Chris Omondi describes the 2nd pillar of his manifesto

As Gor Mahia FC approaches the eagerly awaited Annual General Meeting and elections slated for December, this blog will give equal time to all the candidates. In the spirit of equal time, here is the second pillar of Chris Omondi’s manifesto. Omondi, a former secretary general of the club, is vying for the position of chairman

Morning fellow Gor Mahia followers;
As promised last week, I hereby submit the SECOND PILLAR of my campaign manifesto. As alluded to in the first pillar, there is an interdependence among these pillars with positive performance on one informing the “health” of the other and vice versa…

MEMBERSHIP in my opinion remains the only surest way of UNLOCKING our clubs potential…I have always attributed our underdevelopment as a club to our leadership’s failure to STRUCTURALLY HARNESS THE GOODWILL THE CLUB ENJOYS and it is on the same breath that I opine that structurally defined MEMBERSHIP remains a viable option out of our current mess….it is a high time we DIFFERENTIATE between FANS AND MEMBERS….I strongly posit that FANS should be partakers of the brand Gor Mahia, while MEMBERS should be the owners and decision makers of the club…let fans be “the clients” of the brand (by paying gate charges, buying club merchandise e.t.c.). BUT when it comes to decision making in such matters as elections, referendum e.t.c., then it is the members, affiliated branches and club leadership who should be responsible. The current scenario (which I can humorously refer to as “MANYWANDA OD OTENGA”) where everybody and ‘everynobody’ can purport to have authority on Gor issues should be overcome/transcended!!

In this 2nd Pillar, our manifesto proposes:
1. Direct registration of Gor Mahia members to the club OR through affiliated branches…..we shall spell out different BENEFITS that a club member would get over being an ordinary fan. Benefits that may include:
– Discounted match day tickets (home matches)
– Discounts on Gor Mahia merchandise (that will be centrally sold from our envisaged merchandise shop).
– Discounts on Seasonal Tickets once implemented.
– Eligibility to vote in club elections or other weighty club matters fronted the club Executive.
-In future, once we have such club facilities as gym, club house, museum e.t.c., members would use them at discounted rates
– Participation in monthly draws/ticket raffles of club merchandise.

The membership will be renewed annually with the exception of MAYBE LIFE MEMBERSHIP if passed by members during the debates on the new constitution. We propose that renewals and new registration be done between December and February 28th of every year such that by March 31st we have a verified membership register.

Cognizant of the economic classes in our society, we propose different levels of membership with attendant differences in BENEFITS….Put differently, it is foolhardy to have different economic class in one level of membership, I opine such differentials can be exploited for the benefit of the club….we suggest Gold/Life Members, Silver and Ordinary Members with each member having one vote. Benefits, Privilege, and powers to be enjoyed by these tiers of members, as well as membership fee, shall be determined in a Constitutional Conference.

From the foregoing, it is my belief that I have outlined the structure of membership, intended benefits, levels of membership and averred the One Man One Vote Principle as the guiding principle.

In our manifesto, the envisaged roles of the branches include-
1. Promoting the interests of branch members/supporters at the club level and/or,
2. Facilitating wider members’ involvement in club affairs and/or,
3. Promoting mutual supporters’ ownership of the club and/or,
4. Acting as recruitment sites for non-direct club members and/or,
5. Leadership socialization sites as it is envisaged ,ideally, that leaders ought to have “cut their teeth” from branch levels and/or,
6. Social roles such as CSR activities and related ventures as the concerned branch(es) will deem appropriate to them.

