The two local giants have had a rough season, financially, after the previous partner walked away
Kenyan Premier League (KPL) heavyweights Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards are set to unveil their new sponsors on Thursday.
Information reaching Goal indicate the two sides will unveil a joint sponsorship as a new gaming firm comes on board to help the otherwise financially limping giants.
Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards enjoyed a joint sponsor in SportPesa before the betting firm left the Kenyan market in 2019 following a protracted battle with the government on matters of taxation.
“The company coming to sponsor the two clubs is not yet in the Kenyan market. The two clubs were connected to the company by a prominent player agent in Africa and every party looks satisfied and have agreed to sign a sponsorship deal,” a close source to the development told Goal.
In April 2018, SportPesa signed a partnership deal with both Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards that totalled KSh682.4 million where, for three years, Gor Mahia were to get KSh198,607,000, AFC Sh156,406,403 and KPL Sh259,712,000.
The two most successful and oldest Kenyan clubs have been struggling since SportPesa left and had to depend on well-wishers to honour matches and settle players’ allowances at times.
In most cases, the players and the coaching staff went for months without pay. AFC Leopards were direly affected by the salary non-payment issue as they lost key foreign players like Vincent Habamahoro, Ismail Diarra, Soter Kayumba, Tresor Ndikumana and head coach Casa Mbungo.
Whyvonne Isuza, left for Wazito FC, Brian Marita moved Tusker and John Makwatta joined Zesco United after scoring 13 goals and all the exits were linked with a lack of or delayed salaries.
Gor Mahia saw their players at times fail to show up for training and the most recent case surrounded the ejection of Ghanaian star Jackson Owusu from a Buruburu Hotel for the failure of debt clearance.
In a recent interview, AFC Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda stated the club officials were doing everything possible to stabilise the financial health of the club.
“We want to try and solve our financial problems and ensure we get good players to help the team. We want to ensure the players are comfortable and it is the reason why we are doing our best to ensure their dues are settled,” said Shikanda.
Steven Polack, in an earlier interview, detailed how he has been pushing for Gor Mahia officials to find ways of paying his players.
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“I am at the chairman’s office every day talking and delivering the plight of my players, every day, have been there every day for the last six weeks, I think maybe I have only missed one day,” Polack told Goal.
“I am there every day, pushing and asking them [officials] questions and explaining to the chairman how my players are suffering and telling them the situation about the players, myself and the technical staff and so that is the situation.”
It is not yet clear how long the new sponsorship between K’Ogalo, Ingwe and the new company will last or whether it offers huge financial support than what SportPesa did.