NAIROBI, Kenya, December 9 – AFC Leopards have launched a comprehensive strategic plan aimed at ensuring the club’s long term success.
AFC chairman Councillor Alex Magelo said on Tuesday that the plan will herald a new chapter for the club which this season earned promotion back to the Kenya Premier League alongside Sofapaka after clinching its Zone ‘B’ in the Nationwide League.
“I am delighted to announce the end of the bad times and the beginning of the good times for Kenya’s most supported and successful football club of all time,” said Magelo.
“We have resolved to put behind the trials and tribulations that dogged us during the past three years when petty politics and shenanigans by a few detractors in the Kenyan football arena unfairly pushed AFC Leopards out of top flight soccer,” he added.
Magelo is confident that the plan which will be officially start in January will earn ‘Ingwe’ the tag of the most respectable and financially stable football club in the region.
“We are determined to put in place structures that will be a benchmark of how to run a football club in Africa that will be admired and copied by many,” said Magelo.
Some of the features of the plan include a membership recruitment drive, who will be eligible to contest as the club’s branch officials, and the launch of a development scheme to be known as Ingwe Youth Programme (IYP) to be overseen by former Leopards players.
A fan club to be called ‘Supporters of Leopards’ will also be formed bringing together supporters of the side keen on supporting the development of the legendary club through donations and the purchase of season tickets.
Leopards, formally known as Abaluhya Football Club, draws its support from Western Kenya has recently fallen on hard times due to the rise in dominance of institutional clubs and the withdrawal of financial support from its prominent patrons.
The storied club which was founded in 1964 reached its nadir when it was relegated from the premier league which it has won 12 times in 2007.
Its return to the top tier of Kenyan football has further intensified interest in the premier league with the much anticipated meeting with arch rivals Gor Mahia being the main draw card for next season.