Gor Mahia to renegotiate sponsorship

Gor Mahia will meet with Sportpesa officials to negotiate the restart of their sponsorship

Additional reporting from Citizen Sports

Kenyan Premier League (KPL) giants Gor Mahia FC will engage SportPesa in talks over a possible reinstatement of their sponsorship deal which was terminated last month.

Gor’s CEO Lordvick Aduda said they are planning to have a session with the gaming firm after they were given the green light by the Kenya Revenue Authority (KRA) to apply for a new betting license.

The gaming firm has been out of business for two months after their paybill numbers were blocked following an order by the Government over tax incompliance.

The clearance by the KRA came barely three days after the  gaming firm lost a case in which they wanted compensation from the government for the revenues lost during the shut up period.

The gaming firm and the government had been locked in a standoff over tax issues, prompting a fierce court battle. The gaming firm had cancelled its sponsorship agreement with sports federations and clubs owing to the standoff.

“We will sit with them and see if there can be a possibility of their comeback on board as our major sponsors. But we are also in talks with other potential sponsors and we will let the public know of any positive progress,” Aduda said in an interview with Ramogi FM.

Last week the club deputy secretary general Ronald Ngala indicated that the firm had remitted to the club money enough to take them till end of August 2019. This means their possible come back on board could mean very little hitch, if any, of the sponsorship.

“We really need them back on board since at the moment we don’t have any sponsor. Their comeback will be a blessing to us ahead of our continental assignments,” Aduda said.

Aduda added that the two newly acquired foreign strikers comprising of Ghanian Francis Afriyie and Ivorian Gislein Yikpe Gnamian are now eligible to play in the Champions League.

“CAF regulations stipulates that a players registered late can start playing in the second round and here we are.

“They are now available for selection against USMA, subject to passing fitness tests after both of them picked injuries during their earlier trainings at Camp Toyoyo’’.

Commenting on the e-ticketing that was meant to boast the club’s gate collection, Aduda says they are still facing a challenges.

The CEO says the gate keepers are still colluding with corrupt fans and taking as little as Sh50 in bribe to allow the fans into the stadia.

“We are still addressing the challenges. It was a nice idea but we still feel the gate keepers are a letdown. The fans are also a betrayal. When the Sh50 ends up in individuals’ pockets, it doesn’t help the club.”

He says they neither met their target at Kasarani nor in Kisumu over the weekend and that corruption is evident due to the high match attendance and the outcome of the revenues realized.

Gor’s next assignment will be against Algeria’s USM Alger on September 15 in Algeria with the return match scheduled for Nairobi on September 27.

Sportpesa cancels all Sports Sponsorships

In what will prove to be a big blow to Gor Mahia and other sporting organizations, Sportpesa has canceled all sponsorships.

Additional reporting from the Star
SportPesa has cancelled all sports sponsorships after a prolonged battle with KRA over taxes.

In a statement on Friday, the firm said, “We regrettably wish to announce that due to the uncertainty of this situation SportPesa will be cancelling sports sponsorships effective immediately. All clubs and partners will have received notices as provided for in their contracts.” SportPesa said it has been subjected to punitive measures by regulators such as delayed license renewal and the suspension of Paybill numbers, which have reduced the level of business operations.

The firm said these measures have brought immense pressure on the business. “This despite the existence of a court order prohibiting the regulator from taking such actions,” the firm said. SportPesa said it is passionate about sports development in Kenya and the decision to stop sponsorships was difficult to make. “We greatly value our partnerships and we will endeavour to resume support to the best of our ability when the business recovers,” the firm said.

On April 1, Interior CS Fred Matiang’i vowed to introduce tough measures to regulate betting sector, which he accused of leading youths astray. He gave all firms three months up to July 1 to seek fresh renewal of licenses upon proving tax compliance. Among the conditions that betting and gaming firms had to meet before having their licences renewed is to be tax-compliant.

