Lets bring fans back to the stadiums

The 2016 Kenya Premier League race is going to be a close race. With six matches left, the playing unit will need fans to throw their weight behind them. Skipper Musa Mohamed has stated that fan support has been a significant key to victory in the last two matches.

“Our supporters too were very crucial in the win as they have always been, Gor’s long-serving defender”

With that in mind, fans should make their way back to the terraces to help carry the team as the league goes to the final sprint in what promises to be a photo finish. The club can do its part by perhaps lowering ticket prices significantly and aggressively promoting matches.

Let us make the 12th man count !

Remaining Fixtures

Sun 25-09-16 16:15 Sofapaka vs Gor Mahia Nyayo Stadium
Wed 12-10-16 16:15 Gor Mahia vs Western Stima Nyayo Stadium
Sun 23-10-16 15:00 AFC Leopards vs Gor Mahia Nyayo Stadium
Sun 30-10-16 16:15 Gor Mahia vs Mathare United Kasarani Stadium
Sat 05-11-16 15:00 Muhoroni Youth vs Gor Mahia Moi Stadium
Sat 19-11-16 15:00 Gor Mahia vs Tusker Nyayo Stadium

What happened to the crowds?

But even as Musa Mohamed lauds the fan base for helping push the team in the last two games,  he must be wondering what happened to the massive crowds he first witnessed when he joined the club  back in 2009. The years between 2009 and 2011 saw the highest crowds that Gor Mahia has seen during this millenium. Even midweek matches would cause Nyayo stadium to be packed to the rafters. Such was the case when Gor Mahia played Sofapaka in a tense midweek encounter in 2010.

Gor Mahia vs Sofapaka in a midweek encounter in 2010
Gor Mahia vs Sofapaka in a midweek encounter in 2010

And this was during a period when Gor Mahia had gone 15 years without winning a league title and a top 5 finish was a huge achievement. Yet back then the fan support was more passionate and attendance was impressive. It seemed like it was just a matter of time before Kogalo started recording crowds like those that were seen in the early 1980s.

This a starke contrast to what is happening today.  Now Gor Mahia have won the league three times in a row. Last year the club won the league unbeaten. So you would think the crowds would be even larger than they were in 2010.  Yet the exact opposite is true. You now see Gor Mahia playing at Nyayo stadium with vast swathes of the stadium unfilled. Such was the case last weekend when Gor Mahia played Chemelil at Nyayo.

Where were the fans?

So what has happened and what can be done?  There are a number of steps that can be taken:

Reduce ticket prices

Though the current ticket prices are low (Ksh 500 of Main stand and Ksh 200 for terraces), reducing the ticket prices will be seen as a sign of goodwill by many fans. And for many non-fans who having nothing else to do on a Saturday, the psychological effect of spending only Ksh 100 to watch a top tier match will be compelling

Enhance security and re-assure the public

Recent incidences of insecurity are the key factor in falling attendance. There have been some terrible incidences including one where a fan died. So much so that most people now see attending a Gor Mahia of AFC match as taking your life in your hands. In January Gor Mahia announced enhanced security measures including adding plainclothes policemen and jail cells within the stadium. But all this was undone when a handful of fans wreaked havoc in the match against Tusker costing Gor Mahia 3 points. How did this fan cause so much havoc if there is extra security?

Not only should Gor Mahia enhance security in and around the stadium to prevent such incidences, but the club should also seek to re-assure the public that because of the extra security, the stadium is now a much safer place. And the club must re-assure the public that this security will be in place whether Gor Mahia is the host team or not.

Promote matches

There used to be a buzz around Gor Mahia matches. The stadium was considered a hip place to be. Politicians would be seen occupying prominent positions at the main stand. The Kenya tourism board would encourage tourists to attend matches. As such it was not uncommon to see hoardes of tourists at matches.

Some of this happened because the club was getting good publicity. For example the report below by Mike Okinyi of citizen sports was one among many that sent neutral fans scampering to the stadium.

