Ambrose Rachier: A breath of fresh air

About 3 years ago when Ambrose Rachier was elected, a blogger penned an article asking whether Ambrose Rachier would be a continuation of the mediocre leadership that Gor Mahia and other Kenyan clubs have suffered or whether he will bring fresh ideas to help propel the club back to its previous standards and beyond.

For the past 30 odd years, Kogalo like other Kenyan clubs have suffered mightily due to leaders that are often incompetent, lack ideas or are driven by selfish interests. As a result the club’s fortunes have plummeted. From the heights it scaled in winning the Africa cup in 1987, Gor Mahia suffered the ignominy of being relegated twice.

Up until the 1980s, the club had some decent chairmen starting with founder chairman, Stan Ramogo, Peter Anyumba, Zack Mbori and Joab Omino. All ran the club as best they could as an amateur team. Players were typically recruited by being promised jobs at parastatals where some Kogalo officials had connections. Kenya Railways and Telecom were particular targets.

Mbori was known as a disciplinarian who also showed some foresight. Under him,  Gor Mahia were able to obtain the services of Len Julians, perhaps the best coach ever to coach Kogalo. He also paid a full scholarship for former captain Peter Otieno Bassanga to attend a coaching course in England. Bassanga later became coach at SoNy and led them to the league title in 2006.

Mbori’s popularity saw him win the club elections of 1984 in a landslide when they were held mlolongo style

Joab Omino was club patron and often paid player allowances out of his own pocket. His largesse is credited with enabling Gor Mahia to win the Africa cup in 1987.  However Omino’s foresight is questionable. He afterall predicted the imminent demise of community clubs.   1987 indeed marks the start of the steep decline of the club. In 1988 Douglas Oyieng Odolla became chairman. The only thing I remember him for is for expelling promising player John Okello Zangi with no valid reason.

The 1990s saw a succession of officials who ranged from idea-less to ill equipped or negligent. Kombai,  Misiga etc. Okudo tried his best but eventually gave up. At one point there was even an Asian named Rajbinder Singh who was installed as chairman ostensibly to raise funds. Suffice to say he never did. One exception may have been Joseph Ogode, the first and only chairman to obtain shirt sponsorship for Kogalo. However the financial benefits of that sponsorship were meagre. In the 2000s there was Fred Odera, Obita Odero, Mwango and of course Erastus Okul, the worst culprit of them all. A man under whom Gor Mahia plumbed the depths of relegation twice. Sammy Omollo claims that his 1993 tryout with an English team was sabotaged by club officials.

Rachier has remedied some of this. For years, fans have beseeched the club to sell merchandise because they were eager to buy. Rachier and his team have accomplished this. Kogalo now has the biggest jersey sales by a country mile.

Whereas players used to go for months without pay, they are now paid on time. Fans have returned in large part due to the perception that the club is now better run. And the club is now on its way back to the glory days, having gone from 10th to 5th and now 2nd in the KPL.

Having said that however, much more needs to be done. In terms of merchandise, why stop at jerseys ? Fans will buy anything with the club name. I am talking jackets, caps, pens, umbrellas, posters, bags, vuvuzelas, you name it.

Perhaps the one area Rachier needs to work on is the area of transparency. There is a huge fan base out there that will gladly contribute money even on a monthly basis if the club published monthly audited accounts. There are fans all over the diaspora, UK, USA, Canada, Australia etc who are eager to support the club financially. Its up to Rachier and his team to create structures to allow such fans to directly contribute to the club and structures that will assure the fans that their funds are well spent and will not be embezzled.

And finally the chairman should consider addressing fans more often. Keep fans engaged and up to date on what is going on at the club e.g. any plans for the future. When fans are kept updated, they are more likely to attend games and support other club endavours. Ronald Ngala deserves credit in this regard.

There should be no secrecy within the Gor Mahia community. If the club is run in a transparent manner, the sky is the limit. You will be amazed at how much money Kogalo well wishers can raise if they are kept up to date on the day to day affairs at the club.