SportPesa is among the 27 betting firms whose licences the government refused to renew over a tax row. The firm, however, insisted it was tax compliant. Other firms whose licences were not renewed were Betin, Betway, Betpawa, Premierbet, Lucky 2 U, 1X Bet, Mozzartbet, Dafa bet, World Sport Bet, Atari Gaming, Palmsbet and Betboss. Others were Betyetu, Elitebet, Bungabet, Cysabet, Nestbet, Easybet, Kick Off, Millionaire Sports Bet, Kenya Sports Bet and Eastleighbet.

They were expected to prove that they had been operating within the law, and prove that they are sufficiently liquid and have performed financially well for the past four years. On July 22, KRA cleared Betway, OdiBets, Mozzartbet, Ken Bookmakers, Lucky 2u, Eazi Bet, Kick off, Eastleighbet, Palms Bet and Bet boss.

Sportpesa announces mega deal for Kenya Football

Betting company Sportpesa have returned to sponsorship with a bang. On Monday they announced a mega deal overing

“Our dedication and commitment to the development of sports in Kenya continues. We are proud to announce our return to local sponsorships with these key football industry players.” said Sportpesa in their social media pages.

KFF will getof Shs 69 Million, as KPL receives Shs 259 Million. Gor Mahia will receive Shs 198Million and rivals AFC Leopards bag Shs 159Million.

The three year deal that Kogalo is getting is higher than the previous deal which Sportpesa signed in 2016. That was for Ksh 180 Million over three years.

Mashemeji derby winner to play Hull

Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards will face off on May 1. The winner of the match will play Hull City on May 13. Hull City which is now in the English second tier will arrive in the country on May 11. Gor Mahia were originally slated to play Hull City but Ingwe appealed.

Hull City Coach, Nigel Adkins, said, “This is an exciting opportunity for the club to be able to go play in Kenya. The passion for football out there is enormous and we can’t wait to interact with the local teams. I’m very honored to be the first Coach to bring the team to Africa!”

Hull City beat KPL All Stars in 2016 with Humphrey Mieno scoring the consolation goal for KPL All Stars.

Sports PS Kaberia says he is trying to get Kasarani ready for the Hull City match.

“We are really pushing for Kasarani to be ready and host the match. We will be visitng there soon to check the progress. The venues under construction and renovations will be ready before June this year.” said Kaberia

Sportpesa mulling options

Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri says that his company is considering various options including resuming sponsorship for certain federations and teams.
Additional Reporting from the Nation
Could SportPesa be about to make an about-turn and resume funding sports activities in the country?

This seems likely to be the case, with the giant gaming firm’s chief executive officer Ronald Karauri telling Nation Sport Wednesday that he will be seeking “solutions” to crises that followed his firm’s decision to abandon Sh600 million worth of sponsorship deals this past week.

“We are frantically looking for solutions, I feel bad bringing the teams to this level and then just leaving them. I am in talks with some government officials for a way forward and hopefully all will be well soon,” he said.

SOFTENED HIS STANCE

When terminating the deals with among other, Football Kenya Federation, Kenya Premier League, Kenya Rugby Union, Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards and Nakuru All Stars, Karauri argued his firm was unable to pay the increased taxes slapped on gaming firms by government at the start of this year, and remain with enough to pump in the millions worth of sponsorship deals

But then, with government and rival betting firms warming up to the idea of replacing SportPesa in the past few days, it seems Karauri has either softened his stance, or stumbled on extra funds.

Nation Sport understands representatives from SportPesa have been in talks with officials from Gor Mahia and Leopards in the past few days.

The agenda of these meetings, we understand, revolved around the possibility of renewing the sponsorship.

The two teams have cumulatively received about Sh100 million from SportPesa each year for the past two years.

On his part, Sports Principal Secretary Kirimi Kaberia confirms that the government is keen to take over from SportPesa in funding Kenyan sports.

