NAIROBI, Kenya, January 20 – All Kenya Premier League (KPL) clubs will receive S1 million each to get their teams ready for the 2009 season.
KPL Managing Director Jack Oguda on Tuesday urged all the clubs to collect their grants from the secretariat.
Oguda said that the grant was to help the clubs start the season on a healthy footing.
The Kenyan Premiership is sponsored by SuperSport International, the South African-based sports television company.
Bob Munro, the KPL Chairman confirmed that SuperSport had given to them a cheque for 60% of the sponsorship money due for this season.
"The KPL Board agreed that each club receives a million shillings each and the rest to be forwarded to them after every three months" He said.
The subsequent KPL funding is given to the clubs subject to their publishing the accounts of cash previously received.
An elated Vincent Shimoli, assistant secretary general of AFC Leopards who have been re-instated into top-flight football, said the money was an unprecedented boost.
"Sh1 million can set us off in a very hopeful style. And it can sustain us completely for two months, paying players’ salaries, for kit and travel. It is a very good beginning," said Shimoli.
He said that last season; when Leopards played in the second-tier Nationwide League they barely had enough money to feed the players leave alone pay them salaries.
"Because we shall have some of our perennial needs taken care of, our opponents can expect Leopards to hit back with a bang. We shall not be coming back as untested minnows and indeed we shall be gunning for nothing short of the championship in our come-back year," Shimoli said.
The league kicks off this weekend with the Super Cup clash pitting last year’s league champions Mathare United and Cup winners Gor Mahia at Nyayo National Stadium on Saturday.
Leopards open their campaign with a match against Nairobi City Stars (renamed from World Hope FC) at Hope Centre, Kawangware in Nairobi on February 8. The previous day, Sofapaka will make their Premiership debut against former champions Tusker at the Moi International Sports Centre.
The four-year SuperSport sponsorship began last year. Apart from Leopards, the other new team in the KPL this season is newly promoted Sofapaka who will also be benefitting from the money for the first time.
"It’s another season to look forward to for our clubs that used to have enormous struggles to even kick it [the season] off," Munro said.