The previous article circa 2007 can be found here

17 thoughts on “Ambrose Rachier: A breath of fresh air

  • Johnson

    This is a very good article. However, the problem in Gor Mahia is joyriders in the executive office whose aim is to make money at the expense of the club. Some even benefited from the sale of Gor Mahia jersey replica. Some even collude with the ticket-masters to steal from the gate collections. It is pity that we have such kind of officials in Gor Mahia. Some oppose the fans initiatives to raise money for the club bus project. Meanwhile I appluad Ambrose Rachier for the well done job. These days, we hardly hear of players striking over unpaid salaries and allowances. This perfect job has been done by wuod Gem Ambrose Rachier as an individual.

  • Saimz Muiruri

    Malipo ni papa hapa duniani!!!

    Tenda wema nenda zako!!!

    “The future generation will little note, nor remember, what we say here but they will never forget what they get here…”

  • olembe

    Rachier we appreciate ua efforts,U have done great job pongezi.there are some lucking things ie we need our shop,we need a good coach that u can trust with important matches for example we had the best chance to win the league but bad decisions from coach we missed it.We need a coach that don’t carry issues with players that caused us in the middle field.Chairman u should also take time with players for motivation.Make changes in the technical bring somebody from outside even branches will pay his salaries and allowances.If play bad football as we played the last match and other two even the gate collections will reduce to ksh 1000.

  • okello

    jareru ;-i agree with the comments. Chairman please engage supporters on ongoings at the club. we can contribute finances and other resources to the club through such engagements. Otherwise, wamor jakom.

  • Johnson

    Olembe and Okello, you are spot on on club matters. We seriously need a qualified coach that will never have issues with the playing unit. Zico last season classiffied some players to belong to so and so. The Head Coach should be someone who is above reproach and a figure-head to the playing unit. The role of the coach is to unit players and discover the hidden talents in players. To the executive office, I can assure you that Zico will not be upto this task in 2011 KPL. Zico should handle team B or Gor Mahia academy instead. We need a qualified coach that will read the game and change the game tactics as the match progresses.

    On the ongoing players recruitment, I can assure fans that Zico is going to bring in players who are either his buddies or those who will pay him a small token.

  • Blacky

    @Johnson,please don’t put ur personal to the club,Zico has done a recommendable job and appreciated by Kenyans not even gor please even a qualified coach can not succeed without the support of every unit of the club.We’ve climbed the ladder remaining only one step to go top, so hold the ladder to reach the target.

  • @Johnson do not be personal to the current coach, he managed unbeaten in the second leg. I don;t know the kind of coach you need in Gor Mahia!!!! Let us not post unconfirmed reports that can easily break the steps we have made and plan to move forward.

  • Waxme

    @Johnson please cut Zico some slack. My opinion is different; i trully appreciate what everyone has done in their own small or big way and we all should thank God for that without pointing fingers at others. Way forward : we need back the Gor tradition, recruit players with skill just like berry wether they are Zico’s friends or not coz at the end of the day we should win with tact and great skill. I think we need depth next season. Please keep updating this website us with what is going on around both locally and internationally to spice it up.

  • Albert Kosero (Kampala Branch)

    Johnson you should know that a coach cannot work with indiscipline players no matter how good they are. Players who cannot keep up to the standards set by the coach have no business being fielded no matter how good they are. I honestly see no crime coach Zico has commited. He has guided the team from position 5 to 2. What else do some of us want. Give the technical team a chance. Lets stop making uncalled for allegations.

  • Lamek

    Interesting article but i stand to be corrected it was oyieng odolla’s reign that Gor conquered Africa let appreciate that.OKudo can be remembered for bringing players like steve okumu,Tom Juma and giving them contracts Gor finished 2nd in 1998 .okudo tried to revive Gor when community clubs had been condemned to their death bed.

  • Ja Thur gi ji

    Johnson you started very well but what ever you smoked or drank in the morning spoilt the game for you. Do not attack like that, so directly? Why? Everybody contributed well in their own way in the just concluded season. You could be telling us about sound strategies rather than this kind of thing.Thats where we go wrong. You have a friend you want to be made coach? Every body thumbs up!

