Remembering Zack Mbori in Pictures
"Home of the mighty Kogalo...."
Chairman Ambrose Rachier has dismissed critics who of late have been accusing him of mishandling and even embezzling club funds. Rachier is adamant that for the past two years, there has been no money to embezzle.
“Corruption comes in when there is money to be stolen. Where was the money in Gor Mahia? Gor had no sponsor, I’m the one who knows where the money to run this club came from. All these noise you hearing now is from the fact that we have two sponsors now. The noise makers are targeting to control the new found money,” he said to Citizen FM.
A section of Fans have been clamouring for elections. Some have even started campaigning. One fellow told a local radio station that if he were to become chairman, the mashemeji derby would raise Ksh 50 million per game. But Rachier insists that there will be no elections anytime soon. He however will call a meeting to discuss the current status of the club.
“I will soon call for a SGM to explain to members the new developments, especially as far as the sports act of 2013 is concerned. Then from the SGM if they want elections I will call for elections. But not when the season is on.” he continued.
Fans will be keen to see Rachier account for among other things:
1. Gate collections
2. How is the sponsor money spent?
3. How is the kit sponsorship money spent
4. What are the proceeds from the Gor Mahia SACCO and how are they spent?
5. Other revenue streams such as Gor Mahia water which retails for Ksh 50 and the Gor Mahia bread
Note that Gor Mahia water was available for sale at the stadium on Saturday and a club official said the club was happey with the revenue.
“It is a new revenue stream for us and we are urging our fans to support us by buying the water.” said the official.
Rachier went on to say that he will fulfill the pledge he made in 2008 to build a stadium for the club.
“We have land in Embakasi, but if the squatters are still there, then we will activate plan B. There is land at Kasarani that the new FKF president says we can build a stadium. I’m talking to partners to make this a reality.”
Rwandese striker Meddie Kagere, who left the club in December is back in town and may start training with the team again with a view to rejoining the club in June.
“He is our former player and because he is free, he has been talking to some of us but we will see what happens when June comes,” said Ronald Ngala told Goal.com
It is impossible to tell what will happen in June and by then he may have already found another club. Ngala also noted that Gor Mahia has already reached its quota for foreign players.
“I do not blame him for his earlier actions, it was evident there was someone, who misled him. He is a quality player and we would like him to play for us, however, we currently do not have a place for him since we have exhausted the number of foreign players in the team.” he said.
Chairman Ambrose Rachier explained that Kagere left because his demands were too exhorbitant for the club at the time.
“Meddie left because we could not afford him in December. We had no sponsor and he was asking for six million shillings which we didn’t have. We have now had a discussion and he will be back,” Rachier to Citizen FM.
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Gor Mahia Chairman Ambrose Rachier has announced that coach Bobby Williamson has resigned as of the end of August and that Gor Mahia is in search of a new coach.
“Now that Williamson will leave the club after regional Cecafa Kagame Cup championships in Rwanda, we have no choice but to start looking for his replacement.” said Rachier to goal.com
This is a stark contrast to what we heard from other club officials. In fact it appears the club officials are contradicting each other. Bobby Williamson himself said he was still committed to Gor Mahia and that FKF would have to request permission from the club to handle national team duties. Secreyary general Chris Omondi said “What I can confirm is that talks have been on-going but nothing has been agreed yet.”
Rachier indicated that financial constraints will hinder them from signing a top tier coach. ““We have received a lot of interest from several coaches but we are afraid we may not get a top coach due to financial demands they may put on us,” Rachier told goal.com on Thursday.
There are reports that the club may entice former coach Zedekiah ‘Zico’ Otieno to come back. Former AFC Leopards’ coach Luc Eymael has also expressed interest in the job.
As much as some fans are unhappy with Williamson for various reasons such as not winning the mashemeji derby, he deserves credit for steering Gor Mahia to the top of the table even despite all the financial constraints and player departures that have plagued the club. Williamson deserves credit and it is incredible that the club would let him go right in the middle of the league campaign. With Harambee stars having been eliminated from AFCON 2015, there are hardly any other tournaments to keep Williamson busy. The only logical reason Gor Mahia would let Williamson go at such a crucial moment is the precarious financial situation now bedeviling the club.
However Jerim Onyango has averred that the departure of Williamson will not affect the club. “I don’t think his going should affect our title challenge. We will maintain a positive attitude and keep doing what he taught us to do.” said Jerim to goal.com
He however admitted that the playing unit will miss Williamson.