That report was like solid gold for attendance. Such positive coverage was a key reason that attendance was soaring.

This positive coverage no longer happens. Nowadays every news report is about hooliganism. Many of the young ladies you see in that video have been discouraged by their parents from attending matches.

Aside from anti-hooliganism measures, the club can publicize positive aspects of the team and the playing unit. Gor Mahia has international calibre players like Tuyisenge and a coach who played for Brazil. These are just two aspects that can be used to market the team to potential fans.

It is up to the club to bring this buzz back. Partner with news outlets to create positive stories. For every story about hooliganism, the club should work hard to create positive stories. The club’s fans have dug a deep hole in terms of public relations. Its now up to the same fans and the club officials to come up with creative ways to restore the club’s image and make the stadium a hip destination again.




25 thoughts on “Lets bring fans back to the stadiums

  1. It is the same Mike Okinyi who has made his life’s call to demonise Gor Mahia at every opportunity. Although I condemn hooliganism, I think it has been overplayed in the media. How many times have Gor Mahia fans engaged in hooliganism in the last three seasons? I dont have count but it cannot be more than three times yet it is the story the likes of Okinyi keep on harping. The media and soccer fraternity need to treat Gor with equality, good example being that when a Gor Mahia fan stormed the pitch to assault the referee(which was the main crime as the fans in the stands did not do much damage, all they did was protest ), we got docked 3 points, AFC fans invade the pitch and assault Matasi, they are fined a paltry 200,000 bob. Why the different treatment? The moment Gor starts playing beautiful football, the fans will come back. Last season the stadium recorded 60-70% capacity attendance for most of our matches. Ask yourselves why and that exactly is what the EC and TB need to do to bring the stadium back to life. As for me and my house , I will continue attending even if I remain the last man standing!!

    1. Exactly why the double standards of not docking AFC 3 points when a precedent had been set twice. Infact Tusker vs GMFC scenario mirrors the Rangers vs AFC one exactly. But note FKF/IDCC dilly dallied until GMFC exhausted all appeals channels b4 favouring AFC who suffer nothing even if they are docked. EC SHOULD ACCEPT THIS AND MUST TAKE DRASTIC ACTION. THOSE 3 POINTS HAVE A HUGE BEARING ON WHO BECOMES 2016 CHAMPS.

      1. Even CAF did not dock points from Harambee Stars for crowd trouble, it only fined them. Since coaches can report clubs to FIFA can’t EC take up the matter with CAF/FIFA. Then you question the timing of the decision just when we’ve narrowed the gap to 2 points. EC get ready to take the matter to court and get an injunction against Tusker being declared league winners should those 3 points become a deciding factor.

  2. @musymo..okinyi reports as an impartial fan though he is an ardent Gor fan and we all know that.Let him do his job without necessarily taking sides.
    I however agree with this article.We need to bring fans back to the stadium especially for the remaining matches.The proposed measures will greatly help!!

    1. After the Tusker fiasco, Okinyi is on record saying Gor should be docked 6 points instead of 3!! Is that what you call impartial reporting Mr Oswozo?

  3. I remain forever optimistic however not sure lowering gate prices will attract fans . We are quick to forget that half of the fans in the stadium don’t pay gate charges in the first place (corruption) and most importantly, even when the matches are free ( I can count a number of them this year ) we still dont pull the crowds as expected. Here is my 3 pinpoint suggestion.

    1. Take advantage of your historical home. All the remaining Kogallo home matches should be relocated to Kisumu stadium with immediate effect and the EC should embark on aggresive media campaign in Ramogi FM to pull in the numbers including but not limited to ticket ruffles, family themes e.t.c

    2. Play attractive football. It is no surprise that this year has been the lowest in terms of goals scored by Kogallo. if we are not scoring, our games become predictable and simply put, fans dont like predictable games…its like watching a match which you already know the final score. So the EC , TB and players must play their part and give us descent matches with descent scorelines reminiscent of yester years.

