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…..call 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.

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36 thoughts on “Frustrations boil over as membership drive flops

  1. I agree with Omondi on one thing. There is no way non-members can demand for accountability. First register as members then your demand for accountability can be valid. In any society be it chama ya wanawake, SACCO etc non-members do not have a say. Let us do the needful, register as members. Otherwise some members of this blog who do not miss an opportunity to talk about accountability are just wasting their precious energy. Nothing will change.

    For God and my beloved club – Kogallo

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  2. Asking for accountability without being a member is like demanding for a shopkeeper to account for his sales just because you bought a shirt from his shop.As an EC you can only sell the idea but cannot force people to register.
    To me the S.G is stating facts as they are.

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  3. sec gen has stated facts as they are? well, it depends with how you look at it. it is as tricky as a half full/half empty glass. what is not tricky, is, the in-accessibilty of the registration? fans have shouted on top of their voices about the same in this very site. the EC cant tell us again and again about registration which the last time i checked was being done in a bank that has branches in a couple of towns yet kogalos fan base is not only national but international, so BWANA SG, your choice of financial patner lacked vision, and you have never initiated a VIGOUROUS recruitment drives. if okoa kenya can comfortably find its way to a kogalo match, surely, does it need rocket science to know that membership drive can be more successful during kogalo matches? look at it this way, all the kogalo marchandise that i have, i bought during match days at the stadium, i and like minded people would be more than willing to register too during matchdays.

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  4. talking of okoa kenya, we must re-assess the way we do politics, the herd mentality must stop and also analyse cost/benefit of our brand of politics. besides, we must stop associating kogalo with any political party cos it is doing us more harm than good and if possible in future let the patron be a non-political figure. the scouts or men in black must make sure that the okoa kenya thing does not happen again in our matches,we dont need to own it or be seen to own it as a community or club.

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  5. SG we feel you but know that your inactivity (or that of the office is what has brought this). Recently a road show at Bondo about Gor and instead of you guys taking advantage it to do a membership drive you were busy saying that you were not consulted. Since none of the office bearers has business acumen in them why not outsource the drive to the various firms in the country to do a roadshow and especially during Gor matches. And secondly only a brand like Merecedes you can sell without advertising. Is there anyone in charge of advertising in the club? If so get some of the upcoming PR firms to advertise the club or alternatively use the print media. What happened to the Kogalo magazine? Used to enjoy buying it until it disappeared.
    In other words SG, we are not feeling you the way we used to feel George Bwana. Maybe you are too busy with your day job

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  6. I support The S.G. We say GM is a community club only when we are in the mood to castigate, but we forget that we are that community. As ‘the community’ we have a responsibility to ensure sustained existence of GM.

    So much has been said in this blogpost about a K’Ogalo SaCCo. A SaCCo will not come big the way we imagine. We must start small. Gor Mahia’s undoing is its huge fan-base. Being large, it becomes difficult to manage. That is why we need to organize ourselves into smaller, manageable cells that then coalesce into a giant mother SaCCo. On this note I challenge the administrator of this auspicious blog: please take the mantle and organize us into a branch and a small SaCCo. I say this because you are the only living being in this site. The rest of us are faceless and only exist virtually. You are the link between Gor Mahia and us. You are real. Us we are just abstract, however, through you we can actualize our ideas and resources into something tangible that can help in the development of K’Ogalo.

    I have always wondered why GM EC does not cast its net wider in the search for a sponsor. Ever tried down here in the coast? Modern Coast for instance is known to sponsor Congo United and JMJ Academy. Now there is a big business rivalry between Modern Coast and Mash which we could exploit, because I know, Mash would take pride in the fact that they can sponsor a much bigger football club than a mere JMJ Academy. For a long time now the two transport companies have engaged in some cut-throat competition that even children are aware of.

    How about Simba Coach? For your information Simba coach, Tahmeed, Dreamline and Randa Coach is a one-family business that has tentacles in all EA and all the way to Zambia and Malawi. In case you didn’t know they were one of the biggest financiers of the TNA election machine although they have since fallen out and are now openly regretting. Did you know that their office in Mombasa was officially opened by baba, the Gor Mahia patron? Need I say more?

    Jo-K’Ogalo we are not trying hard enough yet we hope that things will just change for the better without our input. Thu Tinda.

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  7. This official an acheza asana. What happened to 350100? There are no updates on how much the program is raising versus the team financial obligations.

