Mathare United Chairman Bob Munro has warned of an imminent collapse of at least 9 Kenyan clubs in the top-flight league due to financial difficulties.
In a letter to the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) Caretaker Committee Secretariat CEO Lindah Oguttu, Munro highlighted that the clubs owed their players and staff salaries for the past two to three months. He further noted that delayed disbursement of grants by the Caretaker Committee threatened to k**l off what remains of the clubs.
Munro stated that his Mathare United, in particular, could collapse as early as next week. The 2008 title winners currently sit 17th in the 18-team league table with just 7 points from 11 matches played this season.
“Sadly, without urgent and major Ministry/FKF CC financial support this week, club collapses over financial instability will inevitably escalate in the next 1-2 weeks. For the avoidance of any doubt, the club collapses by next week will definitely include Mathare United,” his letter read in part.
Munro, a veteran football administrator, sought to shine a light on the dire financial straits that clubs not backed by major corporates or government agencies find themselves in. He noted that the situation had been worsened by the impact of the Covid-19 p******c.
“Today, only 9 of the 18 FKF PL Clubs are presently stable financially. Of the 9 stable clubs, 5 are funded by GoK agencies/parastatals.
“The 9 unstable clubs now owe 2-3 months in salary arrears to players/coaches,” he noted.
Aside from Mathare, the rest of the clubs deemed financially unstable include local giants Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards, as well as Vihiga B*****s, Wazito, Sofapaka, Posta Rangers, Nzoia Sugar and Kariobangi Sharks.
He appealed to the FKF Caretaker Committee to take swift action to save the clubs, stating that the collapse of the clubs would occasion a humanitarian c****s. The committee took over the running of Kenyan football affairs including the league after being appointed by Sports CS Amina Mohammed as embattled FKF President Nick Mwendwa faced c********n a*********s.
The caretaker committee was established in November and is slated to serve for a six-month period.
“The collapse of only one club also means the financial collapse of at least 40 innocent and already desperate families, especially as school fees are due this week,” Munro warned.
The league itself has seen sponsors including broadcast partner StarTimes and former title sponsor BetKing pull out against the backdrop of wrangles pitting the federation, clubs and the government.
While several Kenyan football fans decried the age-old challenges still afflicting Kenyan football, a section of them also argued that clubs needed to reduce reliance on grants from the federation and government instead urging them to open up more revenue streams.
“What is the plan after care taker gives them funding for six months??” posed sports journalist Gladys Midecha on Twitter.
Others urged for renewed focus on club licensing rules to ensure clubs adhere to the best practices and can sustain their players and staff.