NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13 – Mount Kenya United will be officially relegated from the Kenyan Premier League on Saturday if they fail to turn up for their match against Sony Sugar, just a week after handing a walk over against Mathare United at the Kasarani Stadium.
The cash-strapped side handed out their second walk over of the season when they failed to turn up against Mathare United on Sunday and the players have vowed to continue their boycott until their unpaid dues hit their accounts.
This now means that according to KPL rules, Mount Kenya will drop to the National Super League should they hand a third walkover.
“You haven’t paid someone for seven months and you are not saying anything about it. That is absolutely insane. The players have decided they have had enough of it and they will not be honoring any match until a miracle happens and our dues are paid. It is difficult for everyone. As much as you want to go out and play, there is no motivation,” a member of staff at the club told Capital Sport.
Sources intimate that the club hasn’t paid its players since last November and the club’s ownership doesn’t seem to be putting enough effort to ensure that the players’ welfare is looked out for.
Already, Mount Kenya has accrued fines of Sh1.5mn from the KPL management due to the two walkovers and if they give a third on Saturday, a further Sh1.5mn will be added on to that fine. This, according to KPL Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda will be deducted from their grants.
“We have written a letter to them asking for a right of reply but up to this point, they are yet to respond. But those are the sanctions that are there for them,” Oguda said.
The players are said not to be keen on a return to the team as they are also not training and Capital Sports understands the only thing that will sway them back to don the team’s colors is money in their accounts.
“Last time when we gave a walk over to Gor, the owner came and gave us a promise that he will withdraw the monet meant for or grants and then add some from his own pocket and send us. That’s the last we heard of him. The promise was never fulfilled,” a player who talked to Capital Sport but sought anonymity stated.
He added; “How can we trust him again? This time, it is just money or nothing else. We can’t rely on promises. The situation here is bad.”
Another player stated that teammates have been forced to look for jobs to fend for themselves and their families.
“Some have gone to live with friends or relatives because their houses have been locked due to rent arrears. We have families, we have kids going to school but we don’t have money. This can’t go on and I think we will not play again. We are not even training,” the player stated.
Efforts to reach owner Francis Mureithi were unsuccessful as calls went unanswered. Mureithi took over the team former owners Nakumatt Holdings and after few honeymoon months, the struggles started.
“It is like for these people, football is not their core business. They don’t care. They are not in line with reality,” a member of staff added.
Mount Kenya sit bottom of the KPL log with 18 points, 11 away from safety. Last season, they survived relegation after beating Ushuru FC in the play-offs.