Rachier explains why Kogalo left Kisumu

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier says that violent cartels at Moi stadium Kisumu prevented the club from generating sufficient revenue from gate proceeds.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier is not about to offer any apologies for his drastic decision to remove the team’s home matches from Moi Stadium, Kisumu despite the headwinds the action is running into.

“I am doing this with a heavy heart. Of all the towns in this country it is Kisumu where Gor Mahia’s pulse is. You can see it in the fans’ faces. People travel from as far away as my village in Gem Yala, in fact, all over the former Nyanza province to come cheer the team they love.

“However, I have a club to run professionally and the Mafia operating in Kisumu has been robbing the club blind and I cannot continue this way,” he said.

Speaking in his Rachier and Amollo Advocates offices at Mayfair Centre near Nairobi Hospital, the face of the chairman of the multiple league champions shows some strain, revealing a man making a weighty but necessary decision which might not be popular with all.

The ban was necessitated by the invasion of the Moi Stadium by cartels intent on lining their dirty pockets, not giving a care on the state of the club and its players and staff.

What rankled the chairman the most was the blatant thuggery seen on August 31 when Gor left Tusker FC staggering after a thorough beating at the stadium.

According to Rachier, the thugs, brandishing knives and also armed with what the Kenya Police normally refer to as crude weapons, chased away the club’s official stewards and then went on a gate collection spree. Or a looting spree, if you would.

Gor’s treasurer Sally Bolo was quoted in the press giving vivid account of how she had to run for dear life when the yobs came calling.

“They came with crude weapons and openly harassed us. They beat some of our staff, forced dozens of persons to access the stadium for free and still at the end demanded payment for work not done,” she narrated her woes in the picturesque town of Kisumu.

“First they declare that there is no way stewards from Nairobi can go to Kisumu and work there yet there are people in Kisumu who can do the work. What they are forgetting is that these stewards are our staff and they are strangers to the club management,” Rachier lamented.

“We have suspended all our matches in Kisumu and we shall be using alternative home grounds. Even though the lake region is a huge fan base for Gor Mahia, it is sad that we use a lot of money to travel to the city for league matches and end up getting nothing due to cartels and bouncers who pocket our money at the gate and many a times allow the fans to watch our matches free of charge,” said Rachier.

Of course, this news will shatter into pieces and leave a trail of blood in the hearts of K’Ogalo diehard supporters in the lakeside town but Rachier insisted he was acting in the best interest of the club.

He said that the club uses between Sh600,000 to Sh700,000 to prepare the team for a single outing in Kisumu.

He said he is convinced there is some serious Chinese accounting that takes place whenever Gor Mahia plays in Kisumu.

“Take the Tusker match for example. The stadium was packed to the rafters and a person known to me who is well versed with such kind of logistics said he could do a lower estimate of the gate collections totalling at least Sh1.8 million,” he said.

At the end of the day Rachier and his fellow officials were left holding the short end of the stick.

After all deductions, Rachier was handed Sh120,000, and he confesses that this left him heartbroken.

“Can you believe it Tom? After sinking more than half a million in a match all I came back with was some Sh120,000?”

Taking the view of a seasoned businessman Rachier said: “I would not have minded if we broke even. But this one is a bottomless pit and I don’t think it makes business sense to continue throwing good money after bad. I am really sorry for our Kisumu fans.”

But where are the police in all this, I press the chairman.

In all their expense reports the club officials normally list security as one of the items that leave a dent the size of an adult’s head in the budget.

“Honestly I don’t know. Maybe they are normally so focused on crowd control in the stadium and have no time for the gates which maybe they feel we can handle,” Rachier answers.

According to the chairman, the absence of police at the gates is an answered prayer to the goons.

That is if goons say a prayer before a robbery. He says that the guttersnipes usually start a commotion at the gate and in that melee, many get the chance to get into the stadium without parting with even a single cent.

However, it emerges that it is not only those who don’t have two pennies to rub together who enjoy waltzing into the stadium without paying.

Rachier said he had come across cases where people who are well off by any definition of the word intimidating stewards by invoking his (Rachier) name.

“It is in our culture that people love freebies. It is also a culture of ‘you must know people’. Some of these people will tell the stewards how we are fast friends and they don’t see the need to pay. On the other hand my view is that if they are true friends they should help me succeed at the club by paying the gate charges,” said the chairman.

