Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Together As One

In my life
My whole life
I have got a dream

Hey you Ochiel
Hey you Magelo
You've got to come together as one
Not forgetting Asembo....

On a serious note, Mumias Sugar CEO brought together the players in the shenanigans that have taken place at the club for the last couple of weeks so that they could agree to the election modalities for the elections set for February 13th.

From the Nation website

Mumias Sugar Company, the main sponsors of AFC Leopards, say the club must move swiftly to bring tranquillity so as to enjoy the Sh15 million sponsorship deal signed with the company.

Mumias Sugar’s Chief Executive Officer, Evans Kidero, said the impending elections to be held on February 12 should bring to an end months of disharmony which has seen several factions claiming to be in charge of the club.
Kidero brought together all the wrangling groups to the round table on Monday where they all agreed to hold joint elections and respect the verdict of the members.
“As Mumias Sugar, we remain committed to the agreement we have entered with AFC Leopards. “But we would be happy if the club solves its internal problems once and for all. That is why we have all met here today,” said Kidero.
Winston Kituyi, who is gunning for the chairmanship, urged all Leopards supporters to start registering as members in order to participate in the elections.
In a show of unity, embattled chairman Julius Ochiel and secretary Robert Asembo agreed to work together towards holding elections in a fortnight to usher in a new office. Alex Ole Magelo and Kituyi also agreed to ensure the club elections ended the turmoil.

The Star

The story was also carried on Capital Sports, Supersport, KPL, MichezoAfrika and on the Magelo allied website

The Magelo allied website went ahead to list some of the intrigues that took place at the meeting which seemingly wasn't quite cordial.

It was a day full of intrigues and complex schemes. But the convenor, an overzealous Mumias Sugar CEO Evans Kidero was determined to see a tangible solution hammered in the Company's Upperhil "Situation" Room. As the three principles plus their troops engaged in a bear knuckle confrontation as they wont to do, a patient Pamela Lutta, The Mumias Corporate Affairs and Marketing Manager observed her cool as she urged on her boss to reign in the troops. At one point, it looked like everyone had reached the limit and that nothing was going to come out of the meeting after all. But an energised Kidero, probably borrowing a leaf from his vast corporate conflict resolution experience, pulled a rag from the protagonists rumbling legs. He and Pamela begged to leave the heated room and gave the troops one hour to sort each other until they agree. Then reality checked in. Alex Magelo was the first to sober up and called for calm and voice of reason. Then Winstone Kituyi followed suit with an emotional lecture about how the club is bigger than all of us.At this point, it was clear to Julius Ochiel that the mood of the room had changed. And as they say , the rest is history. We now have a deal. That we are going to a united all inclusive election sanctioned by the three chair aspirants. How nice. And a big thank you to the men and women of honour who sacrifised their man hours to save the club from disentegration.Now referred to as the Mumias 12, the list reads as follows:Alex Magelo, Winstone Kituyi, Julius Ochiel, Richard Ekhalie, Robert Asembo, Fred Lutta, JJ Bukachi, Alutalala Mukhwana, Catherine Omanyo, Geoffrey Mulanya, Okiya Dindi and Ashif Amin Walji.Long Live Ingwe.

It also listed the resolutions

1.That the planned AFC leopards  all inclusive AGM will go on as planned on the 13th Feb. 2011
2.That an electoral board consisting of five members and facilitated by Amin Warlji has been formed namely Richard Ekhalie,Jack Kwamboka, Joram Ondere, a rep. From ministry of sports, and a rep from FKL to oversee the election process. The modalities of elections will be made by them and submitted to all members.
3.That membership fee of Kshs 100/= will prevail for the AGM entrance.
4.That the electoral board to convene on Wednesday to receive and vet the existing members registry and start the work of laying down other modalities. The already registered members as per the registry will be permitted to attend the election.
5. That the board will elect the chairman from the ministry of sports or FKL representative on Wednesday 2nd January 2011.
6. The current chairman Mr Julius Ochiel will invite and communicate the resolutions to the relevant offices including Ministry of Sports and FKL.
7. The current office will continue performing official duties until the day of the elections and hand over

Obviously, there are serious concerns about the credibility of these elections especially on the issue of membership. It appears that the three top candidates for the Chairman's post each think they can marshal support from the masses and are therefore quite content to let the issue of a members register to be ignored so that persons can pay at the gate on the 13th February 2011 and vote even if they are not really AFC Leopards fans.

It is not clear why only the people who were at this meeting feel like they represent largely the views of the fans but from the deliberations, it appears that the concentration is to get as many voters on their side and let the one who wins be entrusted with the club. All the three candidates are willing to take that risk of the others paying membership fees for 'fans' at the gate and giving the impression that Leopards has the fans who are as many as those who will vote.

The deliberations were silent on the constitutional amendments that had been proposed. There was no agreement for instance that the draft be posted on the official website  at least a week before the AGM for adequate time for fans to peruse through it. It is not clear whether this item is still on the Agenda or will be deferred.

However, the positive thing that came out of the meeting is that at least an Independent Body shall oversee the elections and this may minimize the likelihood of bias if one aspirant was in charge of the process.

Meanwhile the Magelo Team has unveiled its ten point blue print. Ingwe Fans comments are made on the manifesto below.