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  8. This is not a leader Ingo,the fans contribution must be accounted for and that is why we wont get any sponsor soon,by the time we were contributing here they were really pleading with fans and not members and you can see his response know.even me am a member but isolating club fans is not a good thing,no wonder all your initiatives are all failing nkt.Anything involving cash must be accounted for you stupid chap ,enda ukatie watu id cards kwa ministry you idiot,hata George bwana alikuwa afadhali.

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  9. To an extent SG is right. Accountability wachia members, registration is a must. But SG where you get it wrong – when you launched M-Pesa drive and people contributed, they have a right to know the status of the fund. Bwana SG that should not be a problem, make the club transparent and be accountable, you don’t want to tarnish your career by being OPAQUE.Set systems in place, have database of contributors and provide them with password to enable them keep track of contribution. Accountability is a must bwana SG. If you can’t handle pressure of transparency then it’s fair you RESIGN.
    You must be innovative in the office bwana SG, grow the club’s membership and let fans see by actions.
    I hope you make a sober decision

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  10. @onjiko you are right I really pitty this kind of aleader .if we start dividing the club fans the way he has started and leave it for real members who does not even reach 200,where will the club be…?it is those unregistered who are many and helping the club most even in gate collection.so mr hooligan you have to think before talking.

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  11. Ooh Laa la..!”NO COMMENT OVER THIS CRY-BABY DUDE NONSENSE”..!
    “KAMA HUWEZI JIUZULU MARA MOJA”

    Omondi you thought being GOr Mahia SG is a populist position. You have now realized that it is actually not a bed of roses and money minting position. Can you take Dan Original advise on outsourcing 4 marketers and PR services with immediate effect and show some optimistic leadership.

    ACCOUNTABILITY & TRANSPARENCY IS THE BIGGEST UNDOING IN THE EC, AND AS SUCH YOU SHOULD INSTEAD STOP USING THE MEDIA TO JUSTIFY YOUR OFFICIAL INCOMPETENCE. BURE-KABISA.!!

    Only in the month of August i spent over 36,500 kshs on Gor Mahia jersey. All the jersey were bought for some of my extended relatives who are spread all over the world during our get together in the village. And were distributed as follows:
    . France (Lyon)4 pieces
    . Germany {Berlin} 8 pieces
    . UK (London-Suffolk) 4 Pieces
    . US (Arizona& Texas) 4 pieces
    . TZ (Dar) 2 Pieces
    . TZ (Arusha) 2 pieces

    One of my relatives took the kids to Maasai Mara and donned the jersey and to her surprise she could not believe the kind of attention and attraction the kids got from non other than the top management of the place. I went back the Gor Mahia affiliated supplier(Name withheld) and he was able to dispatch 10 pieces that were bought by our won Kenyan dual citizens followers of K’Ogalo who actual did cut across all ethnicity in Kenya.

    Right now as i post my comment there is fresh order and demand to send over 20 pieces of the jersey’s to Berlin and Munich where also there is a huge following of GOR MAHIA.

    To our esteemed SG, If OGANGO TRAILER has marketed this club both locally, regionally and internationally to that extent what ill will he have committed when he disparately demand 4 accountability of the amount of cash am generating from sell of merchandize despite my registration status.

    OMONDI STOP DIVERTING OUR ATTENTION AND UNVEIL TO US THE NEW HEAD OF TB. YOU PROMISED TO DO SO BY KESHO AND WE ARE EAGERLY WAITING FOR THE ANNOUNCEMENT WHETHER WE ARE OFFICIALLY REGISTERED MEMBERS OR JUST THE TYPICAL GOR MAHIA FANS.

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  12. I almost fell for it but really SG is not making sense.

    1.Is the paybill 350100 being sourced from GM’s no SG’s so called members exclusively. Don’t we see our players urging the public to contribute after scoring a goal by pointing at the jerseys is a clear indication that GM is sourcing funds from the public therefore the public have a right to demand accountability.
    Hi methods ya Luo Thrift & Trading Co & Kisumu Molasses of “raising” can’t work in this day & age.
    2.How many members paid for the GM elections? In excess of 1,000.
    How how come now only 300 persons have taken up the membership?
    Did genuine members elect this E.C just thinking aloud.
    3. For a long time there is this feeling that GM players are not fit or tire out. If you are not being paid on time and in full could the players be cutting down on their meals at home to survive.
    Surely football is physically demanding sport isn’t it!

