Shikanda has some valid ideas, Rachier is full of excuses.

This Saturday May 23-2020, TV personality Carol Radull interviewed Dan Shikanda and Ambrose Rachier who are the chairmen of AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia respectively. Shikanda came across as a man determined to lift AFC Leopards from its current morass. He is full of ideas and is burning with ambition. Shikanda, being a Scientist, also seems to approach each problem like the Medic that he is. He diagnoses the problem and offers a solution. Just like a medical Doctor diagnoses an sickness and prescribes a treatment, Shikanda had a clear view of the problems his club is facing and indicated that he is already working on remedies.

Rachier on the other hand appears to have completely run out of ideas. He offered no valid solutions. Instead he went back to the tried and failed tactic of blaming fans and trying to guilt fans into offering support to the club. This is a tactic he has applied for the past couple of years and it has not succeeded especially in the last few years. This does not bode well for the club’s immediate future.

Whereas Shikanda seems to approach each problem like scientist seeking problems, Rachier approaches each problem like the criminal defense lawyer he is, deflecting blame, daring people to produce evidence of corruption and finding creative ways to avoid postpone the issue at hand so he can buy time.

 

Strategic Plan

Shikanda announced that he has developed a 5 year strategic plan that includes building infrastructure for the club. His made it clear that his goal is to close the gap on Gor Mahia on performance and surpass them. Shikanda’s strategic plan involves marketing club products such as cooking oil and bread. He intends to give businesses an opportunity to use the club’s new state of the art bus to market their products.

Shikanda has created a media team that shows fans what happens at AFC every day of the week. This will include player interviews, videos of training sessions, interviews with former players etc. Companies will be invited to market their products during these shows.

In other words, Shikanda is already implementing his strategic plan even with limited finances.

Rachier for his part said that he developed a strategic plan but he cannot implement anything due to lack of funds. He has basically thrown his arms up and surrendered because the club has no funds.

One fan wrote in during the show and called Shikanda a dreamer, even delusional. What such fans don’t realize is that even if Shikanda accomplishes 50% of his strategic plan, it will still leave AFC in a better place than they currently are.

Merchandize Sales

Radull noted that five years ago she wanted to buy Kogalo jerseys. She bought 5 jerseys then she later found out that the jerseys were being sold by a club official as a side hustle. Therefore all the money she spent went to the pockets of that official.

Rachier then said that merchandize sales have failed because fans are buying pirated jerseys made in China and there was nothing he could do about the piracy. Shikanda on the other hand pinpointed the solution which is that the clubs lack an official shop. As a result, when fans want to but jerseys, they often don’t know where to buy official merchandise. Which is one reason why fans end up buying pirated merchandize.

A further reason is pricing. Kogalo at one point had the audacity to sell jerseys at Ksh 5000 at a time pirated jerseys were going for Ksh 1000. This shows that the people running the club are either delusional or lack a basic understanding or merchandising and sales. If it is cheaper to make jerseys in China then why can’t the club also pursue that option? Why not just contract with a supplier who can provide the jerseys cheaper? No fan will buy a jersey at Ksh 5000. The club ought to know this.

Membership Goals

Shikanda noted that when he took over the club, there were 700 members. He has increased the base of paying members to 2000 paying members. Shikanda is targeting to have 10,000 members by the end of this year and before his first term his target is 200,000. The effort is being led by Victor Milimu a club official. They are using the media team to create content to keep fans engaged. Shikanda noted that he plans to make the club self sufficient even without a sponsor.

Rachier for his part noted that Kogalo Only has 400 members paying regularly. He offered that he has pursued tactics like addressing fans on Ramgogi FM, Kogalo fan day, hot 96, Dala FM. However Rachier has no set goals or targets for membership.