  • admin

    From Odhis Kamlesh:
    This post was posted on Thursday It somehow dissapeared.

    OH MY GOD OH MY GOD OH MY GOD,i cannot believe that at the level kogalo has reached we are still talking about contributing money to support the club!! internationally,that era is sooo long gone.lets turn this club into a company where affairs are run by a team of salaried proffessionals.the fans get to buy shares and the the proceeds invested in the club.perhaps this is why we have not heard of a multi million shilling sponsorship deal in the offing.come on now,lets not kid each other.if the kogalo of today is to last at least half the period the team of 87 lasted,GORMAHIA.CO is the way to go.SERIOUSLY.

  • admin

    To answer Odhis Kamlesh

    The issue of turning Kogalo into a public limited company is a pipe dream at best. For this to happen you have to meet certain criteria.
    For example, Kogalo would have to have ksh 100 million in assets.
    The company must be financially sound
    You must have a senior management team with relevant experience
    The issuer must have declared suitable profits for the past 3 financial periods…………..

    I could go on and on but you begin to see why GM cannot become a limited financial company with shares

  • Admin, you are misleading us. The capital Market Authority (CMA) rules and regulations are very clear. You should get a copy and read them thoroughly before giving half baked information regarding the company. We can have a holding company which can be listed in the Alternative Investment Market Segment (AIMs) or under Over-the-counter (OTC). The rules are very clear regarding public fund raising initiatives. The holding company can be listed in either AIMs or OTC provided that the information disclosures are adhered to by the holding company.

    Admin, next time do no mislead the public and readers of this site.

    Furthermore, the club has a parcel of land and contracted players that can be valued or revalued. The Kshs.100 million. If you look at the Agricultural sector, there is a provision in the International Accounting Standards (IAS) that allows them to revalue their biologigal assets that include plants and plantations. On this same IAS, the players contract are valued seperately and this form the basis of the assets of the club.

    Please do not mislead us that turning Gor Mahia public is a pipe dream.

    My conclusion, the problem in understanding of the club going public requires consulations from the experts in the field of corporate finance as well as legal opinion and understanding of the CMA rules and regulations.

  • vitalis wuod ogolla

    Haha U guys ol make me laugh bt I love ur passion for e club.Igot no complain…jus saying am ready 2 pay anything from shares in wichever format,NSE/sijui IAS,OTC,I need a jacket,cap,pen,keyholder,pants,socks,shoes yote ya Gor Mahia so help me God!kudos 2 all who’ve made things right&pray God bless our future so that we maintain&sustain so that 1 day we play players like TP Mazembe or Al alhy

  • Agwa Kassam

    I appreciate the passion so far..Honestly the coin seems to be three sided. First i observed some players were long missing e.g Owiti Macheda and a few others, secondly a jersey 22 guy looked lesser in class and competitiveness on the pitch mark you its the coach who controls this!Thirdly the last game was plastic.. we are entitled to our comments and at the same time the technical bench must also pull up! I have nothing personal with anyone..


    I can not agree more with your in-depth description of Kogalo’s tarbulent history with some very regrettable mistakes.

    Sometimes I really wonder how people like Kombai and Mwango got elected to the high offices of the club.
    I have been following the events of this club, sometimes in absentia, for a long time since our student days in the late eighties and the early nineties.

    One thing I can say with confidence is that there is surely a fresh beginning at the mighty ‘KOGALO’.

    What Ambrose has done within the three years can not be compared to what all the previous officials did in the last 15 years. But we can now tell why Gor Mahia almost went under.

    There is striking similarity of the current events in this club with those during the reign of Zack Mbori. From a personal perspective, I was a student of Zack Mbori’s management style. I learnt from Mbori that sound and proffessional management is what each organisation needs. And GOR KOGALO is an organisation.

    I have started seeing it being run as such. I therefore pray that we all support Rachier’s management style and we will surely have our club back.

    All the dead branch networks should be reactivated with membership recruitments as we used to do in the early nineties.

    Ambrose , you have the support of most of us and we only want to see you initiating new programmes and attracting sponsorship. We are with you in this struggle.


    Ayukoh Jasirembe


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *