Ocholla vows to clean up Gor Mahia

Secretary General Sam Ocholla has vowed to clean up the corruption that has held Gor Mahia back in the past few years
Additional reporting from the Nation

To kick-off his tenure, Ochola wants the team’s management to furnish him with all audited financial statements for the past three years to ascertain whether there was transparency and accountability in usage of club funds.

A tough-talking Ochola told Nation Sport that current financial woes at the club must have been caused by misappropriation of funds from former sponsors SportPesa since 2018.

He said he doesn’t understand why Gor has been struggling financially yet it has enjoyed sponsorship since 2011.
“Gor has always had sponsors who can foot its bills for the whole year, including when they are on recess like now. But due to mismanagement and lack of transparency, all this money has been disappearing,” said Ochola.

“I am demanding to see the club’s audited accounts for the last three years, to ascertain how funds were used by those who have been in the office,” he added.
In 2011, milk processing firm – Tuzo signed a Sh38 million two-year deal with K’Ogalo, which they extended for another year for an improved figure of Sh29 million.

Betting firm SportPesa then came to their rescue in 2016 with a five-year deal worth Sh65 million per annum. However, the gaming company cancelled the deal and several other sponsorships in the country in August 2019, after the government withdrew their operating license.
With Gor facing a biting financial crisis following SportPesa exit, Agro Chemicals under their brand Patriot gave Sh1 million to the club ahead of their first round Caf Champions League return match against Algerian side USM Alger.

The Resident Director and Chief Executive of Agro-Chemical and Food Company Limited Ashok Agrawal presents dummy cheque to Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier during unveiling of their partnership on October 30, 2019.

Ochola said it was unfortunate that the club is losing key players to rival teams like Simba SC and Wazito yet it could be financially stable had the funds from previous sponsorship been utilised well.
Defender Joash Onyango’s exit to Tanzania’s Simba last week increased to seven the number of players who have ditched K’Ogalo this transfer window.

Others are goalkeepers David Mapigano and Peter Odhiambo who have joined Azam FC and Wazito respectively, Dickson Ambudo who signed for Dodoma Jiji FC in Tanzania and speedy forward Boniface Omondi who crossed over to Wazito.

Captain Kenneth Muguna, Jackson Owusu and Ugandan import Juma Balinya are also on the verge of leaving the record Kenyan Premier League champions.

Coach Steven Polack has also announced that he will be traveling to his home land Britain this week raising fears that he may not come back just like Hassan Oktay, Frank Nuttal and Dylan Kerr who left under similar circumstances.

With the mass exodus of players likely to affect Gor’s performance in future, Ochola who was elected unopposed has assured that he will be keen on how Gor manages its transfers. He says improving welfare is one way he intends to retain key players.

“To ensure clubs like Simba reduce their free will raid on Gor, moving forward we shall take better care of our players and make sure all their salaries and benefits are paid in time,” Ochola said.

In June, Gor got a new lease of life when Bet High Kenya Limited under their flagship brand, BetSafe agreed to sponsor them to a tune of Sh55 million per season for the next three years.
And the club will also receive Sh8 million per season as grants as part of Sh1.2 billion sponsorship from BetKing for the top tier league announced by Football Kenya Federation for the next five years.
Ochola said that to ensure the funds are not misappropriated, a system to enhance accountability must be put in place.

“The reason why corrupt practices have found their way in Gor is because of lack of structures. With a leaner Executive Committee (EC) team, we are putting governance and proper communication channels in place to close the loopholes that some former EC officials were capitalising on to cut dirty deals for self-satisfaction,” he said.
“As the head of the Secretariat, it is my duty in consultation with my colleagues in the EC to establish structures that will not allow room for corruption,” said the media mogul.

He also took issue with the club’s failure to generate revenue from player transfers. “We have sketchy contracts and dubious agents who sign with us for one season or maximum two seasons then somehow, players end up leaving the club as free agents giving us a raw deal in terms of earning revenue, through sales of the players to other clubs. This has made us lose millions of Kenya shillings that could easily supplement the sponsorship revenues we are getting today from betting firms,” lamented Ochola.

