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KPL, FKF narrow down to Sh36mn budget for 18-team league

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Kenyan Premier League representatives consult with lawyer Geoffrey Obura (left) during a meeting at the Sports Disputes Tribunal on January 26, 2017. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

NAIROBI, Kenya, Jan 23 – The sticky financial issue over the expansion of the Kenyan Premier League to an 18-team format has been narrowed to an approximated Sh36mn which should be agreed on by the KPL and Football Kenya Federation accounts teams on Friday.

After a meeting that ran over four hours at the Sports Disputes Tribunal offices on Thursday evening, the initial Sh61mn approximation was cut down to Sh36mn, paving way for the full implementation of the 18-team format beginning this season.

“We have made a lot of progress. We have a small matter of what it will cost. Both sides will work with their accountants to reconcile and see what FKF should put in as an added cost. They will agree on the figures, report back to me and finalize on the agreement by next week,” the Tribunal’s chairman John Ohaga said after the two parties emerged from the lengthy meeting.

After an initial Joint Executive Committee meeting a fortnight ago, both teams agreed to implement an 18-team format from the current 16-team, but a dispute emerged over the costs of adding in two extra teams.

KPL argued they had already engaged into long term contracts with sponsors Supersport and SportPesa and hence they could not commit more money to finance the two extra teams. FKF agreed to finance the cost of adding two more teams by among other things, forfeiting their license fee from KPL.

A further meeting between the two ended up in a budget of Sh69mn as the cost of two extra teams, but only Sh38mn was agreed on, the dispute being on a further Sh31mn budget that was forwarded by the league managers.

The new agreed figure of Sh36mn will now be incised further on Friday after which a final budget will be drawn.

FKF President Nick Mwendwa peruses documents presented by KPL as he appeared before the Sports Disputes Tribunal on December 15, 2016. PHOTO/Timothy Olobulu

“We have agreed on the figure of about Sh36mn. Our colleagues asked to go and look at the figures again and see if there is something they might have overlooked. Tomorrow (Friday) we will look at the depth of the figures and have a final agreement,” Nick Mwendwa, the FKF president said after the meeting.

Mwendwa disclosed they will be earning Sh11.3mn from KPL as license fee this year and they have already secured a further Sh13mn from two sponsors. He says they will add the deficit depending on the final budget agreed upon.

KPL was represented in the Thursday evening meeting by CEO Jack Oguda, chairman James Musyoki, his outgoing counterpart Ambrose Rachier and Mathare United boss Bob Munro. FKF had Mwendwa, his vice chair Doris Petra, Secretary General Robert Muthomi and Nairobi NEC representative Chris Amimo.

However, the KPL contingent refused to comment on the matter after emerging from the meeting.

Ohaga is confident however that a final ground will be reached on by the end of the month with the league kick-off set for February 11.

“When I undertake something I am always confident I can get the parties to agree. We have narrowed down the issues from broad perspectives and now we are on finer issues which once we determine we are good to go. After the weekend we should have good news,” a confident Ohaga opined.

Meanwhile the exact size of this season’s league will be known on Wednesday next week after the FKF Appeals Board gave a second chance to Thika United, Muhoroni Youth and Sofapaka to re-submit their club licensing documents.

According to Mwendwa, the three clubs will have their documents perused by the licensing committee again and if they are found to have finally worked on them, they will be re-admitted back to the top tier league and an 18-team format rolled out.

If any of the three clubs don’t meet the threshold again, FKF said their demotion will be confirmed with no second chance for appeal.

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