I am not afraid to share further, my opinion on the role of branches…..fellow Gor Mahia followers, we need A RADICAL RETHINK on the role of branches in Gor Mahia FC…I opine that BRANCHES AS CURRENTLY CONSTITUTED CANNOT NEITHER UNDERGIRD NOR CATALYSE THE ENVISAGED TRANSFORMATION OF OUR CLUB. Some radical changes need to be made to transform them from social clubs to agents of change in our club. I suggest that we need to INCREASE THE THRESHOLD of what constitutes a branch for such a body to be recognized and affiliate to the club. Membership and Branch affiliations SHOULD BE one major stream of revenue for our club but that isn’t the case because of lower thresholds in terms of fees paid. For instance, why should we have over seven branches in Mathare 4A, 5 in Umoja, 5 in Kibera, 3 in Huruma, 3 in Kariobangi North, 5 in the “Social media”? Personally, this does not add up. JoK’Ogalo, as stated above, Branches have greater roles to play in our club that include being the first markets for club’s products/merchandise. However, to maximize on their potential, things have to change. I propose that a minimum number be set on how many registered Gor Mahia members should a branch have as the first requirement. Regarding this I propose a minimum of 50 registered Gor Mahia members.The affiliation fee need to be adjusted upwards to make it prohibitive for “personality cults” disguised as branches. Kshs.10,000 is too little in my opinion and an individual can pay that and possess a briefcase branch. Adjusting the figure upwards would go a long way in “killing” such briefcase entities, raise revenue for the club and sound a death knell to branches that come to life only on the eve of elections.
A little mathematics would suffice:-
We currently have 109 branches that do not re-affiliate annually but when elections are called, some 80-90 will pay the 10k affiliation fee (mostly paid by aspirants) bringing in a paltry 800-900k to the club-there was no direct membership to the club in this scenario.

Scenario 2 has an increased threshold where each branch must have a minimum 50 registered club members e.g. at Ksh. 1,000 each and the affiliation fee is pegged at say Ksh. 50,000-100,000 if we have 50 branches we could be talking of Ksh 2.5 million in terms of affiliation and another Ksh. 2.5 million from their members. What of those directly registered!? Aren’t we talking of over Ksh. 5million per annum from Membership and Branches!?!? Just one revenue stream. On branches as the first market for club merchandise, are we not talking of a minimum 2500 kits, what of their households? Do the math.

Ladies and gentlemen, structurally harnessing the GOODWILL the club enjoys will call for SERIOUS DECISIONS and SACRIFICES to be made. Under our leadership we shall involve all the current members and branches so that they own this envisaged transformation process. I don’t think there are any other shortcuts unless we want to go the Roman Abramovichs, Glazers route.

Lastly, when the branches become restructured and are playing their anticipated roles, we can start thinking of a SUPPORTERS TRUST. with such we can pull resources and mutate to SUPPORTES OWNERSHIP of the club in which 50+1%-60% can be controlled by members and the remaining sold to corporate entities to INJECT the required capital for mega projects such as club house, gym and stadium. Here is an example, Bayern Munich is largely fans owned and only sold 18% to Adidas and Audi in 2009 in return for 165 million Euros that went into the building of the Allianz Arena and with the selling the naming rights to Allianz Insurance company, the stadium was built and the loan is still being repaid.

Put differently, it is obvious MEMBERS can own and manage a big club.

Structured Membership and revitalized branches are the panacea to the ills afflicting our club.

God Bless you and God bless Gor Mahia F.C.


Contestant Chris Omondi describes the 1st pillar of his manifesto

As Gor Mahia FC approaches the eagerly awaited Annual General Meeting and elections slated for December, this blog will give equal time to all the candidates. In the spirit of equal time, here is the first pillar of Chris Omondi’s manifesto. Omondi, a former secretary general of the club, is vying for the position of chairman

To the Gor Mahia fraternity; it is my pleasure to present the first pillar of my manifesto and invite you to critique it- an act that I want to believe would go a long way in not only refining it, but also building consensus on the transformational path the club needs to adopt…

I have always held the belief that we cannot talk of any transformation in our club without being cognizant of our key resource- THE FOOTBALL TEAM- which, metaphorically, I refer to as “our cow.” A cow that if well taken care of would enable us derive several products in its lifetime. I opine that it is by only having a successful football team on the pitch-sustained success that we can dare discuss other pillars like Membership, Revenue Collection, Professionalised Secretariat, Progressive Constitution e.t.c.
Without a perfoming football team, these other pillars that are equally interdependent become affected.

