Sofapaka boss Kalekwa hints at player contractual changes
Mkalla wa Mwambodze in Nairobi
Sofapaka chairman Elly Kalekwa believes that as leagues across the world make plans to resume, there will be inevitable contractual changes for players.
Late last month the president of Batoto ba Mungu welcomed the new sponsorship deal for the Kenyan top league and praised Football Kenya Federation (FKF) for going out of their way to ensure clubs’ interests are safeguarded.
FKF had announced a Sh1.2billion five-year deal for the top league with a Nigerian betting firm. Under the deal, clubs will get at least Sh8 million per season but before that comes into fruition, Kalekwa sees a new challenge in managing clubs in Kenya.
Kalekwa argues that gate collections that would otherwise help raise revenues for clubs are no more and the depressed funds will equally impact on the players’ pay.
This, he argues, will increase the expenditure budgets of local KPL clubs moreso when teams go into residential camps as club bosses will now spend more in accommodating players thanks to Covid-19.
In the past, local clubs would cut costs by having players pair-up to share hotel rooms but this will now be impossible due to health guidelines brought about by Covid-19.
“Even if you look at highest body that runs the game in the world FIFA, many federations and sports entities have been affected by the corona pandemic business wise. For example, here in Africa, our financial muscle is still the way we know. In Kenya, how many clubs will be able to implement social distancing guidelines in their buses ? You need to have a very big bus which most of us don’t have or take two to three buses to transport your team,”said Kalekwa.
“Because of corona every player has to sleep alone in a single room and on top of that fans not coming to the stadium won’t change soon which will affect us adversely,”he lamented.
Concerning the FKF sponsorship, Kalekwa says the transitional committee is going through the contract and will advice the clubs fully on its contents.
Kalekwa endorsed the proposal to have the name of the league changed from KPL to FKF PL but pointed out that the league must be run independently from the association to maintain professionalism.
Apart from his role as chairman of Sofapaka, Kalekwa was also the chairman of the KPL Marketing Committee but says he is now busy trying to boost the strength of his squad ahead of the new season.
Kalekwa who is also the chairman of the KPL Marketing Committee has meanwhile said he’s busy trying to boost the strength of his squad ahead of the new campaign.
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