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Federation prescribes protection fund to cushion teams

Football Kenya Federation (FKF) is prescribing a deposit protection fund to cushion insolvent clubs in the future to alleviate cases of players going without salaries for months.

Five top-flight teams failed to pay their players’ salaries during the course of last season despite demonstrating capability of running without hitches and passing club licensing requirements at the beginning of the season.

Wazito FC, Thika United, Chemelil Sugar, Nakumatt and Posta Rangers went through tough spells with players missing training session and only appearing on match days.

FKF president Nick Mwendwa demystified the objectives of Club Licensing and disclosed the federation’s prognosis to the crippling financial situation hindering the game. He said: “The Club Licensing Regulations are a roadmap towards accountability and self-sustenance but achieving financial stability in football will come over time.”

“Club Licensing Rules compel teams to draw their budgets, give proof of sustainability and balance their books. They have to say how much their sponsors are giving and how they spend it. But there are no contingency measures in place at the moment should sponsors run into difficulties like in some of the cases.

And we are not going to punish a club because their sponsor is facing difficult times and is unable to fund their operations,” added Mwendwa. 

Chemelil failed to pay salaries for over three months at the start of the 2018 season, leading to an exodus of players on the Bossman rule. FIFA statutes allow players to walk out on a contract if clubs fail to pay salaries for three months.   

“We are not going to punish Chemelil just because they faced difficulties this season. The company has sponsored the football team for years, many years before the introduction of Club Licensing. So one year of difficulty does not result in punishment.

They are willing to sponsor the football club and that is very important,” he said.  The federation is planning to establish a deposit protection fund should the government be generous enough.

“It is something that can be done over time say by 2022 but only if the we get a fair share of allocation from the sports fund. That way we can be able to give clubs a constant amount at the beginning of every season, say Sh25 million,” said Mwendwa.

Club licensing checks legal status of teams as well as their financial standing then scrutinises each side’s sporting preparedness.

Infrastructure and administrative organisation of clubs are the two final aspects checked by the federation before giving a verdict on which teams meet the set requirements.

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