NAIROBI, May 15- Football Kenya Federation (FKF) has conceded all is not well in their marriage with media rights company MP&Silva by confirming they are renegotiating terms of their Sh2.3b ($2.5 million) annual five-year sponsorship on Friday.
In a statement seeking to ‘clarify’ reports the firm had stopped further payouts to the federation to sponsor their FKF-Premier League having paid out an initial USD 833,000 (Sh80.3m), FKF said the transitional 2015 season had made it difficult for them to execute their end of the contract.
Further, the unsigned announcement posted on their website struck a conciliatory tone with FKF inviting stakeholders to the negotiating table in a departure from their hard stance earlier in the year when they tried to bulldoze through a new 18-team Premier League format and broadcast rights by shoehorning MP&Silva into the existing agreement.
“However, the unique situation that the country has got to bear for the remainder of the 2015 season, which is a transitional period for Kenyan football, forms the basis to respectfully engage with all stakeholders with a view of creating the right understanding so that the posterity and development of the Kenyan game is the winner in the long run,” the statement read.
“That underscores our willingness to indulge with all stakeholders with a view of managing the pertinent issues so that the transition is properly managed for the good of our game.
“As proposed by its partners by MP&Silva, FKF is willing to renegotiate, a process which will be guided by contractual obligations and/or rights, which are enforced from the date of signing the deal yet the process remains tenaciously within the framework of the confidentiality clause which we are bound as the parties to the contract,” the federation who were stunned when the letter addressed to them by MP&Silva found its way to local newsrooms stated.
They appealed for calm among FKF-PL affiliated clubs promising to “expeditiously move to iron out the pertinent issues” in frank admission the funds had stopped flowing from MP&Silva as the contents of their letter addressed to FKF president, Sam Nyamweya and NEC Members outlined.
Not done, FKF told parties outside the contract, particularly the media to keep their noses out of the ongoing discussions by citing, “Once again, a reminder that, issues of contract are guided by law and strictly remain relevant and confidential only to the parties involved.”
On Thursday it emerged MP & Silva will make no further payments to honour their annual five-year sponsorship deal of the FKF-Premier League but Nyamweya scoffed the letter off saying they had not received it when reached for comment only for them to issue a statement 24 hours later clarifying the situation.
“We have been renegotiating the agreement, that is true but that does not mean we have failed anyway to honour our end. There is no indication our five-year partnership will be terminated,” the president said yesterday when reached.
Chief Operations Officer Roberto Dalmiglio, stated it will not add a dime to the USD833,000 (Sh80, 120,436, 020.54) they have paid out thus far to honour the contract.
“Therefore as mentioned above we consider remaining Minimum Guarantee for the Season 2015 equal to Zero. Any additional revenue exceeding the already paid USD 833,000 will be split 60% to MPS and 40% to FKF, in order to recover also the costs that MPS has sustained till now,” read the letter dated May 13,” the letter to FKF read.
Part of six reasons they gave was the poor quality of the FKF-PL, lack of interest from the country’s free to air television stations, ambiguity of their broadcast arrangements for Harambee Stars and misrepresentation claims in the contracts they signed with the federation.
According to some of the guidelines of a Fifa brokered truce between FKF and top-flight management body Kenyan Premier League (KPL), all parties involved will meet in November to thrash out the composition of next season’s top flight and media rights for television and radio broadcasts.
KPL have a deal in place with South Africa’s SuperSport who beam their games and produce magazine shows across Africa on the DStv and GOtv platforms and share selected matches with national broadcaster, KBC whilst FKF-PL unveiled a similar deal with Tanzania’s Azam who have been shopping for a local free to air partner to beam the games across the country without success so far.
“The League that Azam is currently broadcasting is second tier in terms of quality. None of the Clubs that signed the attachment to the main contract are playing in FKF-PL, let alone one of the two big Clubs who’s participation had been promised,” Dalmiglio wrote.