In a candid admission, Rachier said even some of his own stewards have been caught with their fingers in the till, batting on the side of the goons who are hell bent on fleecing the club, perhaps paying heed to the adage of if you can’t beat them join them.

“I know we have had a few cases of some rotten eggs in our steward section and each case has been dealt with accordingly,” said Rachier.

Added to this is the sorry state of affairs that the club does not have a shirt sponsor after SportPesa took a walk because the betting company also had a visitation of pestilences from the authorities over the small issues of taxation and licencing.

All these factors have left K’Ogalo hanging on the cliff with fingertips, financially speaking, a situation Rachier is keen on turning around. For one, the seasoned lawyer believes that e-ticketing is the way forward.

“Some people are using the initial problems we faced and now want us to abandon e-ticketing in its entirety. I don’t think this is the right way of doing things,” he said.

I ask if he could consider printing tickets. “Tickets is also a bit demanding. Number two, reason we usually release the tickets for sale just hours before a match is because of the same cartels who have the ability to forge the tickets which means we will have earned no money,” Rachier states.

On this e-ticketing thing Rachier and his AFC Leopards counterpart Dan Shikanda seem to agree that it will provide the lock step and barrel solution to the financial woes facing two of Kenya’s oldest and most followed clubs.

On Friday, Shikanda was quoted in this newspaper calling on Ingwe fans to embrace the e-ticketing technology to avoid crowding at the stadium gates during the team’s home matches.

He appealed to the club’s entire fan base to hitch a ride on the e-ticketing ship.

“I urge all our fans whom I appreciate for their continued support to buy tickets early enough through e-ticketing so as to avoid last minute rush,” Shikanda implored Ingwe’s followers.

Back to Rachier and the Gor Mahia boss admitted that the piloting of the e-ticketing system had seen some expected teething problems, but he was adamant that e-ticketing would, if not totally eliminate, grossly reduce the corruption at the gates and help the club spruce up its dreary looking books of accounts.

As the interview draws to a close I remember the phone conversation we had when we were fixing the appointment Thursday night.

I wanted an early meeting which would free up my time for other engagements. But Rachier told me, “don’t make it too early, you know us Mugabes we are not early risers.”

Then we both broke into laughter.

You see, for the fact that he has stayed in Gor for quite some time — at 11 years he is the longest serving chairman ever — some of his detractors refer to him as Mugabe in reference to the late, long serving Zimbabwean head of state.

The joke ended up being on me when I sauntered into his office Friday morning and found him already seated waiting for me.

Rachier: I am not leaving soon

In a wide ranging interview with the Standard Newspaper, touching on various topics, Chairman Ambrose Rachier indicated that he may not be leaving in December as earlier announced.

Interview by the Standard

Tomorrow, Ambrose Rachier (pictured) turns 70. His entry into the world was as dramatic as the life he has lived.

He was born in a moving train, beneath a wooden bench, on the Third Class carriage where his mother went into labour enroute Molo. Since then, he says, he has never stopped moving.

If pressed for a description of himself, he gets conflicted. A renowned lawyer, rhumba lover, French speaker and lecturer, but what he says he is mostly known for is his role as the chairman of K’Ogalo, as Gor Mahia FC is fondly known.

He had said he quitting when the year ends, but he is now reconsidering the decision. “Many people including sponsors have told me not to leave Gor Mahia. The sponsors say they may not want to continue if I am not there. I may hold on longer,” he says.

His admission reinforces what critics had suspected. Rachier is not leaving. Despite the noise of “out with the oldies and in with the younglings” that the fans have made online and off the net, he seems unfazed by the calls for him to handover.  

Since he was elected eleven years ago, it has been said that he bullies his way around, and is drunk with power. Some claim he swindles the club.

Ambition and intellect

“People have called me Mugabe and claim I am forcing myself on this seat. I can assure you that if someone contested against me, they would not win,” he says.

Rachier was picked as Gor Mahia chairman in 2008, a few months after he was floored in the Gem parliamentary elections. The decision to vie for a political seat, he says, is one of his biggest regrets.

“I got exposed to so much dishonesty and was being pushed to do things that I was not comfortable with,” he says

Rachier was in his office, getting over the loss, when he heard a crowd shouting for him to get out. When he peered outside, he saw the group, in green shirts, the official colours of the club.

