Rachier: We shall not rescind degree requirement


Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier is adamant that a degree from a University is a minimum requirement to vie for an elected position at Gor Mahia. And he is adamant that the club will not turn back on the position despite protestations from Judith Nyangi who is interested in vying for the position of treasurer.
Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier maintains the club will hold its forthcoming elections under a new constitution that dictates all elected officials must, among other qualifications, possess a university degree.

This requirement has, however, been opposed in some quarters.
Outgoing organising secretary Judith “Nyangi” Anyango, who is eyeing the treasurer’s seat, vowed to challenge the new document at the Sports Disputes Tribunal (SDT).

The Kenyan Premier League champions will head to the polls on August 8, and Rachier, who is gunning for a fourth term in office asserted that the new constitution had already been deposited at the Sports Registrar’s office.

The senior city lawyer, who has been at the helm of Gor for the past decade, also fell short of confirming whether or not he will serve for a final if re-elected.

“There is no turning back,” said Rachier.

“This club is no longer governed under the Societies Act and the Sports Act 2013 demands we register as a sports organisation. We have to align our constitution with the (Sports) Act, which we did last year when members met at Jukwaa Lounge and adopted what is now commonly known as the ‘Jukwaa Constitution’.”

As opposed to the previous constitution which had 11 elective positions in the club’s National Executive Committee (NEC), the new document provides from five elected positions namely chairman, vice-chairman, secretary-general, treasurer, and organising secretary.

An elected official will serve for four years, and not three as is currently the case.

“Someone is trying to lock us out (of office) and he is using this degree thing,” said Anyango, a diploma holder.

“But we will not allow that. Most members of parliament and County Assembly do not have degrees and yet they handle more sensitive and taxing roles. I will petition the Registrar and move to the SDT,” said Anyango

Rachier also said the club members will for the first time virtually elect the new officials via mobile phones, owing to a government ban on public gathering to tame the spread of Covid-19.

“Technology is key in today’s world. I’m virtually studying my Master’s degree at Trinity University in the USA. I am in my third year and yet have never set foot at the institution in Illinois,” said Rachier.

“It will be a cheaper and transparent exercise. We do not need the police as there will be no unruly people.”K’Ogalo is one of the most popular and successful football club in East Africa.

Both Dolfina and Nyangi posted their qualifications online

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Erastus Okul urges Rachier to allow new leadership

Erastus Okul (pictured above with James Orengo), who was Rachier’s immediate predecessor as Chairman is asking Rachier to allow new leadership so that new ideas can be brought to the club

Additional reporting from the Nation

Former Gor Mahia chairman Erastus Okul has waded into the upcoming club polls and opposed the candidature of his successor Ambrose Rachier in the elections slated for August 8.

Okul, who handed the mantle to Rachier in 2009, says it is time another individual takes over since he feels the former has done enough and achieved a lot at the club in his 11 years at the helm.

“I am advising Rachier to leave Gor Mahia and hand leadership to a younger generation. He has won titles and stabilized the team, this notion that the club cannot survive without him is scaring people from going for the position. He should let other people rule,” Okul told Nation Sport from his home in Kendu Bay, Homa Bay County.

Rachier has already announced his intention to defend his post and was recently quoted as saying it would not be fair to leave the club before it becomes financially stable.

Under his reign, Gor has won seven Kenyan Premier League titles and managed a quarter final berth in the Caf Confederation Cup in 2018.

The 71-year-old Okul, who also served as Kenya Premier League chairman, dismissed the attainment of degree as a condition for every aspirant to vie for the four posts up for grabs.

The four positions are Secretary General, Honorary Treasurer, Chairman and Vice Chairman.

“The issue of degree doesn’t apply in club leadership and should be struck out. Why was the constitution passed without our input as individuals who served the club in the past,? he posed.

“Any person interested in a post should be allowed to vie and majority of club members should be allowed to elect a leader of their choice,” added Okul.

He also asked for the exercise to be postponed to a later date to give all members an opportunity to participate because of the current state of coronavirus pandemic in the country.

The new Gor Mahia constitution stipulates that all aspirants for various posts should have a degree before being cleared to vie.

The issue has created divisions among supporters of outgoing club organising Secretary Judith ‘IMF’ Anyango, fondly known as Nyangi, who is interested in the honorary treasurer post.

Anyango, who doesn’t have a degree, has promised to raise her complaint with the Sports Registrar and take it to the Sports Dispute Tribunal if the new constitution will be used in the elections.