    3. Make the upcoming EFUSI vs Gor Mahia match free entry – no charge. Lets get sportpesa to sponsor the dery. How is that ? This two clubs combined have over 2 million fans based spread over the country. Surely, can we put up a commercialplan within the next two -three weeks that can bring sportpesa sponsored derby back to life. Am sure Sportpesa can help with that marketing and communication strategy since they have vested interest .

    I am willing to work with all ‘stakeholders’ to deliver the trophy in 2016.

  4. Security and safety in the stadiums begins with us the fans. Just because AFC were not docked doesn’t mean that our reaction in that tusker match was o.k. Infact if we loose this league by a margin of one or two points, then we will have to blame ourselves (fans) for costing the team the 3 crucial points. The players and the coach will have done their part. So let us all say NO to hooliganism and fans will fill the stadiums. Full stop.

    1. @Marto Original, you have hit the nail on the head. You cannot go stealing and then say that so and so also stole but how comes they were not caught. Let us be civil on how we celebrate especially outside the stadium. Whenever Go is playing at Nyayo the social media is awash with warnings to motorists to avoid that area. Is that not negative publicity. The biggest enemy to stadium attendance is the fans. Let’s be good Gor ambassadors and all will be fine in times of fans

      1. Guys(Marto & Dan) it is my hope that next time you read then comment and not in the reverse order. I never said it was alright to protest or that our reaction in the Tusker match was OK. I asked why Gor and AFC were treated differently for the same offense!!!! Two different issues I suppose. And please point out for me where I supported hooliganism now that you have read my post properly this time. Thank you

        1. Exactly, no matter how much you want to use GMFC or the Green Army as an example to fight hooliganism IDCC MUST maintain consistency in its decisions. Here both culprits committed similar mistakes, were brought before the same judge, the penalties must be the same.Despite my initial reservations I think the Rangers/AFC and CAF decisions should be the basis of filing a legal case (FIFA/CAF statutes not withstanding) should brewkenge UNFAIRLY win the league based on the docked 3 points. EC KAZI KWENU ITS A FALLBACK PLAN. INFACT BREWKENGE SHOULD KNOW WE ARE LEADING BY 1 POINT. YOU LIE ON YOUR STOMACH AND ACCEPT DISCRIMINATORY AND CORRUPT DECISIONS ONLY IF YOU’RE WEAK AND HELPLESS. IS GMFC OR OUR EC WEAK AND HELPLESS?

          1. Wapeleke hiyo upuuzi kwao. Na kuna watu hapa ambao kuandika kwao tu ni kuongea about fans. They are ever referring to the beloved fans as goons. I have said it and I will repeat, we don’ t care about the self proclaimed Gor Mahia first class fans or is it the elite fans. I belong to the crude category of fans. Sasa hata mkiandika the whole dictionary here about hooliganism, it is an exercise in futility. And i tend to think that most of the bloggers with such ideas religiously belong to sofa set branch. That is why they brand the gor fans as hooligans.

        2. @ Comrade Musyimo, first I was not directly replying to your post. Was just giving my opinion. Secondly, what we are trying to put across here is that we should not concentrate on what was done or not done to Shemejis coz it won’t help us. For example had AFC also been docked points how would that have helped our beloved kogallo. “We are not even playing in the same league with them”. So crying over why ingwe was not docked points is like crying over spilled milk. We have no control over that now. @ Musyimo, one time some years back i was in a stadium watching and supporting kogallo my beloved club play. When chaos started erupting, I tried to desuade a group of fellow kogallo supporters from throwing missiles into the pitch. They almost rained blows on me claiming I was not a true fan of kogallo. It didn’t end there. The situation got worse. The match was stopped. On our way from the stadium, rioting brothers in kogallo crashed my windscreen! From that day I became a sofaset fan.