They were shouting: “Get out now and serve Gor!” he says. He was led to City Stadium and installed as chairman.

Sally Bolo, Gor Mahia treasurer says times were lean for the club. They were at the bottom of the league. They needed help, and in Rachier, they saw passion, ambition and intellect that Gor Mahia lacked.

“He came and we rose. Since 2012, we were the unbeaten champions. Up from number 15 where he found us,” she says.

At the club, he imposed the diktat of his legal training that emphasises discipline. The fans were rough. The team got bad press. Some players rebelled. Still, Rachier says he used his networks to get the club sponsorship and increase the players’ salaries from Sh3,000 per month, to Sh250,000 for the top players.

The recent sacking of Dennis Oliech from the club has provoked the ire of supporters who say Rachier treats the club as his briefcase company and is behind the player’s woes.

Mr Oliech is now threatening to sue the club because he was dismissed yet everyone knew that he had injuries. But Rachier says that the player was sent packing because he declared interest in the Kibra parliamentary seat and skipped practice without apologies.

“That is all Photoshop. Someone created an image of me and circulated it on social media. I was injured so I could not practice. The club was just looking for a way to get rid of me, but I am taking them to court,” Oliech says.

Freemason by conviction

Off the field, Rachier has gone back to school to study Bio-ethics. A combination of medicine and law. He says in five years, he will fold his legal files and retire. After practising for more than 40 years, he looks forward to going back to the village in Gem, Siaya County, to write his autobiography.

What might make a good read for his book would be the things he is uncomfortable talking about. Like how he was an Anglican by birth, raised by a Canon who was drenched in the ways of the church, but he became a Freemason by conviction and conversion.

“People do not understand Freemasonry. They think it is devil worship. It has the who-is-who of this country, and maybe that is why they think so,” he says, explaining that admission to Freemasonry is strictly by referral from a member who can attest to a person’s character. He says their mandate is charity.

His close associates believe his Achilles heel is booze and women. They say not even age has faded the spark that flashes in his eyes when a fine damsel crosses his path.

Rachier laughs, taps his foot and leans back in the leather seat in his law firm’s offices and sighs.  

“Oh…I love my Whitecap. Nice. I love people. Nobody talks when I extend a helping hand to a man. But hell breaks loose when I show generosity to a woman,” he says.

On his love for alcohol, he says if he was an addict, he would not have maintained his prestigious firm.

He admits he has made some slips. In 1984, when news came that the first HIV patient had been admitted to Kenyatta National Hospital in Nairobi, Rachier was among the first people to react.

Rachier wrote a scathing letter to newsrooms. He wanted the patient and anyone else who was suspected to be HIV positive to be arrested and confined. The next day, he was in the cartoon section, being lampooned.

“I was ignorant, just like everyone else. There was not much about HIV and Aids, and I thought I was helping by saying that,” he says.

He made up by doing research on HIV and Aids and ended up in the ethics review committee of Kenya Medical Research Institute. Rachier was also chairman of HIV Equity Tribunal and the task-force that drafted the HIV and AIDS Prevention and Control Act.  

His secret of staying young is regular exercise, and reading. As he edges closer to retirement, Rachier says there is nothing much in this world that scares him. Only a frog – because it is so wiggly and vulnerable.

Everything else to him can be conquered, including Gor Mahia, the unpredictable team that he has somehow managed to tame.

Rachier contradicts Kahata

Chairman Ambrose Rachier has said that the club wanted Kahata to stay and made an offer.

“Kahata’s situation was like Meddie Kagere’s; he had run out of contract with us and neither of the two parties had an obligation to extend it. However, we wanted him to stay and we had an offer for him. Simba SC took the advantage and gave him a better package which we could not match.”  he told goal.com

“Like most players, Kahata chose to leave and we could not stop him because his contract with us had expired. He is a good player; we could have wanted him to stay but we could not offer him what Simba was offering.” continued Rachier.

Rachier had earliest stated in an interview with Citizen Sport that the club never asks players to stay. If a player is interested in extending his stay at Gor Mahia, its up to the player to approach club management on the issue.

This is a contrast to how most other top clubs are run. Most clubs never let a key player’s contract run out. They always make an offer to extend it several months before it ends. This way when the player leaves, the club can gain from transfer fees. At Gor Mahia, many top players leave with the club making no transfer fees.