Rachier noted that the club has a database of 156,000 members who have contributed via bill. But these fans are not regular contributors. Again Rachier did not state what he will do to increase membership. He once again shifted blame to fans. The same thing he has done for the past few years. The question becomes, if AFC can increase membership threefold within 8 months, why can’t Kogalo also increase membership? Clearly the club is doing something wrong but the chairman is too proud to admit it.

Branches
Rachier noted that the club has 121 branches. Every branch is supposed to send Ksh 10,000 to the club per year regardless of how much they have raised. The branches are only loosely affiliated with the club. They have their own constitution and can raise money using the club’s name without remitting the money to the club. In fact nowadays even famous fans can create club merchandize using the club’s name and make money that should otherwise be going to the club. The club has no control over its branches, some of which are now engaged in outright theft of funds. Even funeral funds. The branches are now ruining the club’s name. No fan should be using the club name to sell merchandize and no branch should be soliciting funds using the club’s name. Rachier being an attorney can implement cease and desist orders.

Accountability

A fan commented that the club’s poor attendance and low membership numbers are due to corruption and misappropriation of gate collections and other fans. But Rachier dismissed those sentiments as wild allegations and even challenged the fan to produce evidence of corruption.

Interestingly, Rachier demanded evidence of corruption within the club yet Radull had just told him that a club official was selling club jerseys as a side hustle and that none of the money was going to the club. Rachier also never addressed the issue of how a player Derek Otanga sensationally claimed that a club official demanded a bribe from him before he could be signed. Otanga instead decided to join Wazito

Unfortunately Radull did not challenge Rachier enough on the issue of transparency which is the primary issue holding fans from paying their hard earned money to become members or even to pay for tickets.

Rachier has been in charge for 12 years. In those 12 years, membership has not increased but instead has actually reduced significantly. A few years back, the club had 1700 members. Apparently it now has only 400 paying members. Yet Rachier persists in blaming fans instead of looking inwardly. He has been told many times that the issue of transparency is the stumbling block. But like a good lawyer, each time transparency is brought up, he deflects, shifts blame, creates alibis and postpones the issue. What makes Rachier an excellent lawyer has been detrimental to club membership recruitment.


Player Strikes

Shikanda highlighted the fact that since he took over Ingwe 8 months ago, the players have not gone on strike.

Electronic Ticketing

Radull challenged Rachier asking why the club has not introduced electronic ticketing. Rachier claims that he tried but it failed because fans would send the confirmation message to other fans. These fans would then show up at the stadium with the confirmation message and claim that they paid. Rachier claimed he gave up on eTicketing for this reason.

But Radull corrected Rachier by indicating that there are companies like TicketSasa that offer a system whereby tickets can be scanned on the phone and therefore the ticket cannot be replicated. Radull was basically alluding to the Outsourcing model that was described on this column a few weeks back.

This segment proved what many fans had suspected all along: Rachier was never serious about eTicketing. What he did was a half-hearted attempt. Then he quickly pretended that eTicketing cannot work. Either he is too set in his ways and does not want to change tact. Or he simply does not want to properly account for gate collections.

Sinking Ship

Rachier admitted that the club is in bad shape, the players are going hungry and are being thrown out of their homes for lack of rent. He blamed this pn lack of participation from fans. He noted that hosting a match sometimes costs Ksh 100,000 yet ticket proceeds are sometimes as low as Ksh 7000.

Shikanda for his part noted that his strategic plan will not depend solely on match attendance on gate collections. He plans to pursue other activities such as the sales of AFC bread, AFC water and AFC cooking oil to put money in club coffers.

Post Covid Plans

Shikanda and his team are already planning for the distinct possibility that when football comes back in August, there will be no fans and there will be no sponsorship. So he plans to sustain the club via products like Ingwe water, Ingwe Sanitizer, Ingwe mafuta and so forth.

Rachier claimed that he has put a team together to study post covid plans but he does not anticipate creating a solid plan because the issue of who will run the league has not been settled.