From the foregoing I humbly submit that our FOOTBALL TEAM comprising the players, technical bench and other “workers” become my 1st major PILLAR (focal point).

Getting the basics right in terms of developing our football would largely provide the BASE and catalyse the envisaged transformation of our club. I propose to provide a leadership that would adopt these measures to undergird the development of football within our club, sustain success on and off the pitch and thereby inform the implementation of the other pillars. On the FOOTBALL TEAM, I oversee the following:

a. Adoption of merit based recruitment policies on players, technical bench members and other football team employees.

On recruitment of players, we will reactivate the scouting networks the club had in the yester-years and build new ones with more emphasis on identifying young talents that would be nurtured n developed. We endeavour to go back to the days when our club was the domicile of national team materials/players. We will partner with selected Primary and Secondary schools in terms of identifying and developing such young talents. For a start, such partnerships will involve providing football equipment and expertise. But resources allowing, in the near future, the club will have a fully fledged academy.

Summarily, we shall adopt recruitment policies that would build into our vision of FOOTBALL AS BUSINESS where sale of players ought to be one of the major revenue streams available to the club.

b.We believe in internal capacity building and to this end, we shall endeavour to have our own conveyor belt of not only players but also members of the technical bench. We will seek to have U23, U20, U17 and U15 teams either through the initially stated partnerships with schools or as an Academy (resources allowing). We are greatful that, through our fans, we have a Youth Team we can build from/on.

On the technical bench, we opine that our senior players interested in delving into coaching will be supported and allowed to sharpen their skills with our junior teams. We hasten to point out that this would not only propagate club philosophy over generations but would in the long run act as cost cutting measure.

c. On player contracts, the already stated philosophy of FOOTBALL AS BUSINESS shall be the guiding factor. Clauses that protect the club’s business interests will be introduced to ensure the envisaged model that includes sale of players as a stream of revenue is jealously protected. Young promising players will be given full proof contracts such that we don’t buttress this notion of Gor Mahia as a platform. I believe that if we are to be a “platform”, then we ought to maximise on that by having contracts that protects club’s interests.
3.To enable the players and the technical bench concentrate on their business of winning and playing attractive soccer,we shall seek to provide incentives in the form of proper medical covers for themselves and their determined family members…furthermore we shall seek to provide the most competitive salaries commensurate with the expected performance levels and minimise huge disparities in their salaries as we endeavour to build one functional juggernaut…..

Ladies and Gentlemen,it is only when the football team is consistently perfoming that we can dare dream of its transformation….when winning and playing attractive soccer it attracts fans to the stadium hence enhanced revenues in terms of gate collections,merchandise sales,membership etc…..and that is why OUR FOOTBALL TEAM becomes the first pillar in our envisaged transformation……



Blackberry discusses near future

Gor Mahia striker George Odhiambo “Blackberry” has said that his former club, Randers FC has offered him an opportunity to return to Denmark.

“Randers have approached me and asked if I could go back but I am yet to make a decision. Gor have also offered me a new contract but I need to sit and think about my move other than making a rushed decision. I am currently on holiday and preferably, I will make a decision in January,” he told Capital FM.

During his first stint at Randers, Blackberry impressed fans but at the time the club was in turmoil and in relegation danger. Today many Randers fans think he was not given a chance. Blackberry for his part blames his agent.

“The problems that were there especially in Randers were brought up by an agent. He was not a good agent. He had problems with the club and hence I could not play often. However, I have changed him and I am now looking forward to better times,” he alleged.

He was sidelined from Randers upon which he had tryouts in Finland before joining Azam of Tanzania followed by City Stars of Nairobi and Shirak FC of Armenia. He returned to Gor Mahia in January of 2014. It took a long time for him to return to his form. The arrival of coach Frank Nuttall breathed a new life into Blackberry as he slowly started to regain his form.

“I worked extra hard in training because I wanted to get back to my best and slowly, it was paying off. At this time also while in holiday, I am training on my own because I want to be paces ahead when the New Year starts,” he said.