Kahata: No one approached me for contract extension.

In a separate interview with goal.com on July 6, Kahata stated that no one at the club ever approached him to extend his contract.

“My contract with Gor Mahia had expired and as usual, the officials at the club could have approached me over an extension. However, none did that; I waited but it was all in vain,” said Kahata.

“On the other hand, Simba have been following me and showed they wanted me in their team, so I had to make a decision.

“Leaving Gor was not an option for me, but I was forced to do that because I felt my services were no longer needed.

“The decision to join Simba was football related, if I could have received an offer from Gor Mahia, I could have stayed.” he concluded to goal.com

Rachier set to exit as Chairman

Ambrose Rachier, who has had the longest ever tenure as Gor Mahia chairman (11 years) and who has won more league titles than any other Chairman (6) is set to leave the club.

Additional reporting from Citizen Sport

Long serving Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier,69,  has shocked the football world announcing his intent to step down from his role at the end of the year.

In a heart-to -heart interview with Citizen Digital, Rachier said that he will not offer himself for re-election in December – during which the constitutional changes he has instituted at the club are expected to culminate in fresh polls.

“My position is that we’re going through the constitution making process which should be concluded in June. I estimate that we will need another six months to put everything in place and by December, in my estimation, we should have elections.

He added: “What I’m saying is that I won’t offer myself for re-election at the end of the year in the next election.

“We will be looking for some window period…to hold elections so that it doesn’t interfere with the team,” he said.

Queried as to why he’s suddenly leaving a club which he has led with distinction for 11 years, Rachier said: “The new Sports Act requires us (federation officials and club presidents) to do two terms of four years.

He went on: “Overstaying is usual; it is a disease especially at levels of governance in Africa. It’s a noble thing to leave it (leadership) to younger generation. There are others who think I’ve overstayed and now refer to be Mugabe,” he joked.

In the recent past Rachier under whose tenure Gor rose from the woods after a 15-year period of lull and began to challenge for titles had indicated that he won’t “desert the club” but leave it in the care of capable hands.

Asked as to whether he still sticks to this school of thought, he opined:  “I actually won’t say that I’ve picked somebody (to take over the leadership)but I do not want to leave chaos… I won’t campaign for somebody but I’ll look for means not to leave it in chaos… but eventually it will be members decision.”

Vilified and adored in equal measure,  Rachier stint saw the club end their 18-year wait for a Kenyan Premier league title claiming the coveted gong in 2013 and have since gone on to monopolise the competition, winning it six times under his watch besides bagging two KPL Top Eight titles, a further four KPL Super Cups and two domestic cups.

Since then K’Ogalo have made appearances at the continental football every year bar in 2017, reaching the quarter fianls of the Caf Confederations Cup this term.

However critics point to his failure to lead the club in building its own stadium, training facility an a club house.

Either way, whichever one looks at it, his exit is set to be a hit below the belt for the glamour club with the much sought after financial freedom still a mirage.

Rachier outlines status of club finances and land

Speaking to Citizen Sport, Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier gave a detailed report of the club’s finances which suggests that the club is deep in debt

Additional reporting from Citizen Sport

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) giants Gor Mahia FC are shouldering a Sh. 105.5 million in debt burden according a summary of the club’s income and expenditures this season.

Gor’s revenue streams – including sponsorship funds and the sale of club merchandise have raked in Sh. 111.8 million but the KPL champions a massive 217.3 million with the cost of international travel alone eating up a third of that.

International transportation cost Gor Sh.72 million with player salaries and those of the club’s officials amounting to Sh. 62 million.

In a rundown provided by Gor’s chairman Ambrose Rachier, it shows the club also made Sh. 13 million in profit from player transfers while counterfeits meant only a paltry Sh.400, 000 have been collected from the sale of merchandise.

Gate collections from local and continental matches amount for KSh. 7 million while they were also paid a total Sh15 million by continental governing body CAF thanks to a season in which they became the first ever Kenyan team to reach the CAF Confederation Cup quarter-finals.

Rachier stated his desire to trim what he termed a ‘bloated office’ at the club but emphasized such powers can only be available to him once the new constitution – which he said would be ready by May 9 – is adopted.

Land

He also gave an update on the club’s long-drawn-out plan to build its own stadium, suggesting conflicts in location and unresolved land conflict as their biggest setback.