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  13. @ James Onjiko its time to move the GM Sacco idea forward. As Barefoot Bandit put it let’s start even with 50 members. This branch membership won’t and can’t work. Its the tool EC uses to remain in office.
    Its an open secret that the EC (especially the old guards) thrive on the current loose & chaotic membership structure where almost nil levels of accountability and transparency is required and consequently EC cannot be punished / sued for any mismanagement.
    Like I always says GM has very little to do with serious football matters but more of Okoa Kenya and enrichening peoples pockets.

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  14. I wish for the day the EC members will leave the ivory tower that is the centre stand of every stadium and mingle with the members (or is it fans, not sure now) at Russia. They will then be able to get so many ideas on how the fans/members want their club to be run. In that process even these issues of laundry/KRA/membership/TB/players can be discussed in an open forum without the hassles of calling for an AGM. Such scenarios will clear so much and fans will not feel let down even if we lose to some lowly-placed teams as they will understand the situation we are currently operating from. Read somewhere that Nairobi Governor will hold a Grand harambee for the club early next month to assist us clear our financial obligations. Is it true?
    @ODUOR12 this SACCO idea is good but what type of SACCO? one like for the PSVs or something like STIMA SACCO? We should actually tackle these issues from all the fronts, SACCO, membership, merchandizing, sponsorship etc and finally (not sure when) culminating in listing in the NSE, which i believe will recieve varying opinions. Some imagine that listing could take us the ManU way where somebody can singlehandedly buy the whole club and alienate the fans or some other unknownfear.

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  15. I suspect the SC is only trying to silence his critics. He should just leave together with his fellow mark-timers who he sits with to plot how the gate collections should be swindled. As far as I am concerned Chris Omondi is tired. He has found the task much harder than what he expected during campaigns. He should do the most honourable thing and throw in the towel. He has no knowledge of how to run a successful football club.

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  16. Am a registered member,and we can not support the club alone,we need the rest of Kenyans to support us.accountability is a strong marketing tool for any organizations that want to grow,let me tell you that equity bank,Kenya women started very small but now are very big,this is because the officials were accountable to every coin.

    my advise to omondi is that he should publicly apologize to the fans,then request a volunteer with marketing knowledge to assist in drafting an eye catching advert and organize for road shows.lets not limit registration to she.1000 only.in the village you can take even 20bob.this will count alot.

    Did I read somewhere that blue moon vodka is sponsoring gor mahia.need correction.

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  17. For once most of us are in resonance with oduor 12. From what I have gathered, the ideas r there but we r bereft of the people to implement them.

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  18. accountability! accountability! accountability!period! even an alieman will never be encouraged to contribute if there is no transparensy.

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  19. Thaddeus ogada, yes it is true that there are five companies include(blue moon vodka)that are intrested in sponsering Gormahia but with one simple condition that Raila to step down as a patron, because it will be as if they are supporting Cord….To you my fellow comrades why are we suffering because of one man?

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  20. oh please, nobody is serious about football in this country. Let us support athletics if we are interested in patriotism.
    How can you ask for improvements yet you are not even willing to add beneficial things to the club website. Instead of amateur pieces, I asked you to introduce tactical analysis but you like things how they are.
    This country has been let down by people born before 1980.

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  21. Like I said b4 while one is required 2 make a payment 2 obtain the GM membership there r no tangible benefits that accrue from being a so called member.
    Simple measures may do the trick e.g-
    Special vantage seats,special ticket booths & gate entrances, discounted tickets, special rates on club merchandise. Voting rights & eligibility 2 vie 4 elections be restricted 2 members of 6/12months respectively.
    There must be clear & tangible privileges that acompany the financial obligation of membership.

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  22. I agree with the sentiments herein concerning publicizing the membership drive. It is a surprise that we don’t even see membership cards being sold during our matches. Lets do road shows,organize tents where people can register in places like town CBD,Kibera, Kariobangi and other places where we have large following.
    Mr. SG sitting back and whining that people are not registering is not the solution. There should also be different categories of membership with added benefits.