          1. @Marto, I get your line of argument but sample this….Someone smashes your winscreen and gets away with it….in a fit of rage you smash his and gets say 10 years in the pen….Would you feel a need to at least protest at the injustice, not because its gonna give you back your windscreen but because injustice and double standards is a *it*h. As for the violence, it is more an exception than the rule. In the last 50 or so matches I have attended going back to the 2013 season, I have only witnessed violence not more than twice. And even then those who engage in it are a very small minority. I agree with you though on the hooligans as I have found myself in a similar situation before.You can never reason with them since you always realize their main gripe is not always that decision on the pitch only
            but a mix of politics, frustration and plain bad
            manners. Overall, available evidence show we are more peaceful than violent so come back to the stadium as there is no substitute for the buzz
            and aura of a live match and we need all the fans we can get for homestretch. #OtekMatin#

          2. We are crying as to why Gor Mahia was docked 3 points while AFC was only fined. Similarly H/stars was not docked points but only fined. We are accussed of the same offence like AFC & H/stars so we should be fined and not docked 3 points. Now add back 3 points to our points tally and then review the league standings to see how the decision impacts (not helps we don’t need help) on us. Pole about your windscreen.

  5. May I add when Posta Rangers was the victim of a discriminatory and conflicting decision, they complained and said that the player they fielded cannot be ineligible while our own GMFC player (Odula I think) signed following the same proceedure was legit. As a result P.Ranger was reinstated back to the GorTv. You don’t just fold your arms and sigh, oh! am unlucky and they are lucky.

  6. I don’t agree with bloggers who are still blaming the fans for the 3 points. How many points have we dropped after that? After all has been said about how to bring back the fans, We should not forget the aspect of accountability with regards to gate collections. Some fans are very convinced that some Ec members print their own tickets. For that reason hata mimi nikipata wamefungua gate kwa nguvu, nitaingia tu. What do I care about. The crazy linesman naye angechapwa zaidi. No matter how much some bloggers are acting as holier than though here, I don’t think the fan behavior worldwide is influenced by such writings. Now over to the yes team, one of the goons has spoken. It is time for counter attacks.

    1. This Hullabaloo about always blaming ‘Fans’ for Gor’s docked points in utter Nonsense.Did collective peaceful and decent gor fans take part in the isolated incident wea an aggrieved man jumped into the field to assault the referee during the Tusker match?Wasn’t tusker the home team in charge of security and therefore liable to arrest that goon and charge him in a court of law as per the Kpl rule book?Should individuals whether drunk,high or otherwise form the notion of engaging in isolated incidents in future in full glare of the police,should kogalo endlessly be docked points and the EC blamed for not reigning in hooligans,do we have a hooligan register or resources to identify and deny them entry into the stadium?fact is MAJORITY Gor fans are peaceful, law abiding citizens and Gor is unfairly targeted by football authorities in Kenya whenever any thing symbolizing green in involved in a dissident incident on an individual capacity and Mike Okinyi is Gor’s worst ambassador if he can qualify even to be called a fan at heart…

  7. Nasoma nyinyi nasoma nyiny alafu naona vitu mingi. Sana sana watu ingine hapa ni ngoche, watu ambaye naogopa sana. Hata kama mbio natoka kidogo pap, ati nawarudi sofa.Sisi apana taka watu ya gor nanyanganyawe point. Lakini mutu ya firimbigo be owe pimo wiwa. Ok bichalonegi. Sisi apana sumbua wati ya gor. Lakini kama mdomo yako ni mingi sana na we natusi sisi to okbichaloni. Otherwse watu iyo naogopa, ka na bibi na tv. Sisi ni tibim

  8. Nasoma nyinyi nasoma nyinyi alafu nasanga na watu ingine. Kame we naogopa tu kitu yoyote ndogo natokea huko pap. Plis ka nymbani aangalia bol na bibi na watoto yako. Kwa sababu presa yako tapanda bure. Sisi hapana chokosanga mutu.


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