She further alleged that there is a plot to lock her out of the elections because of the thorough oversight role she has played in the last four years as a Gor Mahia official.

The electoral board has already been put in place to oversee the election and only those who will have registered by Monday midnight will be allowed to vote during the polls.

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Gor Mahia to hold Virtual Meeting to elect EC members


Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier has called a hurriedly assembled virtual meeting to be held on Tuesday meeting.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia will on Tuesday afternoon hold a virtual members only meeting with the main agenda being the election of the Executive Committee members.

Through a notice sent to the club’s registered members, Chairman Ambrose Rachier said members will receive a link to the virtual meeting before the meeting slated to begin at 3pm.

“You are hereby invited for an online June 30, 2020 from 3pm-5pm. The Agenda is Elections of Executive committee members of Gor Mahia and AOB,” the notice reads.

However, the main agenda has raised suspicion among K’Ogalo fans with some questioning the short notice for the meeting and the urgency that made the office to call for it.

But club assistant Secretary General Ronald Ngala told Nairobi News said there will be no elections during the meeting, but just discussions on the matter.

“There will be no elections but we will discuss how to start preparing for one after the situation normalises. It is just a brain storming session on the way forward concerning the club elections,” said Ngala.

CLUB ELECTIONS

There have also been calls from opposing camps for the club to hold elections and elect new officials with each camp aligning themselves to candidates they would want to clinch various positions.

However, a section of fans through the club’s social media platforms have read mischief into the matter.

Gor Mahia constitution stipulates that elections of Executive Committee Members can only be done after club elections, which have also not been conducted.

As such, all Gor Mahia officials are currently in office illegally after their two-year term expired in 2018.

The meeting comes a few weeks after Ngala removed all members who have not renewed their registration from the club’s WhatsApp group.

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Rachier: I will not leave until the club is on firm ground

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier has indicated that despite saying he would leave the club, until he calms the financial storm that has been bedeveling the club since last August when sponsors Sportpesa pulled out of local football.

Additional reporting from the Nation

The veteran K’Ogalo boss reveals he will leave the Kenyan champions as soon as they steady the club

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier has openly claimed he will not leave the club anytime soon.

On many occasions, Rachier has come out to state he is keen to leave the position of chairmanship at the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) champions, something that has never materialised.

Earlier this year, Rachier confessed he was thinking of handing over the mantle of running the club to a new chairman, but the elections were later postponed leaving him in office.

On Saturday, Rachier now said he will only leave Gor Mahia when they have solved the problems they are facing financially.

“It is quite true that last year on several occasions, not just once I indicated I will hand over the leadership mantle of Gor Mahia to another chairman in an election that would have been held sometime early this year,” Rachier told reporters after the team was hosted to a luncheon at a Nairobi Hotel.

“But what then has transpired is that our boat has been locked, I have been the captain of the boat and the boat has been rocked, first by the departure of the sponsor and now the coronavirus pandemic and for that reason, I have decided as a captain you do not let the boat sink when you are kind of directing it.

“We are going to look at different aspects here and there and when the boat is stabilised I will still carry out my intention, that is to leave, and that is my position, that I am still running Gor and will run it to a point I think it has been steadied because if I leave it now, in the situation it is, I will be accused of neglect.”

Rachier further clarified during the function that new title sponsors Betsafe will start bankrolling the club when the new Kenyan Premier League (KPL) season kicks off.

On Thursday, the Kenyan champions, along with their sworn rivals AFC Leopards, signed a partnership deal with the betting firm that will last for the next three years, with K’Ogalo set to pocket KSh55million per year while Ingwe will receive KSh45 million.

“As things stand now, we don’t have anything to give back to the new sponsor because there is no football being played,” Rachier told reporters after Gor Mahia’s players were hosted in a luncheon on Saturday.

“What we agreed on when signing the deal, is they will only be able to start funding the club when football resumes, and that can only be possible when our league starts again.”

Rachier further revealed the club was working on ways to reduce their monthly wage bill, which currently stands at Sh5million, by half.

“We have 35 players who are in our payroll and we must have Sh5million every month to clear their salaries and this is becoming a bit too much for the club to handle, so our aim, for now, is to try and reduce it to at least half,” Rachier continued.

“If you ask me, I would prefer our wage bill to stand at Sh3million a month because we can try to handle it.”

“Rachier also called on Gor Mahia fans to register as members in big numbers so they can directly help support the team financially.”

Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards have been struggling since SportPesa, their previous sponsor, left, leaving the club to depend on fans, members, and other well-wishers to honour matches and settle players’ allowances at times.

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Rachier: No relief for the players yet

Eliud Owalo and Ambrose Rachier

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier has indicated that the the club will not receive any of the sponsorship money from Betsafe until football activities resume.

Additional reporting from the Nation

Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier has said the club is still in the red despite unveiling a Sh55 million sponsorship deal on Thursday last week.

He said the club signed a pact with betting firm Bet High Kenya Limited, under its leading brand, BetSafe, but the money will only be released after the football league resumes. Football Kenya Federation (FKF) abruptly halted the league following the coronavirus outbreak.

In total, Gor Mahia will receive Sh165 million over three years, but Rachier said: “Please do not be blinded by that money because we still have a big problem.

“Our agreement with the sponsor is that we will give them visibility. So disbursement of funds will happen when football resumes. The sponsor cannot pay us for sitting at home during this period of the coronavirus pandemic. The problem is, we do not know when the games will next begin.”

The veteran football administrator spoke on Saturday during a luncheon organised for the players by management consultant, Eluid Owalo.

Before inking the BetSafe deal, the Kenyan Premier League champions struggled financially for the entire 2019/20 season owing to a lack of sponsorship and meagre gate takings.

Owalo gave the players and technical bench, who have not been paid their salaries for the past five years, a Sh250,000 token.

“I have received several distress phone calls and decided to have lunch with the players to encourage them because, at the moment, it is tough for everyone. Gor Mahia is a big brand and we must adopt a business model to run the club. We can become the Barcelona or Arsenal of Kenya, but it requires a paradigm shift. Let us not be resistant to change,” Owalo added.

He promised to assist Gor Mahia to engage in an income generating business so that the club remains afloat and does not rely on sponsorship in the future.

He said that it was time for the giants of Kenyan football to become self-reliant and be in the same league with the best clubs in Africa and Europe.

“If Arsenal can do it, Gor can equally do it. If Barcelona can do it, why not Gor Mahia?” he asked.

Gor coach Steven Polack, official Judith Nyangi, Team Manager Jolawi Obondo and a host of players attended the luncheon.

Acting captain Joachim Oluoch, who spoke on behalf of the players, thanked Owalo for his kind gesture.
miheso_pix

Gor midfielder Clifton Miheso said, “We live moment by moment. The government recently gave us something and now fans are coming in to support us.”

Gor were crowned the 2019/20 KPL champions by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) which also cancelled the league citing a government directive on social gathering.

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Its time to find a successor to Ambrose Rachier

This club is in dire straits. It has been in terrible shape for several months now. Players have gone several months with little or no pay. Many key players have recently left. More are set to leave. There are reports that Simba of Dar es Salaam are planning another raid. There are reports of an impending mass exodus of players. The Chairman has not done much or anything to mitigate this quagmire.

If the league were to resume in August, the club might not even be able to honor matches because matches will be played to empty stadia. The Chairman himself admitted that he has not created a post Covid 19 plan. Where will the club get funds to honour matches?

Most fans understand that if this club were to start taking the issue of Accountability and Transparency seriously, the club can raise a lot of money. The lack of transparency is the biggest stumbling block that keeps the club and its players in poverty. Fans have read reports of gate proceeds being pocketed by officials, reports of club officials demanding bribes and clear evidence of officials under-reporting attendance. With this in mind, the fans, many of whom are not financially stable, are unwilling to blindly give their money to the club.

However what has become clear is that Chairman Ambrose Rachier does not have any intention of ever being transparent or accountable. He has made that clear. And at the age of 71, he is too set in his ways and cannot accept change. Even if he is pushed, he will only engage in half-hearted transparency measures. Just as he did with eTicketing where he tried it for one game and then gave up and made a lame excuse for why it would not work. He wants to run this club exactly how it was run in 1968 (52 years ago). And he is not open to new ideas.

However the Post Covid 19 scenario will require a different way of thinking. There will be no sponsor. And no gate collections. Even if the government re-opens business, many fans will stay away of stadia for fear of Covid 19. The normal way of running the club will not be viable.
How will the club survive?

The time has come to search for a more dynamic leader who can think out of the box. Just as fans brought Rachier to rescue the club in 2008, it is time for the different fan groups and branches to start an active search for a new Chairman.