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  23. Thaddeus ogada, yes it is true that there are five companies include(blue moon vodka)that are intrested in sponsering Gormahia but with one simple condition that Raila to step down as a patron, because it will be as if they are supporting Cord….To you my fellow comrades why are we suffering because of one man?(To me this is nonsense y do u av to associate being GOR patron with politics if they dont want to sponsor us wawache but not giving conditions GOR existed before sijui blue moon vodka,ati blue moon my foot

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  24. My take is the position of club patron should be scrapped.
    How is a person appointed to this position since its not elective.
    Is it a token of appreciation and for what?
    What role does the club patron play?
    If its financial bail out then clearly its too much even for Hon. Raila since GMFC’s financial woes continue to deepen.
    We need to share the burden of developing the club. You & me-our monthly contribution of 100-500bob will put GM on a stable financial footing.
    Finally the biggest impediment towards turning GM into a progressive club despite its potential is not Raila but none other than Jakom AR.
    He bloated the EC and increased the term of EC from 1 to 2 years.
    This shows he has the goodwill and influence to initiate and transform the club positively.
    But he prefers to be most opaque in his financial and administrative transactions. E.g ignores KRA, prefers to dash to city stadium with the “bahasha”. Never produces audited accounts during AGM’s, understates gate collections.
    I appreciate what he has done for the club but no longer appreciate what he is doing as it seems he wants to entrench himself as the only one who can handle GM.
    These tactics disenfranchise others.
    And don’t tell me his is the best GM chair ever coz we’ve won the league CECAFA & Mandela cup etc.

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  25. Instead of the Patron we should have an Elders Council just like a company has directors who advice the management and also provide direction of the club. The current Patron can be one of the members if he so wishes. The composition of this Council should be as diverse as possible and to some extent reflect the composition of the Gor fanbase and not just the community (read tribe) since that’s when you will get someone with an eye for commercial success, another one who knows how GM can go about its PR, one who can be a securty expert etc. These people are all over and can be brought on board on condition that we run our club in a transparent and professional way.
    On the elected members we only need a chairman and a deputy the rest can be either volunteers or fulltime employees of the club.
    The catch is whether we are ready to change the constitution of the club the way we are very vocal about OKOA Kenya. We need to JIOKOA first before we OKOA the others.

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  26. Too much talk talk talk but nothing tangible. For as long as I can remember we have been taking about SACCO, membership, etc on this blog. Isn’t it time that we simply sit back and cheer the team since that is what we can do best. The EC was elected and they had their blue print. Let us evaluate them at the end of their term. Otherwise I am sorry to say, we are wasting a lot of time talking about the same things day in day out, year in year out. Lets us go to the stadium and cheer our beloved club, period. Other issues leave them to EC to handle.
    Kogallo has been, is and ever shall be. For God and my beloved club – Kogallo

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  27. Dan you know Baba well. His ego cannot allow him to be at par with some other Tom, Dick and Harry in some Elders Council. If anything he would wish to be in that Council alone. I must admit I have never seen any politician in Baba, and I am not his keen admirer, however that person setting Baba’s abdicating the position of Patron as a precondition for sponsoring GM is not being sincere. He or she is using that opportunity to advance his or her personal prejudice and hatred of Baba where it is uncalled for. The Patron’s position is so ceremonial that I fail to understand how it would interfere with the sponsor’s interests. Actually we only appreciate Baba’s patronage on the few occasions when he graces our crucial matches or when he gives GM hard-earned cash handouts. If the sponsor feels like manipulating us because we are desperate, basi akae na pesa zake after all wadak kata oonge. Bure kabisa.

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  28. I started hearing of SACCO some two years ago. But so far nothing. If I were some people writing here, I would assume I didnt suggest anything. Guys, stop wasting our time with suggestions that cannot or are not being implemented. Walk the bloody talk guys!!

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  29. the membership drive can still do well,only if the office remains committed to
    1:-strengthening of branches
    2:-subscription through communication service providers
    3:-marketing fan base to different parts of the country
    All these can be done by decentralizing the above issues to the branches.

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  30. @REGION FANBASE :: To revive our regional fanbase,we need to play some of our home matches in Kisumu and Mombasa. I suggest that let Nairobi host 10 of our home matches Kisumu 3 and Mombasa 2 of them..This will go along way in reviving our dormant support bases.The Mighty Gor Mahia of East Africa should never be confined to Nairobi. Kogalo has a massive following in the region and we must bond with our fans by visiting them.Let us also professionalize the management by having a full time permanent C.E.O. cum Marketing officer.

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  31. This is a very shallow way of reasoning when there are many instances fans have come to the aid of the club. we have sent money through M-Pesa and accountability is mandatory. This is total bullshit and a sure way of telling people not to make any contributions in future. This guy is not a good leader for a club with a vision, such are the reasons the club finds itself in worse position each year, does this guy even know what PR is.

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