“They (SportPesa) might have pulled out but there will be no crisis,” he said.

“We met with representatives from the affected federations and requested them to present their budgets which we will look at on a case by case basis.”

Gor Mahia intent on bringing Kagere back

Gor Mahia are making every effort to sharpen their attack. At this time last year, Gor Mahia had scored almost 30 goals. This year Gor Mahia have only scored 14 goals. With that in mind, Chairman Ambrose Rachier has said that the club wants to bring two strikers on board including Meddie Kagere.

“We are talking to Kagere and other possible strikers because we have realized that our striking force has been a little bit bland when our dependable striker is injured. It’s not that others are not good enough but we want to sharpen the striking force. I spoke to him on Friday and most likely he will be coming back. I can confirm that during the window we intent to sign one or two strikers” said Rachier to Citizen sports.

Kagere was a key performer in Gor Mahia’s unbeaten season in 2015. However he did not re-sign with the club in January as he could not agree to terms. Kagere has been seen training with the team at Camp Toyoyo numerous times this season.

Rachier has also announced that the club will not recruit heavily this mid season.

“We won’t do a heavy recruitment during the transfers, we are lucky to have a coach who is proactive and has suggested the name of the players that he wants. So we are waiting for the window to open then we engage other players who the coach has suggested,” he said.

New Sponsor set to come on board

Gor Mahia are set to bring on board a third sponsor. Power Gold, a Dubai based energy drink company is set to sponsor Kogalo to the tune of Ksh 15 million.  This is according to Hussein Terry, the Managing Director of the company.

The deal is worth Kshs 15 Million. Ksh 12 million will be used to buy the club a modern state of the art bus next season. The remainder will be used to provide energy drinks and training kits to the club immediately we put pen to paper.

“We (Power Gold energy drink) have initiated talks with AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia to help the clubs in their day-to-day activities as far sponsorship is concerned. The first Kshs 12 million for each club will be used to provide them a modern bus apiece while the remaining Kshs 3 million will be used for kiting. We will then get to our normal Kshs 15 million package for each team thereafter ” said Hussein Terry to futaa.com

Terry also hinted at bringing arch rivals AFC Leopards on board.

This event would bring the number of Gor Mahia sponsors to three including Sportpesa and Crown Beverages.

Ze Maria gives Stima Credit

Kahata celebrates after scoring his first goal

Gor Mahia tactician Jose Marcelo has admitted that Western Stima proved a difficult opponent on Thursday.

“They are a good team and my congratulation to them. They fought hard for the 95 minutes and have winning mentality. I have good players and I have confidence for them so I gave them this chance and they gave result which is important,” he said to supersport.

It took super substitute Francis Kahata to unlock Stima in the match at the final minute of added minute of added time through a powerful header.

But Ze Maria has also lauded his team’s fighting spirit.

“I tell my players to fight to the final minute. Do not give up. I am happy with the way the boys gave their all to the end,” said Ze Maria.

It was an inspired move to bring in Enock Agwanda and Francis Kahata. It was the two substitues who finally unlocked the Western Stima defence and enabled the club to move to 3rd place. They now play second placed Mathare next.

 

Sportpesa reinstates sponsorship

There is good news for Gor Mahia fans in that Sportpesa has agreed to resume their sponsorship of Gor Mahia as well as AFC Leopards which they had suspended following acts of hooliganism by fans of both teams.

Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri outlined a series of steps that will be taken to tame hooliganism.

“We have been holding consultation meetings with both clubs since we suspended the deals and I am impressed that they are committed to end hooliganism. We have agreed that mobile courts are introduced in the stadia to help tame the vice that is not good for Kenyan football.”.  he said to goal.com

He announced that the Police and NYS will be deployed with new tactics,

“We also have commitment from the police, who have promised to provide tight security going forward. We will also have stewards from National Youth Service on behalf of SportPesa manning perimeter fence. “A security committee has been set, chaired by the Interior Ministry Permanent Secretary… and membership drawn from clubs, Football Kenya Federation, Kenyan Premier League and the league sponsors Sportpesa.” karauri continued

Chairman Ambrose Rachier thanked Sportpesa and urged fans to maintain peace.

“We are grateful to SportPesa and want to assure them that we will fight day and night to end this vice. I want to urge our fans to maintain peace during matches.”

Rachier noted that he has been working to put anti-hooliganism structures in place for years.,

“The conditions set are deliverable and we are committed. It is something we have talked about for years and it’s is good that it has been put to paper. The agreement that stewardship will be professionalized is a great initiative since currently stewards are usually club supporters who come to watch the match. Professionalizing this will ensure they are not club supporters and do not come to watch matches.” he said to the Star newspaper.

Poor refereeing has been a significant cause of stadium fracas. The issue was addressed by GMT Ottieno, a veteran referee from the 1980s and now head of referees.

“Some, whose decisions have been found wanting have been suspended but in future some will be terminated. We actually have officials who came straight into the top league without passing through the lower leagues which is unfortunate. We have called for all these officials to hand in detailed curriculum vitas.” said GMT to the star newspaper.

As a side note, this blog suggested several months ago that part of the sponsorship money should be used to bolster security whether Gor Mahia is the home team or not. This really was a no brainer.

Sportpesa to decide on sponsorship Friday

Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards will learn on Friday whether or not their sponsorship with betting companu Sportpesa will be renewed.  Officials from both clubs have been meeting with Sportpesa.

Sportpesa CEO Ronald Karauri gave hopes of returning following a series of meetings with the two clubs.

“We’ve had meetings with the clubs’ officials and by tomorrow we will make a decision,” said Karauri. “However, whether the sponsorship will be reinstated is dependent on the clubs.”

“It has been very positive and very soon we can conclude and decide to move on with the sponsorship. There are commitments from their side and by the look of things they seem like they can deliver on their promises,” said Karauri.

Measures to curb hooliganism

KPL CEO Jack Oguda has outlined steps that the KPL will take to curb the menace of hooliganism.  He specifically spoke about the role that match stewards play.

“We have been able to invite Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards to this forum so that we are able to discuss with them how we can do away with this menace. One of them is to ensure that the stewards’ roles are well documented in contracts towards safety. Those with good conducts will be employed s stewards,” said Oguda to Supersport

The KPL has also been criticised for handling the two teams with kid gloves after they have committed offences but Oguda was quick to dispel that as a misplaced perception.

“We always take steps with some matches being played without fans while a cash fine has been imposed in other instances, but the problem is the recurrence so we might take stricter rules as the FKF president suggested last week since it also affects us as KPL,” Oguda added.

Poor and sometimes biased officiating has been a primary cause of hooliganism and Oguda has announced that he is working with FKF to address the issue.

“I think in terms of officiating maybe our standard are not that good but we have been meeting with FKF to ensure we improve the level of officiating. Recently two referees have been suspended and we will continue to do that until we remain with the best ones officiating Kenya’s top tier leagues, said Oguda to futaa.com

Aside from taking measures to curb hooliganism, both Gor Mahia and AFC will need to engage in public relations activities to repair their image which is dented whenever there is an act of hooliganism however slight. The Mater Heart Run is a good start.

Gor Mahia adds second jersey sponsor

After closing a sponsorship deal with betting company Sportpesa, Gor Mahia have netted a second jersey sponsor. The new sponsor is Crown beverages. The deal is worth Ksh 50 million between now and 2019.

Announcing the  deal, Chairman Ambrose Rachier mentioned his commitment to take the club to greater heights.

“We have another new sponsor on board and this shows our commitment to helping Gor Mahia reach their targets for the 2016 season. As the office, we are committed to make Gor Mahia a branch and that is where we are headed to.”  said Rachier to goal.com

Crown Beverages is aiming to increase their market share in Kenya. Rachier has urged the fans to rally behind the team and this sponsor. Which means next time you buy beer, buy a crown beverages product.

Having two sponsors, while uncommon in the major European leagues like England and Italy, is very common in lesser leagues including France and Sweden.

Now its up to fans to pressure for structural changes that will how this team is run. Rather than have an EC whose roles are not clearly defined, Rachier should hire competent professionals to run the non-football aspects of the team.

One of the first things Rachier should do is to get the team its own training ground. He has been promising a stadium since 2008 yet a more realistic goal is to get a simple training ground as a starting point.

Gor Mahia shelve second sponsor unveiling


Gor Mahia were due to unveil crown beverages as a second sponsor but the event was put on hold because the primary sponsor Sportpesa has not been briefed.

Additional Reporting from the Nation
Kenyan Premier League champions Gor Mahia have landed a second shirt sponsorship deal with Crown Beverages Limited.

The two parties are yet to make public the details of their sponsorship, but Daily Nation Sport understands it is a Sh15 million deal expected to run for the next two years with an option of extension.

The deal was set to be unveiled on Thursday at the club offices at Nyayo Stadium, but the event was cancelled at the eleventh hour due to logistical concerns raised by Gor Mahia’s main shirt sponsors SportPesa.

Confirming the deal, club chairman Ambrose Rachier said that all was set to for the announcement yesterday, and that the delay was occasioned by a few issues that need to be cleared with SportPesa.

“We were ready to do the unveiling but we realised there are two or three issues that need the input of the main sponsor,” said Rachier.

“As you know, they (Crown Beverages) are going to be co-sponsors so we need to agree on minor things such as where their logos will be placed on the shirts, the sizes of those logos, among others.”

“They have offered us a good deal but we are trying to push them to increase the amount so that is the other reason we have decided to put it on hold. We may do the announcement together with the coach’s unveiling when he arrives.”

The walls were draped in red banners of Crown Beverages together with the club official green banners, and a few club fans had arrived to witness the unveiling at the club’s offices.

This new deal comes barely a week after the 15-time Kenyan champions unveiled online betting firm SportPesa as their shirt sponsors to a tune of Sh65 million a year.

Crown Beverages Limited is a regional beverage making company whose Kenyan depot is based in Ruiru.

The company’s agreement with Gor Mahia is to the effect that club helps them market the Crown Lager brand which has a bigger presence in Tanzania.

Sportpesa announced as new Gor Mahia sponsors

Gor Mahia have landed a five year sponsorship deal with local sports betting firm Sportpesa in a ceremony held at the club’s offices at the Nyayo National Stadium this Tuesday 2 February.

Sportpesa are the firm that also sponsors the Kenya Premier League. The monetary amount was not disclosed.
‘We have signed a five-year deal with SportPesa but we are not in a position to disclose the full details at this time. We shall communicate in due course,”

But according to goal.com sources, the deal is worth Ksh 50 million per year.
“The deal will cover payment of player salaries, world class player recruitment and official kitting.” said Rachier to the press.

In past statements, Chairman Rachier has stated that the club needs Ksh 70 million to operate in 2016. This includes the steep costs of participating in the Africa champions league.

Initial reports suggested that Betway who are now sponsoring AFC Leopards were going to sponsor both teams. However Sportpesa stepped in apparently afraid that their rivals were going to get plenty of mileage. And for that reason, Betway are unhappy and have vowed to take action.

“We signed a deal with Gor Mahia and it is surprising that they can turn around and sign another deal even before the ink has dried on our deal. We will certainly take appropriate action to protect our reputation,” a source from Betway said to the Standard.

Since Gor Mahia chair Ambrose Rachier is a lawyer one would think this is unlikely. See the Gor Mahia bread saga where there was a disagreement between Good Bread and Elliott. Gor Mahia eventually prevailed albeit after several months.