According to Gor Mahia senior Vice Chairman, David Kiilo, the club will soon initiate a fans recruitment drive in a bid to grow their already leading support base. The exercise is named operation Kogalo Top (OKOTOP) will target the club’s supporters who are professionals but rarely attend matches due to other commitments.
“We have on many occasions received concerns and support from these groups of people and it’s about time we embraced them. Through this project, we will be driving recruitment operations across the country by counties and we start with Nairobi County as the project’s pilot before rolling out to other counties throughout the nation. “The major reason behind this project will be to improve on our player’s welfare and motivational kitty by consolidating all support from these fans to one account.” added Kiilo to the clubs site.
In line with ensuring the project is a success, the implementation team will be open to ideas from various stakeholders to ensure proper channels are set in place for both receipt and expense of the support accorded to the club. “We are therefore calling upon the targeted group to come out and help us make this project a success.” concluded the Senior Vice Chairman.
This blog has been calling for a more aggressive recruitment drive that targets not only Nairobi residents but even those Kogalo fans who live in the diaspora. Yes there are Kogalo fans in North America, Europe, Australia and even other Africa countries. However this particular project announced by Mr Kiilo is short on ambition and limited in scope. If you tell people that you are simply looking for money to motivate players, you will likely not get the massive response you are hoping for.
Think big and lay out a business vision
As pointed out here in the past, in order for Gor Mahia to eventually catch up with the likes of ENPPI, TP Mazembe and Al Ahly , the club must lay out a long term plan. The club must build an asset base. Start by reclaiming the land that was donated to the club in Embakassi and is now occupied by squatters. Use this to build facilities that can be rented out to other clubs such as playing fields, a gym, a basketball/volleyball court, a social hall etc. It is incumbent on the club chairman to lay out a realistic vision of where he wants to take club in the next five years, explain how much it will cost and explain step by step how the club plans to get there. If he hopes to appeal to professionals as he claims, he is going to need a better pitch that explains how the club can become self sustaining instead of constantly depending on handouts.
Lay out a technical vision
That the club is badly lacking in technical off the field aspects has been mentioned many times on this blog. But it warrants repeating. Coach Logarusic himself once said he was shocked and appalled when he arrived in Kenya and found that he had to teach basic ideas about tactics to players in their twenties yet in Europe these ideas are well known by 14 year olds. It is no wonder therefore Kenya players are far behind their European counterparts. Its like comparing a group solving problems with primary school mathematics to a group solving problems with PhD level mathematics.
The importance of youth development cannot be gainsaid. A youth development program will eventually produce better players who will in turn win more matches against the likes of ENPPI and even more importantly it will enable the club to sell 1 or 2 players to European clubs every year. In this way, the investment in youth development will eventually pay for itself. Virtually all of Kenya’s players who attend trials in Europe fail those trials and it is down lack of youth development.
Emphasize Transparency and Accountability
One of the biggest concerns of fans today is where the money the club receives goes. Fans are dubious about whether the money is being properly used. Unless the club allays fears, chances are they will not get the massive response they want. The club can allay fears by hiring an accounting firm to publish a monthly audit. Many of these fans whom Mr. Kiilo is targetting are investors who by their nature intently study the finances of a company before they invest in it. So Mr. Kiilo and his team should know that these fans will be expecting the same from the club before they pour their hard earned money. As much as they support Kogalo, they shudder at the thought that their money will be miss-appropriated.
Raising money to motivate players is a good idea. There is nothing fundamentally wrong with wanting to motivate players more. But the players already get a winning bonus so chances are more bonuses will not accomplish much more. Rather than focus on shortt term gain, why not lay out a long term plan ? I can guarantee Mr. Kiilo that he will get a better response from fans with a long term vision instead of simply saying they want to motivate players.
Over to to the bloggers branch. What are your views on operation OKOTOP