“I want to get back to my 2010 form and even better. My target is to get call ups to the national team and not only be in the squad, but a regular starter as well. It is a long journey but I want to work hard to achieve my targets,” added the winger.

Another stint at Gor Mahia is precisly the tonic that Blackberry needs to regain his form. Now that coach Nuttall has helped Blackberry regain his confidence and found a suitable position for him as winger, Blackberry has an opportunity to work his way back to fame and acclaim.

Chris Omondi returns

Meanwhile Gor Mahia secretary general Chris Omondi has apparently returned to the club. He confirmed this with a cryptic post on social media.

back to the trenches it is……the fallacy that “we can make changes from within” need to be transcended…..a complete uprooting of the system is what is needed

Earlier there were reports that Gor Mahia elders were meeting with Omondi to convince him to return. With Omondi now back at helm one can only hope that the divisions within the EC will be healed and they will begin to get the train back on the tracks.


Ambrose Rachier, EC must learn from past errors

Leaders are often defined by how they react in times of crisis. The crisis currently faced by Gor Mahia is significant. Every single day seems to bring more bad news whether it is key players leaving, sponsorship deals falling through due to politics, not to mention the fact that for the first time in years, Gor Mahia appears unable or unwilling to sign any players. Players whom the club was said to be targeting have instead chosen lesser clubs. This includes former players whom the fans expected would be re-signed.

A playing unit that was depleted by mass departures of key players in January was further depleted in June and again in December. The club has been unable or unwilling to replace the departing players with players of similar quality. There are stories of deals falling through because the club chairman did not show up to a meeting.

There are also reports of disunity with the club’s executive committee, as well as reports that players have not received their November salaries. That the club was still able to win the league under such difficult circumstances appears to be a miracle. However the way things are going it is highly unlikely that the club will be able to repeat the feat in 2015. Now the club is even contemplating not participating in the CAF champions league.

It is true that in 2014, Chairman Rachier and the EC attempted a raft of measures to stem the problems created by Tuzo’s withdrawal as sponsors. Most notable of these were the 350100 MPesa initiative, the membership drive, jersey sales and the grand fund raiser whose initial target was to raise KES 60 million. All measures failed in their goals or only partially met their goals as was predicted on this column. A good leader would do an honest self-assessment to find out why all these initiatives have failed.

We keep hearing officials complain that the club has huge fan base but the fans are unwilling to contribute. Have these officials ever really asked themselves why fans do not contribute?

So why have these initiatives failed?


This word needs no introduction. It has been said many times but it bears repeating. Unless the club puts in place a system that will assure fans that money will not be missapropriated, they will develop cold feet when it comes to contributing their hard earned money. That is why it was so comical when Secretary general Chris Omondi went on social media to tell fans “Do not deceive yourselves, transparency is for members only”.

Even at this point some fans are skeptical about the club’s finances. Many do not believe the club is broke given that some money was raised during the end of year fund raisers. So fans are perplexed as to why the club failed to pay November salaries on time and has not signed any player.

If Rachier wants to assure transparency he can hire a external/reputable auditing company like Price Waterhouse or Diamond Trust. This company wil be responsible for soliciting funds for various initiatives like membership drivem, SACCO and the 350100 initiative. They would then keep an agreed upon portion of the receipts and disburse the remainder to the clubs for expenses like transportation and so forth. This way the handling of finances is taken out of the hands of the EC and transparency is assured in the eyes of fan.

The initiatives were never sustained

The club assumed that die-hard fans would pour forward and enroll as members. When this did not happen, sec gen Omondi went on social media to vent his frustrations. No matter how popular a product is, a company has to advertize it and convince the public to buy it. Gor Mahia is in the same boat. The membership drive should have been pushed hard. The club should have been selling membership cards at every match including friendly matches. Furthermore, the club should have been taking measures to assure those who are concerned about missapropriation of funds.