“The Embakasi land has been grabbed and the title deed got lost during Erastus Okuls’s era as the chairman. I’m following up on the Kasarani’s 10-acre piece of land but the problem is the title deed can only be registered in my name.

“The Constitution hasn’t given me the powers to make certain decisions that can make Gor Mahia a business entity,” Rachier told Ramogi FM.

Rachier also announced Gor will start awarding professional contracts to its youth team players in what could make the first KPL club to do so.

A partnership deal with Brookside, which he said will be announced next week, could prove a turning point for the club’s junior team with the extra funds set to be diverted their way.

Gor already agreed a deal with the milk processing company but no contracts have been signed yet and Rachier expects the paperwork to be complete by the end of this week.

“Rogue Players”

The official meanwhile also reiterated his resolve to crack the whip on ‘rogue’ players at the club when the KPL season comes to a close.

Rachier vowed to punish indisciplined players following the extraordinary timeline of events that led to Gor’s exit from the CAF Confederation Cup.

Photos of Gor players lying helplessly on the floor at the airport lounge in Doha, Qatar sparked online outrage and prompted Rachier into calling a press briefing to clear the air over the issue.

He turned the heat on the players and specifically called out Francis Kahata and Philemon Otieno for “conjuring up malicious pictures to evoke sympathy and fake suffering.”

Officials say players are being incited

Club official Ronald Ngala says that a club official keeps inciting players towards boycotts and go-slows while Chairman Rachier has vowed disciplinary action

Additional reporting from the Nation
Gor Mahia’s hierarchy has vowed to crack the whip on the playing unit following a boycott that led to 2-0 loss to Morocco’s RS Berkane in first leg match of Caf Confederation Cup quarter-final match on Sunday in Nairobi.

And a disbandment of the playing unit is one of the options officials are contemplating. The club’s leadership on Tuesday said that while players are right to demand money owed to them, the playing unit was being incited by a club official to arm-twist the office into acting upon ‘unreasonable demands.’

Deputy Secretary General Ronald Ngala told Nation Sport that some club officials have made shadowy deals with players with the aim of taking home part of the winning allowances and bonuses paid to the players.

Ngala said the players have conveniently forgotten that each of them received Sh100,000 last month as bonus for reaching the quarter-finals of Caf Confederation Cup.

The long serving Gor official reiterated Monday’s threat by club chairman Ambrose Rachier that players have taken the issue of boycott ‘a little too far’’, adding that ‘a drastic action’ is now inevitable.

“Do you know there is a time when the club operated without a sponsor for two years? Yet the players never complained as much as they are doing now. Let’s not go round in circles. These players are being incited by one of us,” Ngala said.
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“It is regrettable that some of us have sunk so low that they share these monies with the players. So they incite the players to go on strike so that they can also get their share. That is quite unfortunate.”

“We have noted this and have been keeping quiet as officials for long, but action must now be taken. If we follow the law, the players stand to lose big time,” he said.

Ngala’s comments come a day after Gor players candidly spoke to Nation Sport about the ill-treatment they have endured in the course of the current campaign that culminated in the poor performance against RS Berkane.

The rift between the players and the management is now growing wider, and there was an unusually sombre mood yesterday at Camp Toyoyo where the players converged to train for the first time since the Sunday’s match.

K’Ogalo is scheduled to play Bandari this afternoon in Mbaraki in a SportPesa Shield round of 16 match. The team leaves Thursday night for Morocco to play RS Berkane in return match on Sunday.

Rachier: Gor Mahia needs Ksh 35m for CAF Fixtures

Unlike last season when Gor Mahia went to Tanzania and Rwanda, this time Gor Mahia have to travel to extreme ends of the continent, flying to North Africa twice and to Angola once. The cost of travel is exhorbitant and club chairman Ambrose Rachier is once again appealing to the government for assistance.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia need Sh35 million to honour their upcoming Caf Confederation Cup group stage matches. And the 17-time Kenyan champions have already sent a distress call to the government to bail them out ahead of their opening match next month.

K’Ogalo were pooled in a tough group “D” that has five-time African champions Zamalek of Egypt, Petro Atletico (Angola) and Hussein Dey of Algeria in Monday’s draw conducted by Cameroon legend Patrick Mboma in Cairo, Egypt.

Despite celebrating reaching the group stages of this competition for the second successive time, the painful reality has dawned on the club management ahead of their opening game against Zamalek on February 3 in Nairobi.