“Since he joined the squad, he has been like a father figure to all of us and we will miss this.”
He added: “I strongly believe that Williamson will succeed with Harambee Stars just like he did at Gor Mahia. This is why Football Kenya Federation settled on him.” continued Jerim.
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The transfer season of 2012 has been one of the most interesting in recent memory. Gor Mahia has been a beehive of activity culminating in the arrival and departure of players and futile pursuance of other players .
Club chairman Ambrose Rachier recently announced that 2012 will be a year of reforms aimed at professionalizing the club. Such reforms are aimed at making this club a continental giant like it once was. So the question becomes: What off the field reforms would fans most like to see ?
One area where the club seems to be lagging behind is in the area of merchandizing. To begin with the only item that seems to be readily available for sale is the club matchday jersey. However sales of the club jersey appear to have plummeted because of fans perception that the club is getting a raw deal. The club gets only 10% of the revenue for each jersey sold. The rest goes to Legea. Its a weird scenario where Legea, an Italian sports equipment manufacturer benefits from both having its name and symbol advertized on the club jersey but also takes off with 90% of the revenue. It should be obvious to all that if this deal were to be restructured, jersey sales would skyrocket, benefiting both Gor Mahia , Legea and also Tuzo , all of whom will gain a lot more mileage as more people wear this jersey around town. Restructuring this deal should be a no-brainer.
Further to that , the club should seriously pursue merchandizing other items. Fans will be buy anything associated with the club. How about a calendar with pictures of past legends and present players. Scarves, jackets that are customized with the supporters name or nickname, umbrellas, soccer balls signed by players DVDs. Sometime in the early nineties, the club started to sell bic ball point pens emblazoned with the text “I support Gor Mahia FC”. They were supposed to sell for 10sh each but some cheeky vendors at Nyayo stadium were selling them for Ksh 20 and pocketing the extra 10 bob. This is the kind of fraud that the club should pay attention to.
Another area that is worth reform is the area of accountability. There have been suspicions amongst many fans that sometimes the announced gate collections do not reflect the attendance. The club should do something to assuage this concern.
Secondly, the club should step up its membership recruitment. The best way to kick start this is to get the club’s accounts audited by a reputable accounting firm. When the club is accountable, open and transparent, people will be assured that the money they contribute to the club is not being misappropriated or embezzled and there will be more people who are willing to become paying subscribers. The club can set up a system of membership with silver, gold and platinum membership. Platinum members can be those who pay membership dues of above Ksh 10,000 per year. Gold members pay ksh 5000 and silver members pay ksh 1000 per year and so forth. There are also hundreds of Kogalo fans in the diaspora living in North America, Europe, Australia etc. The club should enhance transparency to entice these fans to contribute to the club and also provide a mechanism for them to send their contributions. The vehicle below belongs to a die hard Kogalo fan currently residing in the frozen north. So die-hard is he that his number plate aka license number reflects the club’s name. And this picture was taken in 2002 when the club was in the doldrums battling relegation. These fans can be convinced to support the club materially and financially.
The number plate of a die-hard Kogalo supporter in the frozen North reflects his fanaticism for the club.
A further area worth reforming is the issue of player loans. There are many young Kogalo players whose development is being stunted by warming the bench. Players like Duncan Owiti Macheda, Roy Okal and could benefit by playing every weekend. If you practice every day but do not get a chance to put your training to use on match day, you will never develop. These guys are talented but we will never know how good they are if they only warm the bench. And in the current dispensation with fans demanding immediate results, there will be no opportunity to field them. So send them on loan to another team in the KPL or in the next level so they can build their confidence and sharpen their skills.
The issue of youth development has been covered in depth in a previous article. Its worth adding that Barcelona’s youth team currently plays in Spain’s second tier tus giving the youngstars much needed game time. . Instead of fielding a U-19 only during the KPL U-19 tournament, Kogalo’s youth team should be playing in the lower divisions every weekend. This will give them match experience and build cohesiveness such that by the time they are seniors, they will have been playing together for years and the coordination between them will be superb. Its no co-incidence that the Thika United U-19 team won the inaugural KPL cup. It was not a hurriedly assembled team like most others. It was a cohesive unit that has been playing together. Back in 1983, the Kogalo youth team drew significant crowds whenever the played. Fans wanted to see what they thought was the next generation. The same can happen today.
Thats yours trulys take on which reforms are neeeded. Now over to other bloggers. What would you like to see done in 2012 ?
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