NAIROBI, Kenya, Jul 16 – Kenyan Premier League (KPL) clubs have breathed a sigh of relief after Football Kenya Federation on Thursday unveiled a Sh1.2 billion five-year sponsorship deal with Nigerian betting company Betking.
According to Football Kenya Federation (FKF) chief Nick Mwendwa, each club will receive Sh8 million yearly for the next five years when the new season begins under the reign of the national federation.
Mwendwa stated that the league will receive a first instalment of Sh236 million for the first year, confirming that a portion of this is set to be disbursed to the Federation in the next seven days.
According to the FKF boss, the amount yearly will rise by 5.5 percent in the first year while for the third year to the fifth year, it will rise by a massive 10 percent.
“This is historic for us and we are glad that we could get a sponsor for the top tier league. When you are broke you have nothing, you are blank and you have no rights. We knew from last year we needed to get money for this league. We signed an agreement with an agent one year ago to find a sponsor for us,” Mwendwa explained.
He added; “We were talking to three sponsors. We valued this league to just about 2mn USD and we got 2.2mn USD.”
The deal was signed by the two parties on Wednesday and an official launch is expected soon once the company sets up its base in the country.
Meanwhile, Mwendwa says they will form a board to run the league which will be headed by a chairman who will not be affiliated to any club. The management team will have two vice chairmen from the clubs while there will also be directors to govern.
The FKF boss says they are yet to firm up a decision on whether a company will be formed to run the league or they will rely on the board which will be under FKF.
A meeting is scheduled for next week with all 18 KPL clubs to chart a way forward and make a final decision. But, Mwendwa says that all operations will be based on the Federation’s headquarters in Kasarani.
The mandate of the current company running the top tier is scheduled to end on September 21.
He added that they are still engaging with stakeholders to ascertain how they will run the league, whether through a company or a board appointed by the KPL clubs.
The head of the football body has also at the same time stated that they are exploring the idea of starting the new season in October, but depending on government clearances.
Also, Mwendwa has said that FKF will use the annual affiliation fee paid by KPL to support the Women’s Premier League. At the moment, they are looking at a figure of Sh12 million per year.
The Federation boss also says they are looking to get more sponsors to the top tier with an estimate of having at least Sh20 million per club in the next five years.
But before then, Mwendwa has disclosed that they will look to increase the winner’s cash prize from the current Sh4mn, but that will be a discussion in the coming days. The football boss also states that they want to create a mechanism where there will be financial incentives as well based on positional finishes when the season ends.
Also, Mwendwa says they are in talks with Spanish company MediaPro to see whether they can sign a new contract to produce matches for TV, with their contract with KPL having ended last month.
“We have talked to them but they are yet to give us their proposal but we are still engaging. We want to continue with them because they were doing a good job with their quality and we want to see how we can work together,” Mwendwa noted.
He says they will develop an App that will enable fans to view matches on the go, with all games set to be available for screening. Mwendwa also noted they will look to modernize the game in teh country by embracing social media to help grow the visibility.