While revealing that some top foreign players will join the club by the end of August, Ocholla said that moving forward, they will seek to strengthen the youth team to provide them with replacements for players who are leaving.

He stated that he intends to achieve that by creating a department in his office to monitor the progress of the youth team and also ensure that it receives 20 percent of all the club’s sponsorships, as enshrined in the constitution.

“Our sponsors also have to support the youth team. There is always a 20 percent provision for the youth team in Gor’s constitution,” said Ocholla, whose media company – Dala FM in Kisumu – sponsored the youth team for three years.

Ochola also wants the club to adopt a business model as a way of ensuring financial independence.
“We will be deliberating on the process of building a business model that will see the club become a full commercial entity, as well as retaining its wonderful character of a fans-based club like Barcelona. This will however take time to establish, but we remain keen on actualising it.”

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8 thoughts on “Ocholla vows to clean up Gor Mahia

  1. Bwana Secretary General, you have spoken words that resonates with every right thinking God Mahia supporter. None of the main issues which Gor Mahia is facing will be resolved without access to information. The EC has been a secret club with Gor. Bring your strong watchdog discipline because impunity had become a very trend upon which corruption with EC was built. Even current Chair and his deputy were complicit to the evil by their silence. We have security guards for a reason. If an attacker shows up and the security guard flees to save his own skin instead of warning the people he is responsible for guarding, then what use is he? Bring integrity, transparency and form the culture of fighting against corruption.

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  2. The issue I have with Augmentin is that they are abetting bad behaviour from Rachier. They absolve Rachier of his duty to pay player bonuses.

    Augmentin is not and will never be the solution to Gor Mahia’s financial woes. What people need to be doing is pressuring Rachier to adopt structures of accountability that Mr. Ocholla is talking about here. Augmentin just provides Rachier with another excuse to not be accountable. If this club becomes accountable, they can raise so much money from fans that they might not even need a sponsor. Right now this club only has 500 members. If they were accountable, they would instead have 5000 members. That would raise more money than the sponsor is giving them.

    If this club wants to be competitive in African competitions, they need to find a way to hold onto key players. Augmentin will not help us do that. The only thing that will help is what Mr. Ocholla is saying here.

    I wish him success. But he better be ready to fight. The charlatan Rachier has been fighting tooth and nail for 12 years to avoid accountability. And as Dennis Oliech says, he will turn people against each other. He turned some players against Oliech. He has turned fans against Judith Nyangi. If Ocholla is not careful, he will turn fans against him as well

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  3. I also wish Ochola well but there are signs of 3 against 1.

    I find it strange that he is more concerned about audited accounts than the person elected treasurer.
    Is the treasurer brave and competent enough to reveal the true financial position of the club.
    Given that half of the office bearers were also in the previous adminstration producing the accounts should not be difficult in you know what you are doing i.e qualified for the job.
    Choices have consequences!

    As for GMAF hiding under “our mandate is only paying winning bonuses” while it collects contributions every month surely does not add up especially given the sorry plight of the players and TB.
    Starving, homeless, stressed and unsalaried players will find it hard to win matches yet the GMAF account keeps being fattened monthly.

    Good luck Sam Ochola I hope your colleagues will support you. Thank you for speaking out.

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    1. Give the man a chance!
      Rachier has had 12+ years.
      At least he has some ideas and is bold enough to article them.
      It seems his focus is players not stadiums or apartments.
      Worrying sign is that this appears to be an individual statement instead of a joint statement 20 days after the election, despite the mass exodus of players, but then again it is not lost on us that he is the only official who did not require Ador’s endorsement to assume office.

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  4. Ngesto and oswozo… I agree with both of you. Gor officials are normally full of talk and zero on actions.we will be going into another 4 years of the same drama. I don’t see much changing over this coming 4 years!!

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