The top two teams in each group will advance to the quarterfinals, whose draw is slated for March 20 in Cairo, Egypt. Quarter-finalists will bag Sh35 million and semi-finalists Sh45 million, while the winners pocket Sh125 million and runners up Sh63 million. Related Content

Gor, who edged out New Stars de Douala of Cameroon 2-1 on aggregate in the previous round, are already sure of receiving Sh27 million for reaching this stage.

However, club chairman Ambrose Rachier says the annual Sh66 million sponsorship from gaming firm SportPesa is insufficient for this campaign. The amount is channelled towards the Sh5.5 million monthly wage bill of the record champions. “First, I would like to thank the government for paying our tickets to Cameroon to honour the New Stars game,” Rachier said. “I humbly appeal to them to cater for accommodation and transport in upcoming trips since we are struggling financially,” the veteran lawyer added.

According to Rachier, an away trip costs about Sh8 million in flight tickets and accommodation. “We are discussing on a motivational scheme for the playing unit for a smooth show this time round,” he concluded. His sentiments were echoed by Deputy Secretary General Ronald Ngala, who said they target to reach the semi-finals having missed by a whisker last season, after finishing third in group “D” on five points, three behind Algerian outfit USM Alger and Rayon Sports of Rwanda, who progressed to the quarterfinals.

Defender Philemon Otieno says they are prepared to make amends despite tough away fixtures in Northern and Southern Africa. “One thing we’ve learnt in these continental fixtures is to be mentally strong when playing away and make sure you convincingly win at home,” confided Otieno, who captained the side in the two-leg playoff.

Gor has up to January 31 to register youthful defender Geoffrey Ochieng’, strikers Ephrem Guikan, Nicholas Kipkirui and legendary Dennis Oliech, who were ineligible to feature in the qualifiers.

GOR MAHIA FIXTURES

February 3: Gor Mahia v Zamalek (Egypt) February 13: Petro Atletico (Angola) v Gor Mahia

Thanks Sonko and Namwamba but Kogalo must do better

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By Monday April 16, only two days before Kogalo were to play against Supersport United Gor Mahia still had not obtained tickets nor visas. It took the geneosity of Nairobi governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko to save the day when he donated 30 tickets. This after Sports minister Mike Achesa had refused to facilitate tickets. Then the intervention of  Ababu Namwamba (Ministry of Foreign Affairs) enabled K’Ogalo to obtain Visas. Still it was too late to save the day for Ephrem Guikan and Tuyisenge who both missed the trip because their work permits did not meet the criteria required by the South African consulate.

Gor Mahia officials have known for over a month that they would require South Africa visas. And fans have been posting online and in social media that previous Kenyan teams have had difficulty getting such visas. In fact the Kenya women’s youth team once camped at the South Africa embassy after the South African embassy started to make things difficult for their travel.

Yet despite all the advance notice, no one in the Executive Committee saw it fit to start working on obtaining Visas and tickets. Had it not been for Namwamba,  who likes sports and a Nairobi governor (Sonko) who is wealthy enough to donate tickets, Gor Mahia would have been disqualified from the 2018 Confederations cup and possible barred from competing in 2019.

So Kogalo fans must thank Sonko for his generosity and Namwamba for coming to the rescue of the club. But Kogalo fans must demand better from the Chairman. How is it possible that he has been in power since 2008 a but has never seen it fit to change the constitution so the club is run by competent people? And how is it that Ludovick Aduda keeps getting appointed as CEO yet he has not proven competent? One wonders what qualifies him to be the club CEO and what if any accomplishments he has achieved.

For years the club fans  have asked for a competent person to be appointed as General Manager. This person should be in charge of the day to day affairs of the club including ticketing, visas, air-tickets, matchday tickets, accounting and so forth. Eventually the club can expand and start appointing another person to perform tasks like marketing the club, pursuing sponsorships and so forth. This person should be on a performance contract. The more money he brings into the club, the more money he should be paid. Let an established firm like KPMG perform the recruiting and hiring of these individuals.

Gor Mahia has lost several international matches due to self inflicted errors. This is because our system of elections does not yield the best candidates. Its time to create a progressive constitution where competent people are hired to run the club. An independent body like KPMG should interview and hire these people. Left to Rachier, he will likely appoint Ludovick Aduda again.