There are over 200,000 committed Gor Mahia fans. Many of them occupy senior positions in corporations. It is impossible to imagine that fans cannot find a person to lead this team on an interim basis. A person who understands business aspects, understands how to promote and market the team and has contacts in large corporations that he could use to negotiate potential sponsorships. And above all things THIS PERSON MUST BE 100% COMITTED TO TRANSPARENCY. If no such person can be found then we may as well maintain the status quo.

With an accountable office, member subscriptions, merchandize sales and other aspects will increase significantly. And in the Post Covid 19 scenario it will be critical for the club to restart initiatives like Gor Mahia bread and Gor Mahia water in order to sustain the club.

This person would lead the club only on an interim basis. His/Her primary task will be to put in place structures that can sustain the club. He would then pave the way for elections.

My vote would go to Carol Radull.

Having watched Carol Radull interview football officials, it is clear that she understands what it takes to market and promote a club. She clearly understands the importance of transparency and accountability. She understands how to bring in the right people and hold them accountable. Plus with her media exposure, she would be the kind of person this club needs to put stall the impending disaster. She will give fans and players hope.

In the likely case that Carol declines, Kogallo must still find a new dynamic leader with a proven record of leading an organization who can come in on an interim basis, stabilize the club, lay the foundation for a future modern club, modernize the club’s constitution and then pave the way for elections. Surely there must be such a person amongst Gor Mahia’s legion of fans. In 2008, fans found Rachier and asked him to run the club. Surely we can find a new dynamic leader in 2020.

Rachier should cement his legacy

When Rachier announced that he would resign in December of 2019, perhaps the most disappointing aspect of his announcement was that he said he would not assist the club by finding a suitable replacement.

Flashback to 2008. The chairman was Erastus Okul. As a club Chairman, he was grossly incompetent. He was only known for constantly fighting with the KPL and FKF leaders, sowing disorder and instigating the creation of parallel leagues. But he redeemed himself when he gracefully stepped aside to allow Ambrose Rachier to take over. He admitted that he was incapable of lifting the club from its morass and stepped aside for Rachier to take over.

Now Mr. Rachier appears to have run out of ideas. Like Okul he can redeem himself by helping spearhead the search for a qualified individual who can help restore this club. He has created a good legacy by steering the club to six titles (4 league and 2 cups). Rachier should be thanked for lifting the club out of his mediocrity. He can cement his legacy by leaving the club to new leadership that can take the club out of its current quagmire and take it to the next level.

Commentary by Vincent “Video Editor” Ogutu
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Rachier: We have not payed players for 5 months


Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier has confirmed to that players are owed 5 months salary

Additional reporting from goal.com

The K’Ogalo chairman has come out to confirm they are yet to pay salaries to players for the last five months
Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier has confessed they have gone five months without paying salaries for the playing unit.

The Kenyan champions are among the clubs in the top-flight that have faced difficulties to pay salaries since betting firm SportPesa withdrew their support for the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) earlier this season.

Apart from withdrawing support for the top-tier, SportPesa also stopped its financial support for Gor Mahia and rivals AFC Leopards, forcing the two giants to struggle and have since lost a number of key players.

K’Ogalo chairman has now stated they don’t have money to pay the players and will continue to rely on well-wishers.

“Including this month, I will say Gor Mahia will have to pay salaries for five months, sometimes we are getting well-wishers just like we have Kulundeng, who came around with a small token and we are able to pay them Sh3, 000,” Rachier told KTN News.

On Tuesday, Gor Mahia coach Steven Polack claimed he has made countless trips to the club chairman’s office to persuade him to pay the players and the technical bench accrued salaries.

The British coach openly told Goal he was suffering the same way as the players.

“That is false [those saying I don’t care about my players], 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 explained to 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.”

Gor Mahia’s Ghanaian import Jackson Owusu is among the players who have been hit hard by the club’s financial situation, as he was kicked out of the hotel he was staying in while one player, who did not want to be named, told Goal he had also been evicted from his house for non-payment of rent.

Gor Mahia were crowned champions for the 2019-20 season by Football Kenya Federation (FKF) after they moved to end the season owing to Covid-19 and they will represent Kenya in the Caf Champions League next season.

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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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Rachier discusses future plans, the highs and lows of the Chairmanship

Ambrose Rachier gave an at length interview to the Daily Nation discussing

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier is a man loved and hated in equal measure.

Whenever his name is mentioned, there arises two varied views among K’Ogalo followers.