Rachier and Shikanda then went on an unnecessary rant against FKF because they have decided to appoint referees. They both claimed that FIFA funds should be sent to clubs but Radull promptly corrected them that the FIFA money is meant for football development and is not supposed to be given to fans.

So Rachier admitted that he has no plans for a Post Covid 19 league which will have no sponsor and no gate receipts. He will go back to the tried and failed tactic of trying to guilt fans into contributing to the club.


Marketing

A fan sent a message indicating that a major failure of both clubs is the lack of a good marketing strategy and that both clubs needed to engage professional marketers. Rachier indicated that he has engaged marketers who are engaged on a consultancy basis. He however did not indicate what these consultants have accomplished or what their specific purpose was, nor whether they have performance objectives or goals.

Shikanda for his part indicated that he has hired two individuals: Ronald Namai and Joseph Murule to lead the marketing effort by the club. They have clear marching orders to expose the club’s brand and each have revenue targets.

Accomplishments

Radull challenged Rachier to explain why he has been at helm for 12 years yet he has not improved the club’s financial stability. Rachier took credit for winning the league six times. He said he has failed to stabilize the club financially. He however said the failure was due to lack of sponsors. He blamed his inability to implement his strategic plan on the departure of sponsors.

However it is worth noting that even when the club had sponsors, Rachier never implemented his strategic plan. In 2016, when Sportpesa wwere announced as the new club sponsor, this blog published an article suggesting steps the club should take to stabilize the club financially and plan for a future where there might be no sponsor. Of course not a single idea from that article was ever implemented.

The Sports Fund

Rachier and Shikanda complained that the Sports fund which was created by the government to fund sporting activities. However that fund is likely going to be used for various national teams. It is unlikely that any of that money will ever go to clubs.

Summary
Rachier deserves credit for the six titles the club has won. It must be said however that the titles happened during a period when Kogalo had sponsorship and decent gate receipts. Even in 2015 when the club had no sponsor, they were able to count on good gate receipts and the large donations from politicians. Rachier deserves credit for the six titles the club has won. It must be said however that the titles happened during a period when Kogalo had sponsorship and decent gate receipts. Even in 2015 when the club had no sponsor, they were able to count on good gate receipts and the large donations from politicians.

In 2020 things have changed. There will be no sponsor. There will be no gate receipts, only empty stadia to start the new season. If Rachier does not change tact, the club is doomed. Unfortunately Rachier appears set in his ways and unwilling to change. He is still of the mindset that he should get money from sources like the sports fund, the FKF and from fans. And he believes that he should not have to be accountable or transparent. If this continues, the club is headed for a bleak performance in 2020-2021.

Matters don’t look promising. Whereas Shikanda offered plenty of hope to AFC fans, Rachier did not offer anything to look forward to for the fan base. We hope matters change. We hope somebody can intervene and cause Rachier to change direction. The only good news is that towards the end of the interview, Rachier admitted that there is a lot more that he can do. So maybe there is some hope yet.

Please note that the goal of this column is not to simply bash the chairman. This author recognizes that Rachier deserves most of the credit for all the titles the club has won. The purpose of this column is to sound the alarm. This club is headed in the wrong direction. The Chairman seems intent on pursuing tried and failed methods. If matters are not remediated, the immediate future will prove disastrous.

Article by Vincent “Video Editor”  Ogutu
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7 thoughts on “Shikanda has some valid ideas, Rachier is full of excuses.

  1. What Gor Mahia needs as a Chairman is a visionary but ruthless wealthy benevolent thug capable of semi legally smashing the skulls of any non conforming EC official , covertly breaking the limbs of anybody found clandestinely dealing in club merchandising , making the hooligans permanently disappear , in summary Gor Mahia needs a chairman who can remember the last time he smiled unless he was inflicting pain on a saboteur , all these will result in a functional office pulling in one structured direction , the merchandise revenue enhanced and fans attracted to a hooligan free environment .
    As to all the good accolades accorded the Afc chairman , the article is without context courtesy of the fact that the author is unalive to the dynamics that abound in Afc Leopards , the moment Money will start flowing into Afc is the time the Opworas , the Angulus will crawl out of the woodworks with suffocating deafing isikuti decibels leading a group of handout recipients who will have been reminded that Shikanda is not from their subtribe , Shikanda is a good man , but he needs to cast aside that attribute and be strategically ruthless .
    The handout seekers in Gor and Afc must be forced back to their villages.

