NAIROBI, Kenya, 10 – The future of Chemelil Sugar Football Club hangs in the balance with reports stating the club is set to be disbanded after close to five decades in Kenyan football circles.
Chemelil was relegated from the top tier at the close of last season and sources within the club say their future is as good as gone.
“There is no official communication yet but we are seeing all the signs that the team will no longer been there. The team has not signed players, they have not resumed training and there is basically nothing going on now,” a source at the club intimated.
However, the Chemelil Sugar Company Managing Director Gabriel Nyangweso seems to be reading from a different script.
“We have not yet disbanded the team. We have discussions currently with the co-owner to know the way forward. As at now I cannot say that we have let go of the team. We are looking at the situation and the discussions then announce a way forward,” Nyangweso stated.
The same was echoed by the Chemelil Sugar chairman Collins Agai who said they are currently in a state of limbo with the Government, through the Ministry of Agriculture yet to approve their request to sign players for the new National Super League season.
“As we speak, we are not sure whether we will participate in the 2020/2021 National Super League season because we have not received any approvals from the Ministry of Agriculture. Disbandment is not the right word to use at this moment.”
“We received a circular from the Ministry of Agriculture CS and the circular had clear instructions with regards to the management operations that from July, there will be no recruitment of employees whether on contract or permanent. Also, there are no promotions and this is for the purposes of concentrating more on the core business until a new lease comes into place.”
“For any changes, the management has to seek approval from the Ministry and this means that our players who are contracted have their terms ending in July. We did a requisition to the Ministry of Agriculture but as at now we have no approval yet.”
“Yesterday, the transfer window closed and we had not gotten any approval and that now puts us in a position where we are uncertain. As we know, the sugar industry is ailing and we don’t have much budget to support CSR activities. We have been straining and this coupled with the circular from the Ministry, we are in a dilemma,” explained the club chairman.
He adds; “We are still waiting and if we get a response from the Ministry, then we can negotiate with FKF on whether they can give us a grace period to sign players.”
Towards midway through last season, when the company was going through financial turmoil and the team on the brink of handing out a second walk-over, they struck a deal with Muhoroni Youth owner Moses Adagala to help out the team.
But Agai says they only had an agreement to help support the club in their KPL stay, but it was nevcer a part-ownership agreement.
But, Adagala has told Capital Sports that he is engaging the company in talks over continuing with the partnership.
“What I can say now is that the team will not go down. I can’t say much as at now but we are in talks to see the way forward,” he says.
Meanwhile, there is unease with the players over the future of the club especially with the transfer window closed.
“They (players) feel that this is so unfortunate because one, you have not paid their salaries and two, they are hearing that the team might fold when the transfer window is closed. They should have done this before because even if they become free agents now, teams have already exhausted their quotas for the season,” a source at the club stated.