NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 3 – Kenyan Premier League side Tusker FC will hold a board meeting on Friday to discuss modalities of tackling the 2020/2021 Kenyan Premier League season in what is expected to be a tough campaign in the aftermath of the financial implications of the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Ruaraka-based side are sponsored by Kenya Breweries Limited through its flagship brand Tusker and the alcoholic drinks manufacturer has been heavily hit by the lockdowns imposed by the government to help mitigate the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.
A source close to the club said Tusker should not expect to make big money signings due to the mere fact that the sponsor has more pressing issues to tackle as far as the business is concerned. However, the club should not be worried over fundamental support.
Bars and clubs have been closed since April and this has had a tough impact on the Brewers.
Chief Executive Officer Charles Obiny has confirmed to Capita Sport that the board will meet internally to discuss how to approach the new season.
“We will leave the issues about the company to the company but for us, we just want to plan on how we will approach the new season. We are waiting for the government to release the guidelines for returning to training then we can have further plans on the same,” Obiny told Capital Sport.
He has also disclosed that the team will work on a thinned squad, possibly due to the expected budget slashes.
“We are planning to have a small squad of a maximum of 25 players for the new season. Those are some of the modalities we will discuss in the meeting. We will also look at how we will approach the transfer window,” Obiny said.
Tusker have not lost many players yet, with the only exit being skipper and top scorer Timothy Otieno who has headed South, signing for Zambian top tier side Napsa Stars.
“Timothy’s contract was almost ending and we had to reach an agreement to let him go because he has served the club very faithfully and we never had problems with him. He also wanted to try out a new challenge and we let him go,”
“We will definitely work with the coach to identify a replacement as well as other players we might need to strengthen the team,” Obiny stated.
Meanwhile, the CEO has disclosed that the team is highly considering using the Kinoru Stadium in Meru as their homeground with the facility set to be completed by the end of the year as per directives from Sports Cabinet Secretary Amina Mohamed.
Tusker had used the stadium as its home turf a few years back, but had to shift back to their Ruaraka base when it was closed for renovations. According to Obiny, Meru gives them a better opportunity to build a stronger fan base.
With the news of sponsorship coming in from gaming firm BetKing, Obiny hopes they can mitigate the possible budget cuts from the sponsor with the approximately Sh8mn they will receive annually from the new league partners.