The 350100 started with vigour and the club was even taking tentative steps towards accountability by showing the club accounts online. But then they suddenly stopped. And now they wonder why fans are no longer contributing?

 Merchandize sales

Club officials have complanied that fans are not buying merchandize. They must ask themselves why. They must ask fans why. Look: Fans will not simply buy jerseys to support the club. They must actually like the jerseys. And it must fit in their price range. Why were the “Gor Mahia” labeled jerseys so popular in 2010? The had the club name on the front. And they could be customized to write a fans name on the back. And the price range was reasonable. A business must customize products to suit customer tastes. This club is no different.

If the new Joma jerseys do not fit this criteria then the club should not be surprised if jersey sales are below par. Indeed if Joma does not provide flexibility then the club should ditch them and work with a different supplier who can produce jerseys cheap enough that fans will not have to buy cheaper knock off jerseys  from river road. A supplier who can customize jersey names for each fan. The club must then tell fans where to buy jerseys and educate them on why it is important to buy only from legitimate sources.

Learn from past mistakes

Chairman Rachier announced that the club is forming a SACCO starting on December 28. Unless they apply the lessons learned with regard to transparency, sustainment and affordability, the SACCO will also be colossal failure much like the membership drive and other initiatives. Nothing has changed. It is still the same fan base you are appealing to. What makes the club officials think that the SACCO initiative will be different.

The club never made an effort to get contributions from diaspora based fans. We understand Rachier was in the USA on holiday. Perhaps next time he visits, he should consider setting up an overseas branch for the club. There are numerous fans based in the diaspora who can contribute to the club’s fortunes if convinced.

 Re-assure the public

With the club in turmoil, the chairman must step forward and steady the ship as it navigates stormy waters. The current atmosphere in the club is not conducive to attracting sponsors because sponsors want to to be associated with well run organizations, and not organizations that appear disjointed.

The current atmosphere is not conducive to attracting potential players especially when they hear about unpaid salaries. It is therefore imperative that Mr. Rachier step forward and re-assure the fans, members and the playing unit and bring an end to the discord and disunity within the EC.

Heal Rifts within the EC

Club officials should be pulling together. As mentioned above, a disjointed EC is not conducive to good public relations.

Secretary general Chris Omondi has recently complained that some of his initiatives were shot down. Among these was the partnership with Diamond Trust Bank and pay gate in a bid to introduced computerized ticketing to ease loss of money at the gates, but this was hugely criticised and never implemented.

“We were losing so much money in the gates and I tried to introduce a new system that would be more transparent and we would get much more from gate collections but it was never supported.” Said Omondi

If true then perhaps Rachier owes a cogent explanation to Mr. Omondi on why this initiative was shot down. Omondi was after all duly elected. And since this is out in the public, Rachier owes fans an explanation. Why is it that at a time when the club is broke, the club is refusing to take steps to stem losses?

Why not bring Diamond Trust back to handle both gate collections and membership funds in order to inject a modicum of transparency.

Omondi further complained that he was interested in signing younger players while other EC members wanted to pursue experienced players like Joackins Atudo. The situation whereby EC members decide which players is comical because none of them are qualified for this task.

The EC should also leave signing of potential players to competent technical staff such as Bob Ogolla, Fran Ouna and others, unlike the current comical situation where EC members were fighting over which players should be signed.

 Show a plan for the future

Will the club always be in begging mode? We hope not. Mr. Rachier should chart his vision for how money raised via memberships drives or the SACCO will be re-invested to take the club out of begging mode. Set a realistic goal. Instead of making empty unreachable goals like building a stadium, why not set a goal of developing sports ground.  One that can be used for training but can also be rented out for use for various sporting events, by organizations, like FKF lower leagues, KRFU and even companies. By setting realistic goals, fans will be more inclined to contribute financially.

 Another key to the future is to get rid of the club’s archaic constitution and replace it with a modern constitution so it is run by competent professionals. Only the Chairman and one Vice Chairman position should be elective. The club should have a competent general manager in charge of keeping accounts in a transparent manner, marketing the club to potential sponsors, marketing the club to potential fans. Etc. Such a person should be hired on a performance contract which means for example his pay is based on metrics like attendance at matches.