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    1. Teddy looks like the gods are against us. The tough guys you talk about are all gone. Omino, Oile, wuod seda people whose word would ruthlessly change the dynamics . Who do we have now? Am not even closer to them, are you Teddy? Konywa.

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  2. They have their own constitution and can raise money using the club’s name without remitting the money to the club.
    Rachier admitted that the club is in bad shape, the players are going hungry and are being thrown out of their homes for lack of rent.

    Can Augmentin which is refuses to release 200k+ to players & TB and its brand ambassador Jaro Sajo take heed.

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  3. What I understood from that interview is that ADOR wants FIFA money, FKF money and Sports fund money. But he does not want to account for any of it. It should just be given to him no questions asked. To make his point, he will sit aside and do nothing as players are thrown out of their homes

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  4. P.S Long post.
    To:
    1)Gor Mahia Club Chairman & Augmentin member- Ambrose Rachier,
    2)GMAF Direct Chairman- G Ambayo,
    3)Gor Mahia Branches- Chair of Council of Chairman (A big title that should achieve great things) & Augmentin member- Carrilus Onyango,
    4)Gor Mahia Club Vice Chair & Augmentin member -Francis Wasuna,
    5)Gor Mahia Club Deputy Secretary & Augmentin member- Ronald Ngala,

    Dear Sirs,

    United let’s stand because divided we have always fallen.

    Gor Mahia is flat broke, in a never ending financial quagmire that is embarrassing the club locally, regionally and continentally. Hardly a week passes without the club being humiliated financially by this or that non payment incident. This has repeated itself for several years and it’s time for a solution.

    It’s TIME for an INDEPENDENT & TRANSPARENT salary fund for 30 GMFC main team performing players & TB. I.e concentrating on the players & TB who merit it most win the league and CAF etc.

    This suggestion is an immediate and practical way forward to save K’galo post Covid 19 or even now by drawing on the strengths and cooperation of the office, branches/ funds.
    It to be funded by branches and supporters funds e.g GMAF Direct from their current contributions, nothing extra is required from their members.
    Each fund/branch will maintain its existence and identity and be recognized by the club’s office and appreciated by Gor Mahia fraternity.

    Using the Gor Mahia brand name branches/funds etc have recently raised money for the bus, youth team and funerals, even in this difficult covid19 times, so raising money to pay the 30 performing players & TB a minimum guaranteed monthly salary is possible.

    30 means the fund only pays 25 players and 5 TB ( Head coach, assistant coach, TM, GK coach and Team Doctor).
    Avoid duplication of roles since club can’t afford it.
    The obsession with a bloated squad is unsustainable. During such trying times the club can survive with even 20 players and 5 TB.
    Better a smaller squad that is catered for than a bloated squad, a third of whom will never play but must be paid.

    The club’s membership is kshs.1,200 per year which may be hard for fans as a lump-sum payment but translates to a very affordable kes.100 per month. This is even lower than GMAF Direct’s lowest monthly contribution of kes.125.

    The club (office) should engage the branches and GMAF Direct to collect the membership fee monthly and remit it to an independent & transparent salary fund strictly for paying only 30 performing senior team players & TB.

    Register branches/funds anew.

    The club should (re)register all branches and funds afresh with each making a commitment to remit funds from their members to the 30GMFC Salary Fund (30GMFCSALFUND) by the 24/5th of every month.

