Kenyan Premier League (KPL) clubs have formed a five-member transitional committee to work on the proposals and modalities on how the topflight league will be run next season when KPL Limited’s current contract elapses on September 24, 2020.
The committee which includes AFC Leopards’ chairman Dan Shikanda, Dan Aduda (Tusker), Col Erick Oloo (Ulinzi Stars), Robert Maoga (Kariobangi Sharks) and Ken Ochieng (Zoo) was appointed during Wednesday’s video-link meeting between the KPL clubs and Football Kenya Federation (FKF) president Nick Mwendwa to discuss the finer details of the recently unveiled Sh 1.2 billion BetKing sponsorship deal.
Save for Sofapaka, all the 17 clubs attended the meeting including National Super League (NSL) ‘champions’ Nairobi City Stars and Bidco United.
During the meeting, Mwendwa disclosed that as per their partnership with the Nigerian-based betting firm, the federation will receive Sh 3M (USD 120,000) upon or within seven days of the signing of the agreement and Sh 75M (USD 693,334) one month before the official kick-off of the season.
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They will also receive Sh 75M each on or before the end of the third and six month of the season with each club getting at least Sh 8M per season.
With part of the committee’s work being to safeguard the interests of the clubs and players in the deal, AFC Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda has urged Kenyans to give the federation a benefit of doubt.
“Everybody has been having doubts on the BetKing sponsorship deal, but as you know seeing is believing and actually time will tell,” Shikanda told Standard Sports.
“I understand people out there have started claiming that I’ve been bought, but honestly speaking these clubs need money and we can’t run the league without sponsorship.”
He added: “I’ve once been in Mwendwa’s (Nick) shoes when we got the Betsafe deal nobody was believing us. But I think some people are just sleeping on the job at KPL because we need to go out there and look for money.
“Our work now is to see if the contract has any conflict of interests with the existing clubs’ contracts like Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards with Betsafe and other betting firms sponsored teams.
“All these are things are still at the initial stages. We will continue meeting and criticize whatever we think is wrong, but after seeing the facts.”
Just like Shikanda, Tusker chairman Dan Aduda-another member of the committee feels the deal is good for the Kenyan football.
“The transition committee will handle any other concerns that the chairmen may have. I think having the committee in place is a good start because this thing is all about people talking and agreeing. We will give updates along the way as we continue engaging with the federation,” said Aduda.
The committee will also work on the possibilities of clubs voting for an independent chairman to lead the new league body which will be housed at FKF’s Goal Project Offices.