While some officials of the clubs read mischief and malice, in the end what the taxman wants, s/he gets! It is also very clear that most of the club officials have not put in place proper mechanisms for running a club.
- annual financial statements;
- player contracts and players' welfare;
- commercial and business plans ( add the marketing bit in there);
- communication and PR strategy
among other important documents. They should not also blame other sources for their ineptitude and incompetency.
While the KPL has been making slow progress on some fronts, it is of fundamental importance that clubs set these issues right to avoid what we're seeing currently.
It is also important that the KPL officials avoid being held at ransom by club officials who stifle developments such as has been the banned-but-soon-lifted proclamations regarding hooliganism.
Some have blamed the security personnel for not getting it right, but we already have over-stretched these people with current security scares in the country.
Clubs must revamp their mode of operations from societies ( as one official was quoted saying in the Press) to proper commercial and business outfits.
Sports is not charity anymore and KPL ought to spell this out for participating clubs. A benchmark of financial resources should be in place for at least 1 year. This will show that the club is capable of paying its players, management and other technical staff, merchandise and training facilities among others. Penalties should be in place for those who fail to meet the thresh-hold.
Early this season, KPL decided to do an audit of football venues across the country. It is also prudent for them to do the same for financial records of the clubs.Related to this, there is an interesting report done by AfriCog detailing football mismanagement in Kenya. Check the link here.
Back to the community clubs, various countries have tried these models of operation and succeeded so it is not excuse enough for the poor management practices currently witnessed. Clubs such as Kaizer Chiefs (South Africa), Atletico Bilbao , Barcelona (both from Spain), Boca Juniors (Argentina) as well as Borussia Dortmund to name a few. A few quick tips;
- Establish a limited company before selling shares - this can be either to the general public or restricted to a certain number ( say 1 share worth KSh.50,000 etc);
- Get a wealthy benefactor and get him/her to manage the club as one of his entities - this is yet to catch on in Kenya but is prominent in Europe moreso England. Any Katumbis, Khozas or Abramovichs in Kenya?
- Secure major sponsorship deals with leading companies - this is a tricky one since most companies have what they call a need for ROI thus cannot justify putting money where they might not get value for it;
- Secure a large fan-base ( preferably regional or national) and this will be lucrative to both individual or corporate investors ( tragedy is if they are an unruly and emotional lot, they often end up being a curse instead) and finally
- Perform, perform and perform! Without good results, any club is as good as dead.
In researching for this piece, some interesting links came up such as this one on the top clubs in Africa as done by CAF in December 2012. It's interesting to note that even though the Democratic Republic of Congo has a troubled economy, their football clubs have performed well in the continent. Here's a snippet of the rankings- number in brackets represents FIFA Club World rankings;
1. (67) Al-Ahly - Egypt - estimated revenue of $36.09 million (in 2008)
2. (146) Esperance Sportive - $5.71 million
3. (147) Zamalek - Egypt - $26.8 million
4. (176) Tout Puissant Mazembe aka TP Mazembe - DRC - $15 ( in 2013)
5. (190) Asante Kotoko - Ghana
45. Gor Mahia (Pos.604)
79. AFC Leopards (Pos.893)
88. Tusker FC (Pos.954)
Additional info on the post can be found from the following links;
Top 5 African millionaire football club owners
For TP Mazembe...the future looks bright
Worlds Top 5 Fan-owned Soccer teams
CAF Club & World Rankings - 2012
Richest Football Clubs in Africa by Revenues - 2008