Sec Gen Chris Omondi resigns by SMS

Drama ensued within the Gor Mahia executive committee as club secretary general Chris Omondi resigned apparently in frustration.

The SMS message read thus

Hello Jakom (Ambrose Rachier), just wanted to inform you that your spitefulness has stretched my tolerance levels…..I consciously decided never to be confrontational with you….will be stepping down as Gor Mahia SG (Secretary General) within next week after informing the Executive…pliz (please) be informed….I am convinced am not being o ting (small creature) this afternoon…thnx (thanks) in advance Jakom, according to the post on

Omondi further confirmed to that he was indeed stepping down.

“It’s true I am stepping down effective next week…I feel I am not adding value to the club thus not at peace with my conscience…much will be pointed out when I make it official”

Ever since he became club secretary general, Omondi has earned a reputation for emotional outbursts especially on social media. Earlier in the year when challenged on accountability, he told off his detractors saying thus “Accountability is for members only. Stop deceiving yourselves” . Earlier this week he made another emotional outburst on social media that went as follows:

I have been receiving several invitations to attend End Year Parties organized by Gor Mahia Branches,n some have even planned to travel to other parts of the country na wengine outside the country….that is very good,……

As we hold such parties,i challenge you to pose for a moment n ask ourselves,what value have we added to the club this season worth celebrating?We are aware of the condition of the club,did we attempt to augment the efforts of the office-hata kama ni one day transport allowance of 12k,one match winning bonus of 140k,ama hata support to Junior team in whatever form?????

Pliz spare me the old crap “branches are not recognized”…..I choose to celebrate Gor Mahia FansFoundation,Nakuru Prestige Branch,Nakuru Korfan Branch,Away Branch n Face Book Branch….n the BBC CREW….I can comfortably attend ur parties.

He went on to say that rather than spend money on end of year parties, the branches should channel the money towards the club.
The post earned him a lot of ire from fans on social media with many threatening to vote him out at the next election. I suppose Omondi has pre-empted fans by stepping down in dramatic style.
As far as memory serves me this is the first time a club official has resigned while expressing frustration at both the chairman and the fans.
The person next in line to take over from Omondi would be either Naima Aketch or Ronald Ngala. When questioned on whether she would tale over from Omondi, Naima responded that she could not because “Gor Mahia ina wenyewe” perhaps a reference to the fact that some officials think Rachier has been running the club in a dictatorial manner without anyone else’s input.



Violence was stage managed says Gor Mahia EC

Gor Mahia secretary general Chris Omondi has defended the club’s fans and vowed to appeal against decision to play behind closed doors. Omondi further insists Sunday’s violence in Machakos was staged managed.

The club’s Secretary General Chris Omondi says they will also appeal against decision to ban fans from watching their remaining two matches against Muhoroni Youth and Kenya Revenue Authority. This according to a story posted on

“FKF have fallen to mechanization of those who want to see us get punished for nothing. According to our investigations, the whole thing was stage managed.

“We had information that some people would be hired to provoke our fans to cause trouble and we raised the issue a day before the match.” said Omondi

Omondi said FKF should have carried out thorough investigations before coming up with sanctions. Gor Mahia have been fined Sh500, 000 and ordered to play their next two matches behind closed doors.

We need a stronger statement

The club now needs to make a stronger statement against hooliganism. We need the club chairman, the eloquent Ambrose Rachier to come forward with a strong condemnation of hooliganism, announce that the steward who attacked David Okello will no longer work for the club and to provide all the evidence they have that those who participated in the property destruction were not Gor Mahia fans.

And where is the Police report

It has been said on this blog by several bloggers that the Kenya Police are basically useless when it comes to addressing hooliganism. All they can do is toss tear gas canisters into the crowd. If there is an incident that demands a proper police investigation it is this one.


Gor Mahia to name coach by Wedensday

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier has indicated that the club will name its new coach by Wednesday September 3.

