NAIROBI, Kenya, Oct 5 – Harambee Stars head coach Sebastien Migne has put Football Kenya Federation (FKF) on notice over unpaid salaries that have accumulated for three months.
According to Federation Chief Nick Mwendwa, the French tactician has told his employers to ensure the whole amount of his unpaid salaries hit his account in 10 days’ time failure to which he will take further unspecified action.
“He (Migne) has this week given us a notice to make sure we pay him by 15th of this month. Immediately after our assignment (against Ethiopia) we need to make sure he is paid. I have discussed the same with the ministry yesterday, and they say as they get funding for Ethiopia next week they will ensure the coach is paid,” Mwendwa said in a press briefing at a Nairobi hotel on Friday morning.
Though the federation says Migne has been well accommodated and most of what he had required availed, the tactician is said to be continually frustrated at lack of payment especially after moving his family over to Kenya.
Migne, his assistant Nicolas Bouriquet and FKF’s match analyst Michael Igendia are the only permanent employees of the national team technical bench while the rest are all contracted on need basis.
If Mwendwa and his federation fail to pay the French tactician, they will find themselves sinking into another law suit with former coaches Bobby Williamson and Adel Amrouche already in court to demand chunks of compensation.
The news comes on the wake of the Federation’s struggle to make ends meet for next week’s back to back 2019 African Cup of Nations qualifier against Ethiopia with their budgetary allocation yet to be paid in full by the sports ministry.
Mwendwa has however confirmed that they have received a sum of Sh7.2mn on Friday morning, just a part of the Sh25mn they had requested in order to fully honor their financial obligations for the Ethiopia game and offset some arrears from the Ghana match.
“We had applied for Sh19mn for the Ghana game and we got only Sh4mn which meant there was a deficit of Sh15mn. On August 18, we presented a budget of Sh25mn for the Ethiopia game, but it was not until today that we got 7.2million shillings,” Mwendwa explained.
“Getting this money late means we have bigger expenses because had we booked tickets earlier, we would have saved almost a million shillings, same with the accommodation. This money that we have been given will only go to pay for flights and accommodation, but we will still remain with debts from the previous game,” added the Federation boss.
He also noted that at this point they do not have any money to book for camp accommodation when the team jets back from Ethiopia, but says the ministry has promised more funds will be availed once they return.
According to plan, the team of local based players, coaches and federation officials are scheduled to leave on Sunday evening with the foreign based players set to directly link with the team in Addis Ababa before they fly to Bahir Dar.
They are scheduled to fly back immediately after the first leg on Wednesday with the return match set for Sunday at the Kasarani Stadium.
“They have promised that by the time we land back, they will avail the other funds so that we are able to book the team in a hotel. The minister and PS have assured that funds will be available to book the team hotel and pay allowances,” Mwendwa added.
However, sources close to Capital Sport intimates that division in the sports ministry might be the cause of the delay in disbursement of funds with the Cabinet Secretary’s office and that of his Principal Secretary said to be humming in different tones.
The federation has been grappling with financial difficulty over the last nine months since the exit of partners SportPesa and with a handful of court cases, the situation has worsened.
The Kenya Revenue Authority has also freezed their accounts due to a tax bill from the previous regime but Mwendwa says they have come to an agreement.
“They asked us to pay an amount every month and once we are compliant, at least in three or four months they should be able to unfreeze the accounts,” the Federation chief said.
At the same time, he has defended the decision to buy an Outside Broadcast (OB) van at a cost of Sh130mn saying they took the money off the FIFA funds and have duly accounted for them.
“When you tell FIFA that you are doing a specific thing with their money, then you have to do it. You can’t divert it to anything else. I have seen people lament about that decision, but they do not understand. This van will also be used to not only generate content for us but also it can bring in some income when we hire it out,” Mwendwa further stated.