We live in a football world where money is king and success is bought; this is the firm reality that both Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards, the biggest clubs in the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) have failed to adhere to.
If you look at a few African teams in the last five teams, the likes of Zesco United from Zambia, Mamelodi Sundowns and Bidvest Wits from South Africa, Kabuscorp Palanca from Angola, they were nowhere on the map when the likes of Gor Mahia and Esperance of Tunisia were at the top of the cream; while the latter have maintained their status in the football league of the big ballers, the former dwindled with no trace.
Queue of Shame
It is a blessing that after so many years, both Gor and Leopards will be representing Kenya in the continental scene after the hours having been shared by the likes of Tusker FC, Ulinzi Stars and Sofapaka in recent years; all parading religiously in the queue of failure.
The participation of the duo starting this week does not necessarily mean Kenyan teams will be making shockwaves in continental football. KPL sides have been struggling to impose themselves in Africa in what has been a clear indication that the strength of the Premier League is at its weakest best; this coupled by a huge factor in investments.
If you look at the teams making the top 20 in the continent, its clear clubs have to plan well if they are to mix it with the big boys. Part of the planning involves a proper recruitment policy that isn’t a practice many clubs in our league embraces. The notion that foreigners are a menace to our league as seen by the rules imposed on them is far from the truth, for any player to up his game, he needs the best to learn or pick lessons from; if your league have average players, the best way is to shop from your neighbor.
Investing in teams
On the investments front, it is something that our clubs must embrace or continue to wallow with the lesser teams. You can’t dream of marching a team like Sundowns which have proper systems in place when your team have to depend on handouts and well-wishers to make a foreign trip when your sponsors threatens to pull out. Packaging of our clubs in order to attract sponsors is something that is wanting; you just have to visit the Egyptian league and see how cooperates are scrambling for spaces in their jerseys.
The KPL too needs to work on a calendar which suits its players for such duties. While our teams will be entering the preliminary stage of the competition after one serious game under their belts, others have their league ongoing and tend to be fitter when CAF assignments beckons; it helps to face an opponent who is at per with you rather than field players, some who have even not gelled with their team mates as required.
Leaving those arguments for another day, the fact is that Kenyan clubs have ground to make up on their African counterparts. Its either they move with time or continue with their old ways of doing things.