“I do not want to say much because we haven’t finalized issues yet, but what I can tell you is that we have narrowed down to four applicants, and we shall be announcing the name of the successful coach by Wednesday,” Rachier said to the KPL website.

Former coach Zdravko Logarusic is among the leading contenders and is perhaps the strongest candidate due to his familiarity with “the terrain”. Loga is also tha fan favourite because he never lost to arch rivals AFC Leopards.

Another strong candidate was former Gor Mahia player  and former coach Zedekiah Otieno. But Secretary general Chris Omondi has strongly hinted that the likely candidate is a foreigner.

“The shortlisting is complete and we are now sending interview emails, but there is one particular foreign coach with whom we are having direct communication with and unless something changes, he will succeed Williamson as he looks well qualified,” he said to the KPL site.

Amrouche Hits at Logarusic

Immediate former Harambee stars coach Adel Amrouche who had been rumoured to be a candidate has said he is not interested and claims he is still attached to Harambee stars. And he went a step further to state that Logarusic is not a good candidate for the job

“I still have contract with FKF and I am not interested to coach a club in Kenya yet. I respect Gor Mahia a lot but in my opinion Loga can be good solution for the club”, he stated to

Critical Juncture

Gor Mahia will need the new coach to hit the ground running as they face what is likely the most critical phase of the league this year as they play four matches in 10 days.

Sun 14-09-14 15:00 Tusker vs Gor Mahia Kasarani
Wed 17-09-14 16:00 Gor Mahia vs Ulinzi Stars City
Sat 20-09-14 15:00 Gor Mahia vs Chemelil Sugar City
Wed 24-09-14 16:00 Gor Mahia vs Bandari City
Sat 20-09-14 15:00 Gor Mahia vs Chemelil Sugar


Frustrations boil over as membership drive flops

With the next Gor Mahia match several days away, perhaps fans should spend a moment on other pertinent issues affecting the club. The club launched a membership drive a few months back and it has fallen flat on its face. Apparently only about 300 people have become members since the membership drive was announced.

The failure of the membership drive prompted club secretary general Chris Omondi to lash out on social media with the tirade below:

Kizungu ya “very soon” ni ngumu??let fans partake the brand and value derived from supporting/watching football……..let the developmental path be charted by defined stakeholders/members…….

Social media bullies,ignoramuses n clueless fellows may call me names but these bitter realities may make some sense in the near future…..confronting these bitter realities is the only sure route in unlocking this club’s potential……..

Populism isnt my cup of tea,i will keep on reminding you of these realities no matter how bitter they may sound… me names as you wish,but i only want the BEST for our club….those who are developing a social media career in besmirching my name,enjoy as it lasts,nitaenda hizo shida zitakuwa pale pale……..

I still insist,kama FAN enjoy ball,nunua jersey kama unaweza,lipa stadi,game ikiisha enda kwako/kwenu…mambo ya accountability,HONESTLY,ni ya members….tusidanganyane

It is clear that Sec Gen Omondi is a frustrated man. Running the club is difficult and the fan base has been pummeling him with negative comments online and perhaps in person. We fully understand. Being sec gen of this club is not easy. Remember in 2013, George Bwana was accosted physically by some fans who claimed he was derailing the club’s ambitions by selling Sserunkuma to a team in Armenia. As if the club can stand in a player’s way.

It is true that being sec gen can be a thankless job. Which is precisely why the club’s constitution should be modified to install professionals who are accountable. The change to the constitution is a subject that will be addressed later in this post. First let us address the key issue on Omondi’s tirade.

He misses the point when he says that only members should demand accountability. In fact it is the opposite. The more accountable the club is, the more fans will contribute and become members. A leader must go out of his way to assuage the concerns of any fan who wonders whether his money will be misappropriated by the club. We have seen how quickly the fans came together to pay Nasio’s medical bills (150,000) and to defray pending allowances (75,000) a few weeks back. The importance of accountability can therefore not be gainsaid.