On one side, he is a person who has brought a lot of success to the club, given it a new lease of life and ensured the stability for more than a decade now.

On the other side, he is a veteran administrator who has refused to leave office since he was first elected in 2008.

In fact, a section of fans, unhappy with his long stay at the helm of one of East Africa’s biggest clubs, have nicknamed him “Mugabe” comparing him to former Zimbabwe president, the late Robert Mugabe, who ruled his country with an iron fist hand for 40 years.

So one cold Wednesday afternoon we paid the Gor Mahia boss a visit and delved into his tenure with the Kenyan glamour club.

Dressed in a grey sharp suit, he looked jovial as he welcomed us to his office in Hurlingham, in the outskirts of Nairobi’s busy Central Business District.

He breathes with confidence and jokes on how he has kept us waiting for over half an hour before we start the interview start.

Surprisingly, the office looks like a sports apparel shop, laden with trophies and medals displayed on the table and shelves rather than law books and case files.

These are trophies Gor Mahia have won before and under his tenure. He says they are in his private office for safety reasons.

TOUGH QUESTIONS

He looks younger than his 71 years, born in 1949, in a bus near Molo when his mother was travelling from Siaya to Nairobi.

Well at ease he challenges this scribe to ask tough question as he has never been subjected to that by Kenyan journalists.

Rachier is a second born in a family of 12 and is married with seven children. His first born son and daughter have followed in his footsteps and are currently practising law.

He has practised law since 1974 and is in no hurry to retire.

Rachier did his A Levels at Alliance High School in 1969-1970 and then proceeded to study French at the University of Madagascar at diploma and master level.

In September 1971 he joined Dar es Salaam where he studied law graduating in 1975.

In 1975 he established a law firm with veteran lawyer George Oraro before establishing his won firm, Rachier and Amollo advocates.

He has taught law for the past 27 years and currently teaches Health Law and Policy to Master’s students at Strathmore University.

Does he have any sports background?

Rachier played as a full back for Alliance School and University of Madagascar football teams.

He was eager to continue with his football at Dar es Salaam and Nairobi but said he could not find a football team then.

ELECTION

Rachier revealed that he became Gor Mahia chairman unexpectedly in 2008 despite not having any interest in challenging the then chairman Erastus Okul.

“I never actually offered myself for any elective post in Gor Mahia. On May 8, 2008 while doing my work at my office at Reinsurance Plaza at around 10am, I heard some noise and a group of unruly youth overpowered the security at the gates and entered my office,” he says.

The youth forcefully removed him from his office drove him in his pickup to City Stadium where they raised his hands and in acclamation made him the chairman.

“I recognise two of them, namely Jamadar and David Dede. I said ‘no’ because I knew the chairman was Okul and we agreed to postpone the elections to the following Sunday. We met with Okul before the day and he passed the mantle to me before formalising it at City Stadium as the fans celebrated the change of guard,” he added.

He confesses that he had not campaigned or showed interest in any position at the club but concedes he regularly watched the team’s home and away matches.

Rachier says he is not leaving anytime soon as some of his opponents have been proposing because the club is worse and he can’t leave it in the hands of individuals he says will worsen the situation.

This contradicts his earlier announcement last year promising to leave by December of that year.

The veteran lawyer says he wants to leave the club better than he found it and will not hold shoddy elections just to acquiesce to those demanding for the exercise to be undertaken.

“I will hold elections when the club is stable financially and leave it in safe hands. The registrar has talked to me and she pointed out that the elections are long overdue,” he says.

Indeed Gor Mahia elections are overdue. The club held its last election in December 11, 2016. A term of office lasts two years.

“Rachier was supposed to have called the elections in 2018 but promised to do so by 2019 December after getting a consent from the registrar.
The registrar of sports has been on our neck but now it is not known when the elections will be held because of the current financial situation at the club,” said Gor Mahia CEO Lordvick Aduda.

In the last elections, Rachier garnered 579 votes to floor his challengers Chrispine Omondi and Dan Oketch who got 157 and 220 votes respectively.

Gor Mahia are currently experiencing many challenges which Rachier believes need to be addressed first rather than holding elections which is not a priority now according to him.

Rachier says he also wants to see Gor Mahia build a modern stadium in one of the parcels of land given to the club by late President Daniel Arap Moi.

Even though the land at Embakasi has since been encroached by individuals, he assures K’Ogalo fans that the club’s piece of land at Kasarani is safe and his dream of building a stadium must come to pass before he leaves.