Kogalo was lucky this time that Sonko and Namwamba came to the rescue. If they continue like this then we might see worse during the group stage. Fans must now make their voices heard. We need competent people running the club.

Gor Mahia unable to secure Visas and Tickets

Ambrose Rachier

As of Monday April 16, with two days left before the match against Supersport, Gor Mahia have yet to secure travel Visas.

“We are in problems because South African embassy is insisting that we applied for the visas late. They have a strict rule that a visa to their country must take five working days and we applied for it with only four days to go.  We hope the Kenyan government will step in and help us secure the same.” said a club official to goal.com

Chairman Ambrose Rachier has admitted that the club is in dire straits

“Over the last two trips we have gone out, the government has been providing tickets for us. Up to now, they are yet to give us anything. If by tomorrow (Tuesday) we don’t have tickets, then I don’t see us travelling not unless a well wisher comes out. We don’t have money as a club,” Gor chairman Ambrose Rachier told Capital Sport.

On Visas Rachier says the team applied for their visas last Tuesday and was booked for interviews on Wednesday, the same day they were facing Wazito FC in a league fixture in Machakos. They went for the interviews on Thursday.

“We couldn’t boycott the match in Machakos and we went on Thursday. The embassy has insisted that they will start counting the five days from Thursday. So we wait and see, hopefully they will be considerate and we can get the visas tomorrow and travel at night,” Rachier further explained.

The embassy also made it difficult to secure travel documents for the foreign players.

“The embassy required us to provide one-year work permits but immigration here only gives six month work permits. So we don’t know how that will go down with them. We have explained and so we wait. It is a very precarious situation for the club,” Rachier said to Capital Sports.

The South African embassy makes travel to South Africa difficult. The Kenya women’s football team once had to camp at the embassy in protest until they were given visas.

Club secretary Ben Omondi also admitted dire straits on his social media pages.

“We are in bad shape making it hard for the team to fly to South Africa for the Caf- Confederation return leg match planned for 18th , April 2018. We have done all within our means to get travel documentations right in good time but things are not working as scheduled thus our travel to Pretoria is postponed.” said Omondi

Traveling late could doom Gor Mahia’s chances. In 2015, the Kenya U23 arrived on Botswana mere hours before their match against their Botswanan counterparts. They lost 0-3 after conceding three late goals due to travel fatigue.

Nyangi blames Aduda

And club organizing secretary Judith Nyangi is laying the blame squarely on the shoulders of CEO Omondi Aduda.

“We are in bad shape making it hard for the team to fly to South Africa for the Caf Confederation Cup return leg planned for April 18, 2018. “We have done all within our means to get all travel documentations right in good time but things are not working as scheduled thus our travel to Pretoria is postponed.”

But speaking separately, Nyangi revealed that she was kept at bay in the process of securing visas by Aduda, who was the mastermind of all the activities regarding the team travel.

“I don’t know what is happening, all these mess I am hearing them from the media. I was not involved in planning and I decided to keep calm after he (Aduda) refused to pick my calls.”

Nyangi noted that Gor Mahia have had a long time to plan for this trip so no excuses are cceptable.

“We have to say it is him, if not who else? It was known early enough since Gor Mahia left Tunisia that we would face SuperSport United, an official should have begun the work as early as possible. So personally I cannot blame the South African embassy, SA is like Europe and there are no short cuts.”

Aduda was fired from the club in February of 2015 after he was accused by the club of unlawfully representing the interests of the club to the federation as pertains to the clubs position in the ongoing FKF – KPL stand-off whereas the club is in support of the KPL.

Rachier says he is not asleep at the wheel

Ambrose Rachier was asked by Tom Osanjo about allegations of embezzlement by certain club officials. He responded as described below.

I am indeed investigating the embarrassing claims of fraudulent false account as also of the defalcation of funds from gate collections.

Regarding the putting up of a stadium, we are actually working on the architectural plans which I can share with you.

Next February, we intend to hold celebrations to mark 50 years of the club’s existence during which we will take stock of our achievements and chart the way to achieving the desired professionalism.

One of the challenges, apart from ticketing, is the attitude of fans towards paying to enter the stadium which we must change.

Rachier has been missing in action even as other premier league clubs like Kariobangi Sharks accuse Kogalo of short-changing them when it comes to gate proceeds.