Secondly, the membership recruitment drive would be more successful if the club sustained the campaign. In this case they simply announced the drive then sat back and expected fans to pour in. In reality, Rachier, Omondi, Pesa and others should be addressing the media, appearing on TV, in newspapers answering fan questions about accountability and doing everything possible to assure fans that their money will not be misappropriated.

And finally it is still not clear why the club has not pursued the other obvious avenue of raising revenue which is the sale of merchandize. As far back as 2009, when Gor Mahia was a mid table team, those jerseys with the “Gor Mahia” label on the front were very popular and fashionable in the country.

The constitution

Now we need to look at the bigger picture. The reason the club finds itself in the quagmire it currently is in is precisely because we do not have committed professionals running the team. Elected officials work on a volunteer basis and truth be told, they are hardly accountable for anything. It therefore comes as no surprise that the Tuzo sponsorship lapsed before Gor Mahia could obtain another sponsorship. It comes as no shock that the KRA sent Gor Mahia a warning letter in August of 2013 and the letter was ignored. No one acted on it and in April of this year, KRA slapped Gor Mahia with a hefty KES 118 million bill. This was probably an acted of malice by someone trying to sabotage the club. But he or she was given an opening because of the club’s negligence. Now here we are in 5 months later and the club still has not addressed the KRA issue. We do not know if they have even engaged KRA with a view towards finding out the real amount Gor Mahia owes KRA.

Firstly the club needs to regain its financial footing. Once a measure of financial stability is achieved, Mr. Rachier should work expediently to transform the club by ridding it of its archaic constitution. At the very least the club should hire a general manager in charge of day to day activities at the club such as sourcing for sponsorship, branding, sale of merchandize, sale of tickets and publishing of club accounts. His pay should be merit pay and should be based on how much revenue he or she brings into the club. As the club grows in financial stature, it can hire more professionals.

Diversify sources of funds

If there is any lesson we have learned it is that the club cannot be dependent on one source of revenue such as Tuzo. The club must pursue multiple avenues including membership, merchandizing, events etc. With proper accountability, the amount of money raised via a well organized and sustained membership drive can actually be more than the sponsorship. Think of all the Gor Mahia fans all over Kenya and in the diaspora. If you can get 30,000 people to pay Ksh 100 per month, you will raise KES 3 million every month. Now keep in mind that KES 100 is a paltry amount. There are fans out there who can pay KES 500 (silver membership) and some who can pay KES 1000 (gold membership). But it can only happen with a well organized and sustained membership drive that is accompanied by transparency and accountability. The inability of Kenyan football officials to grasp this basic concept has been the bane of Kenya football for the past 25 years or so.


Gor Mahia open contract talks with Williamson

Gor Mahia secretary general Chris Omondi has indicated that the club has started talks aimed at extending the contract of coach Bobby Williamson. Apparently Williamson’s contract ends in December and the club is eager to extend Williamson’s contract. This according to the Daily Nation.

Omondi also confirmed that the club has not received any official approach from the national football team handlers over the tactician’s services.

“The only official approach for him (Williamson) was from (Tanzanian club) Simba SC which we rejected outright. So he is still with the team and in fact we are looking into bettering his contract because he has impressed us with the way he has handled our project,” Omondi said to the Nation.

There are a number of issues that are curious about this scenario. Firstly Williamson has yet to win any trophy from scratch be it the league or the CECAFA cup, the GoTv shield or the Top 8. So it is not clear why the rush to extend his contract. Williamson is indeed a good coach. He has managed to keep the club in contention despite the constant turnover of players. He also managed to maintain the league lead in 2013. He is also very popular with the players. But they should At least let him win a trophy first.

Williamson, appears to be developing cold feet about the stars job

Secondly, with the precarious financial situation at the club, it is not clear if Gor Mahia has the wherewithal for such an endeavour.

“As far as I am concerned, Adel (Amrouche) is still Harambee Stars coach and it is therefore wrong for me to comment about the possibility of assuming his role,” the former Uganda Cranes coach said.