DISAPPOINTMENTS

Rachier also cited his achievements, disappointments and the future of the record 18 times Kenyan champions.

His best achievements are winning multiple Kenyan Premier League titles, helping Gor Mahia reclaim its lost glory and ending hooliganism which was at it apex when he took over.

The 46 trophies Gor have won in different campaigns during his tenure underlines the club’s success this past decade.

Even with the regular titles Rachier still bristles with anger when he remembers how Gor Mahia lost the title to Tusker in 2016.

He blames board room decisions and politics which he says were engineered by the then Football Kenya Federation CEO Robert Muthomi and President Nick Mwendwa.

“What the federation did was painful because they denied us points by focusing on a match against Tusker that had taken place way back in the first leg. Otherwise the trophy was ours,” he says.

The most painful season was in 2012 he says when Tusker snatched the league title at the 11th hour breaking K’Ogalo fans’ hearts as they were about to throw one big, wild party in celebration of their first triumph in 17 years.

“That day we were dressed up, had printed T-shirts and were excited because we were sure of being champions. As the match was about to end, Thika United scored an equaliser in the last minute and that is how our celebration was cut off by eventual winners Tusker. I cried and to me it was the lowest moment as Gor Mahia chairman,” he says.

He singles out Rwandese striker Jacques Tuyisenge and Teddy Akumu as the best foreign and local based players signed under his tenure.

In administration, he says the saddest moment is the numerous go slows over unpaid salaries.

He remembers a sad instance where a player whose wife had given birth to twins was almost being thrown out of his house because of unpaid rent arrears.

“It hit me hard because of the welfare of the twins, it was such a shame. This was sad and I even thought of quitting the club,” he says.

The club continues to suffer financially following the exit of the gaming firm SportPesa last year as their shirt sponsors.

But there is a glimmer of hope. Rachier says Gor Mahia’s sponsorship deal with sportswear company Umbro will officially start after the end of this season. He also makes assurances that Gor will have a major sponsor before the start of the 2020-2021 season.

Umbro will officially launch their sports kits according to the partnership with K’Ogalo next month but the struggles and sufferings in payment of salaries will have to be endured till the end of the season.

What of Football Kenya Federation’s looming takeover of the KPL? Rachier say KPL doesn’t oppose the coming change as long as FKF can run the league smoothly.

“FKF should learn from leading football nations. The federation doesn’t run the league. Bundesliga, English Premier League and Ligue 1 are run by the league body. Even in famous leagues in Africa like South Africa, Nigeria and Egypt the issue is the same,” he added.

Rachier has stood for the FKF presidency twice before and lost.

He says he has decided not to challenge Mwendwa this year because he is no longer interested in the post due to controversies concerning legalities and compliance to the Sports Act.

His worst regret in life is trying his hands in politics in 2007. He vied for the ODM ticket for the Gem parliamentary seat but the party’s intricacies saw him denied the ticket.

He eventually ran on a Narc ticket but lost to an ODM opponent. He has sworn never to try his hands in politics because of what he went through that year.

For now, he continues with his law practice while working to transform Go Mahia into a modern, rich and successful football club.

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Rachier: Players have not been paid for 4 months


Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier admits that the playing unit has not been paid in 4 months

Additional reporting from goal.com
The K’Ogalo chairman admits the situation at the club is tough but insists the players understand and are committed to the team

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier admits it is four months since his players last enjoyed an official salary.

The defending champions have been under tough financial constraints owing to the exit of main sponsors SportPesa at the beginning of the season. Players like Maurice Ojwang have already requested to leave if the 18-time league champions do not settle their dues.

The chairman admits the situation is tough, but they are doing everything possible to ensure the players are comfortable.
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“We have no sponsor at all, no sponsor no nothing but we are heading the [Kenyan Premier League] table,” Rachier told Goal on Thursday.

“It is four months since we last paid our players an official salary, but they are understanding the situation and that is why they have remained disciplined and committed to the team. They are not enjoying our problems like others are currently doing.

“Players are getting something for their rent and food as we sort out the financial issues.”
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Rachier has denied reports captain Kenneth Muguna has handed a transfer request owing to the current situation.

“[Muguna] has not asked to leave, actually I have nothing from him or his agent. The only player who gave us a notice was Maurice Ojwang’,” Rachier concluded.

Gor Mahia have managed to collect 24 points from their nine games, and the next assignment will be against Ulinzi Stars.

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