We’ll honour league matches

Thursday, December 3rd, 2020 00:00 |
Gor Mahia boss Ambrose Rachier assures of club as Betsafe finally release sponsorship money to them and rivals AFC Leopards.

“We will honour our league matches when they are due. There was one today (Wednesday) which we are waiting to honour against Zoo FC.

Please find out what has happened, we have not heard about Zoo today while we were ready to play.”

These were the sentiments of Gor Mahia chairperson Ambrose Rachier, yesterday, when asked whether the league defending champions had made any headway concerning their standoff with Football Kenya Federation (FKF) on matters broadcast rights and the team’s participation in the league.

FKF had asked all the 18 premier league clubs to sign a broadcast endorsement deal with StarTimes, which four clubs: Gor Mahia, Ulinzi Stars, Mathare United and Zoo FC are yet to do.

Consequently, FKF president Nick Mwendwa warned the clubs that they risked being kicked out of the league if they did not commit.

Gor Mahia Secretary-General Sam Ochola had issued the Startimes endorsement on behalf of the club, leading to his suspension and a letter written to Startimes Media withdrawing the said letter.

“I have no information on what happened to the Zoo match and whether they are ready to play us.

We have been trying to call but we cannot reach them. But I insist the club is ready to play, even today.

In regards to the situation with the federation, our position is known. Nobody has talked to me since the last events,” said Rachier of a fixture that had been postponed according to FKF premier league website. 

During his address to recall Gor Mahia’s endorsement letter, Rachier, while daring FKF president Nick Mwendwa to relegate the club, said that the federation held no authority to enter into any contract with any person purporting to grant such party the club’s broadcast rights. Article 81 of the FKF constitution does not confer these rights.

Rachier was speaking during the launch of betting firm Betsafe who have entered three-year partnership with his club and arch rivals AFC Leopards.

The deal was signed in June and the two clubs have received a substantial amount of money from the partner despite having not begin operating in the Kenyan market until yesterday. 

“We have a sponsorship of Sh55 million. We received Sh5m for kitting and the other amount has been released to us in installments amounting to a total of Sh 32.5 million so far.

This has helped us to clear arrear for player salaries but it cannot be enough since we were not making any money during the break occasioned by Covid-19.

We are happy that Betsafe gave us money even when they were not getting value since there was no visibility until the league kicks off,” said Rachier.

His sentiments were echoed by AFC Leopards’ chair, Dan Shikanda who confirmed that they have been able to pay their salaries up to September and are set to clear October and November salaries in a fortnight having received fifty percent of their sponsorship money which translates to Sh 20 million.

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