Football Kenya Federation on Tuesday landed a sponsorship deal with betting firm Betika for the National Super League (NSL)
Getting sponsorship has proved to be the biggest challenge facing sports in the country. Ever since the exit of the parent betting firms, Sports in Kenya has been struggling to raise funds to facilitate activities.
Speaking to a Business Today reporter, FKF president Nick Mwendwa said the federation has been struggling to find sponsorship because of the poor economic state. Mwendwa hailed Betika for taking the risk to pump money into sports as may companies have been reluctant because they cannot predict the future of the Kenyan economy.
“Businesses are not healthy and those that are healthy are a little reserved because they are not sure about the economy tomorrow. The betting industry has also been affected but now companies like Betika are coming in to risk and that’s why we are only getting Sh 30 million per year,” Mwendwa commented.
As much as the NSL has been struggling to get sponsorship, the Kenya Premier League more urgently needs a sponsor as teams have been forfeiting matches. The current situation at the top tier league is worse than the situation at the NSL.
Mwendwa and the FKF have been trying to secure a sponsorship deal for the KPL but they can only do so much. According to the FKF president, sponsors are willing to come in after the federation has taken over the league.
“We have put an agent on it and we have people willing (to sponsor the KPL) but only after we take it over, not now,” the FKF president remarked.
FKF Take Over of KPL
The KPL has been running under a League Management Company independent from the Federation. The current contract that the company is operating on runs until September 2020. The company might be the only thing hindering the league from getting sponsorship but it is likely to stay for a while.
According to Mwendwa, the sponsor who is willing to come in and boost the league can only do so after September 2020. The big question is whether the league would have survived at that time.
Lack of money issue in the top-tier affects players, clubs in general and even match officials. Hundreds of players, dozens of coaches and match officials have complained about unpaid salaries and allowances. Literally, there is no money in Kenyan Football currently.
Recently as the league was preparing for the sixth round of matches, several clubs informed the federation that they don’t have the money to honour fixtures. These clubs missed a couple of matches just as they had warned the federation.
Equity Bank Sponsorship Rumours
Kenya’s most popular bank, Equity, was recently rumoured to have signed a deal with FKF to sponsor the league. However, FKF CEO Jack Oguda dismissed the claims saying that the KPL has not entered into any agreement with Equity Bank.
Perhaps Equity is the sponsor waiting for FKF to take of the league but Mwendwa did not confirm this. However, the league desperately needs a sponsor and might not survive until September 2020.