    Every branch to have at least 30-50 members each contributing a minimum of kes.100. That means each branch remits kes.3,000-5,000 every month by the 24/25th of every month. Branches with a large membership, above 50, will have challenges ensuring that all its members have paid the monthly fee of kes.100/-.

    Branches/funds to follow up their members for their individual monthly payment and Gor Mahia office follows up the branches for the monthly remittance to the 30GMFC Salary Fund.

    Non compliant branches should be deregistered if in
    default for 2 consecutive months and members urged to combine into a new branch or join other branches.
    E-branches should be encouraged.

    Any use of the Gor Mahia name or logo should be discouraged unless the branch or fund is registered and compliant i.e it’s remitting its required monthly contribution to the independent salary fund.

    A monthly report is produced and posted by the club’s office to branches (CoC)/ funds indicating which branches and funds are compliant and which are not.
    This should be accompanied by an income & expenditure report published together with bank statements for confirmation, by branches & fund members, that bank balances are correct.

    The signatories to the 30GMFCSALFUND should be the Chairmen and Treasurers of GMFC, GMAF Direct and Branches CoC and any other supporters group able to make a significant stable monthly contribution to the salary fund.

    Money is to be deposited into the 30GMFCSALFUND by the branches/Funds by 25th of every month and the transferred directly to the 30 players and TBs mpesas by the 30th or soon thereafter. GMAF and the office have shown that this is possible.

    Only players & TB on valid contracts are to be paid from this fund.

    Foundation for this model already exists and it can be rolled out ASAP post covid or even now.

    Do not use 30GMFC Salary Fund to settle old debts, or to pay any other expenses e.g buses or youth team etc.

    The 30 players and TB qualifying for payment from the salary fund must be made known to the membership.
    The list of 30 can be revised after every transfer period which is every 6 months.

    Club Membership will be Automatic and Affordable.

    All members who through their branches/funds are up to date with their monthly payments upto December or have paid the full membership fee by the registration deadline are entitled to participate in the club’s AGM and elections.
    To encourage uptake of membership the office should ensure that AGMs and elections are held regularly and when due. Rescheding should be discouraged.
    E- elections, in the future, should be encouraged to attract wider membership so that members in diaspora & remote areas are not reduced to paper members.
    AGMs require physical presence by elections and voting can be automated.
    If not possible then regional election centres can be an option.

    GMAF Direct and Branches Chair of Chairman are there.
    Key Gor Mahia Club officials are there.

    Benefits to Branches / Funds.

    1) Members of branches and other initiatives will automatically become registered club members while still retaining their branch / fund identities and without additional payments.

    2) The branches / funds are free to use the amounts raised in excess of kes.100/month from members for their own projects.

    Benefits to Club/ office

    1) With the 30Gor Mahia Salary Fund the office with be assured of continued monthly financial support from branches and funds hence guaranteeing players and TB some salary payment every month.

    2) This way members can support the club even without physically attending the matches. The office will raise more as membership fee since fan can pay in installments.

    Reporting & Accountability Responsibilities.

    This falls equally on the GMFC office, GMAF Direct and CoC since the 30GMFCSL is an independent & transparent fund.

    Note this can be simply an account for collecting funds to pay 30 players & TB run jointly by the office, branches and funds.

    Monthly financial reports must be made to the members of the entities that constitute the fund.

    Responsibilities of club office.
    1) Ensure an accurate members register,
    2) AGM meetings are held regularly and timely.
    3) Move towards e-elections to accommodate diaspora and remote members. This will increase uptake of members.

    Recognition and control of Contributors (Branches & Funds).

    Engage the FM stations to acknowledge and thanking branches/ funds and even individual fans who contribute above the minimum kes.100 can can be mentioned. Am sure Radio Ramogi’s K’galo time can do this since it already has a GMFC program. Other FM stations will follow suit.
    This can popularize the salary fund its transparency and achievements etc.
    E.g amount raised and the salaries paid & when.

