Mwendwa warns ‘rebels’ clubs
Trouble is brewing in Kenya’s top tier league, a few days to the long awaited kick-off slated for Saturday.
Football Kenya Federation (FKF) boss Nick Mwendwa decided not to renew the contract of league organisers, Kenyan Premier League Ltd (KPL), after it ended on September 24, bringing to an end their reign that had spanned to close to two decades.
Last week Mwendwa convened his first National Executive Committee (NEC) meeting where he made a you-turn again on the prospects of the top league being run by a company.
The rushed decision has been met with resistance by a section of clubs taking part in the premier league who are yet to sign an undertaking that would mean that they have endorsed all the proposals by the federation in regards to the way the top league will be run going forward.
The selected clubs feel that they exclusively own the broadcast rights going by the KPL constitution and could have been involved in negotiating for new deals.
However, according to Mwendwa, KPL no longer exists and that the federation owns all the rights.
He said he realised that forming another company with selected directors to run the league was like jumping from the frying pan to the fire, since other stakeholders in the league would never have any say over the few directors.
“Article 81 of the FKF constitution says that the federation and its members are the original owners of all the rights emanating from competitions and other events coming under their respective jurisdiction without any restrictions as to content, time, place and law,” Mwendwa told People Sport.
He added: “These rights include among others every kind of financial rights, audio-visual and radio recording, production and broadcasting rights, multimedia rights, marketing and promotional rights.”
Today, Mwendwa is expected to fold the FKF Kenyan Premier League transition committee and unveil a new League Management Committee which he has proposed to have between five and seven members after a pocket of resistance from the other group.
“I want to tell people that there is a new way of running things in football in this country.
The job of the transition committee is now over and we are ready for action, so that’s why we will unveil the League Management Committee on Tuesday, before sponsors’ money is released on Thursday,” Mwendwa said.
He added: “We have signed deals worth 3.4 million dollars so far, that is almost Sh372 million and it is not wise to entrust two or three individuals with all that money at the expense of other league stakeholders.
So by Thursday I will be giving each club Sh2 million as part of the Sh10m grant I promised, so long as they sign an undertaking, those who would not have signed will not receive the money.”
Some believe the Sh2 million that Mwendwa is offering clubs that will sign the undertaking is like a dangling carrot, but he maintains that there is no going back on the decision and that only the ones ready for the new arrangement will benefit.
So far it’s believed that five out of the 18 premier league clubs have refused to sign the undertaking, the five include multiple league winners Gor Mahia, 2008 league champions Mathare United, 2010 league champions Ulinzi Stars, Kericho based Zoo FC and Kakamega Homeboyz.