- The Kenyan top tier clubs have welcomed the new mega sponsorship deal between Football Kenya Federation and Nigeria-based betting firm BetKing. The deal will see each club pockets Sh 8 million from the five-year deal set to hit the ground in September.
While announcing the deal at Kandanda House, FKF President Nick Mwendwa also revealed the end to KPL’s reign as the league managers.
On welcoming the sponsorship, Posta Rangers chairman John Tonui said the sponsorship will go a long way in improving the competition levels in the top league.
“We have been paying salaries before but this deal will help us start giving our players allowances and bonuses. It will also improve the livelihoods of players, coaches, referees, and those directly involved in the game. Players will be motivated going forward hence the levels of competition will shoot up,” Tonui said.
His words were echoed by his Western Stima counterpart Laban Jobita who lauded the anticipated financial boost to fill the void left by Kenya Power and Lighting Company, who withdrew their financial aid last month.
“Eight million per season is better as opposed to nothing. Last season we did not enjoy grants and this is good news as we prepare for the new season. Clubs should now look for more through their fan bases, shirt deals, and other unexplored avenues,” the former Gor Mahia player said.
Also, Kariobangi Sharks chairman Robert Maoga observed that the deal will redeem the image of top-flight football.
However, Kakamega Homeboyz chairman Cleophas Shimanyula who has been a fierce critic of the Mwendwa’s administration questioned the absence of the firm’s representatives during the announcement at Kandanda House.
“Mwendwa did not consult clubs before negotiating and signing the deal yet clubs have a say in as far as running the league is concerned. We have seen companies influx the Kenyan football scene only to turn out to be match-fixers and I call on clubs to be cautious when dealing with the firm,” Shimanyula said.
“We are not sure if his office vetted them thoroughly to ensure they are coming and that they will not give us the short end of the stick while making billions from the deal,” he concluded.