wheeler dealer.’
His efficiency at offloading unwanted players to fund new signings has made him popular with clubs that work on shoestring budgets.
This is an idea Kenyan Premier League clubs can borrow to generate income.
“The problem lies with the boards that do not seem to understand the business very well. They buy players and after a short while release them for free. At times they buy players out of their contracts. Our managers need to attend courses to better their skills,” said KCB coach Abdalla Juma.
He is among the few coaches in Kenya who opt to build a team rather than buying players.
Juma said the wasteful nature of top clubs works to his advantage, as his charges end up earning the club good money.
“It happened with Ezkiel Odera and Paul Kiongera who left for Gor, and now Jacob Keli who is at AFC Leopards. I hope Keli’s fate won’t be the same as Odera’s as he was abandoned when he failed to pick form immediately,” he added.
Abdalla said clubs should learn to sell players to recover money spent on signings, allowances and wages.