    Defaulting branches and funds can be flagged and reminded regularise their payments on air. This will name and shame branches/ funds that don’t support the club and discourage the setting up & existence of such groups.

    The balance of the players and TB salaries can be performance based funded by other sponsorships, prize winnings etc. Gate collections.

    The above is an attempt to harness the strengths and advantages of the various competing Gor Mahia entities so that they can pull together to save the club by laying a strong independent foundation to pay players & TB.

    Projections:

    1) Present/worst case scenario.

    121 branches of 30 members each paying kes.100 will raise kes.605,000 monthly.

    GMAF Direct with 500 members will raise another 50,000.

    Monthly raised for 30GMFC Salary Fund is kes. 655,000.
    Payment gaurateed for 30 performing players and TB=
    655,000/30= kes.20,000+ PER PLAYER

    2) Practical or achievable scenario.

    250 branches of 30 members each paying kes.100 will raise kes.750,000 monthly.
    Since some branches may have more than 30 members they can be split make contribution follow up of members easily.

    GMAF Direct with 500 members will raise another 250,000.
    GMAF Direct has shown that it’s able to do this and also it has higher contribution rates (tiers) for its members.

    Monthly raised for 30GMFC Salary Fund is kes. 1,000,000.
    Payment gaurateed for 30 performing players and TB=
    1,000,000/30= kes.33,000+ PER PLAYER.

    Players should be paid net of All statutory deductions (PAYE,NHIF & NSSF) relating to the guaranteed monthly payment.

    The responsibility of paying performing senior team members rests squarely on the entire GMFC fraternity. The foundation are there (a pool of 156,000 potential contributors, branches, fund etc) Transparency and mobilization is the cement that an independent sustainable salary fund will be based on, even if we start with guaranteeing performing players & TB kes.10,000 monthly.
    Office can’t do it alone, Augmentin can’t do it alone, branches can’t do it alone especially by competing against each other for the same scare resources.

    Thank-you.

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  5. Gor Mahia office and branches/funds can easily co-ordinate to issue GMFC membership.

    STEPS.
    1) A person who has completed GMFC registration payments requests his branch to process his/her GMFC membership. Completion of GMFC registration payment is when the kes.1,200 has been paid in full or instalments with the stipulated 12 month period.

    2) Once his/her branch or fund confirms that his payments are in order and up to date they write to GMFC office to issue the member with a registration number.

    3) The office then issues a registeration number in the members name confirming GMFC membership.

    A valid registration number should entitle one to all membership rights e.g attend AGMs and vote. Right to discounted merchandise and ticketing.

    Remember each registration number means GMFC has attracted kes.1,200 to pay 1st team salaries for 30 players and TB. Therefore it’s prudent to go for the most widespread voting system. E-voting (cheapest) or regional voting like LSK
    Let members be free to choose officials from outside the capital. This will encourage uptake in membership.

    E.G
    GM001/2020/00001 Atieno Otieno.
    A confirmation SMS be sent by the club to both the member and his fund/branch.

    a) GM001= Branch/Fund number e.g Kayole Branch. All branches or funds must indicate their branch no. on the banners, social sites, communications etc. So that the public can know genuine and compliant branches/ funds.
    Rule/ Control Non compliant branches cannot register individual GMFC members. Non compliance can be failure of the branch to remit its minimum contribution for 2 consecutive months.

    b) 2020=year of membership,

    c) 00001= Members registration number.

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  6. What is proposed above is feasible. The stumbling block is Rachier. He refuses to be accountable. Sometimes he engages in half-hearted measures of accountability because he thinks he can hoodwink people. Its the lack of good faith measures from the chairman that is causing players to go homeless. If the Chairman starts taking accountability seriously, there will be money coming in from fans every month. Fans are not going to give the club money when there is documented evidence of officials stealing from the club. People don’t have money to throw away.

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