1.      We undertake to return the club to immediate international glory by reclaiming the coveted FKL Cup while ending the 2011 KPL season among the best three clubs.

The team should go out to win each match that they play in this season, considering the amount spent on new signings. If Ulinzi could finish the League 10th in 2009 and win the 2010 League, the target of number three  in the League can even be winning the whole league. Also, planning to win a knockout tournament isn't always easy. The teams we shall be drawn against aren't known. The last time we qualified for a continental match we couldn't even raise funds to travel and had to rely on a Good Samaritan bail out.
2.      We will introduce a cutting edge youth program in both under 17 and under 13 categories to feed the main team with the best budding talent sourced from across the country.

Not a priority. Under 13 teams are long term strategies and the Kenyan system is such that such kids will be in school anyway. If Leopards partnered with some of the top performing schools such as Kakamega High and the like, there is enough talent to be signed on to Leopards without burdening the team with costs when the team doesn't even have structures such as its own training field, its own stadium and the like. The Under 13 team may just help out with ball boy activities, mascotting and so on. Let this be a Junior Leopards activity that brings together kids to play for fun rather than  searching for future stars here. Even MYSA with its programme still goes out to buy players.

3.      We will introduce a Monthly Reporting System (MRS) to update the members and stakeholders with reliable income vis-à-vis expenditure information as part of our full disclosure policy/austerity measure.

Good initiative. But informing members isn't enough. An independent audit should be done at the end of the year. There is skepticism by some fans on this after the last Magelo office didnt turn out to be the most 'full disclosure' happy.

4.      We will strive to unite all Leopards supporters with the view to converting the 6 million-plus world-wide fan base into official supporters of the club. To that, we target to register not less than 10,000 paid up members to raise not less than Kshs 10 million in annual member subscriptions plus 100,000 free official supporters to participate in various commercial activities of the club including but not limited to new media interventions.

Realistic to get 10,000 paid up fans. However, the presumption is that the membership fee will be Kshs. 1,000 to raise the Kshs. 10 million. The time line may be too short to do all this in one year but realistic nevertheless. The concept of 'free official supporters' needs to be explained more.

5.      We plan to exploit the limitless value of the club brand to engage in various commercial activities directly beneficial to the club including but not limited to high quality merchandise. To this, we target to net not less than Kshs 2 million through the sale of not less than 5,000 assorted items in 2011.

Realistic. But this has to have a lot of fan participation. To expect to sell items to people you do not treat well can backfire.

6.      We promise to streamline ticket sale revenues by contracting a respected international ticketing company to handle the exercise on our behalf, thus targeting to net not less than Kshs 7.5 million per season from the  sale of at least 5000 tickets  per match at Kshs 200 each  for 15 home matches. That will be complimented by a revolutionary electronic ticketing system that will also allow for advance sale of tickets. The interventions are expected to save the club not less than 2 million shillings in pilferage and high administrative costs in 2011 alone.

Realistic. Again, there are other issues that need to be addressed such as fan security. There is nothing as annoying as risking your life just to watch the team you love and realizing that the obsession with making money means we do not even pay people at the stadium to act as stewards.

7.      We will introduce a season ticket regime targeting not less than 1,000 ticket holders in various categories to realize in advance not less than Kshs 1.5 million in 2011.

Realistic. Long overdue.

8.      We will seek to achieve stability in both playing and technical units by identifying and competitively signing a mixture of credible youthful and experienced talent and empowering them to perform under a renewable three to five year contract without undue interruptions.

There should be strict understanding that the officials do not involve themselves in picking the team. Let the professionals, that is the coach and the like, do their work. Pklayers should know that wearing the blue and white is many a boys dream and that legends have worn that shirt with pride. If a player doesnt know the rich history of the club, or that it routinely won the League and other tournaments, they may not have belief in the team.

9.      We will strive to enhance the image of the club by engaging in sustainable corporate social responsibility programs as a way of paying back to the community that dearly supports the team. We have identified the campaign against substance abuse (drugs and alcohol) as our number one 2011 social cause to be highlighted by the AFC family.

Good initiative. The Facebook Branch has shown the way and the official's should wok with the fans to achieve some of these lofty ideals.

10.  We will delink the day to day running of the club from the political machinations inevitably associated with elective positions of the current society structure. To that we will appoint a secretariat headed by a credible CEO with strict mandate to professionalize the operations of the club by instilling a corporate culture complete with functioning commercial, operations, technical and finance departments.

Reads well but how will be the appointing process of the CEO? Will the club advertise the position or will this be a reward for the cronies of Magelo?  At the end of the day, the fans expect the officials to act in the best interest of the club. If they think the best way to do this is by delegating their function to a management team, well and good as long as the elected officials are able to report to the members each end year.


In other news, the Leopards roster for 2011 is out.

AFC Leopards have announced its roster of players for the 2011 Kenyan Premier League season and also the coaching and officials panel.

The KPL transfer deadline was Monday, January 31 but approval for defenders Martin Imbalambala and Edwin Simiyu Wafula, as well as striker Joseph Okumu had not been given by the KPL secretariat. The three players have conflicting dates of birth.

Earlier KPL had warned that players with suspected falsified birth dates would not be approved. The league had given a January 31 deadline of amnesty to players who had given false details of birth. Several have made use of the clemency and presented correct information.

AFC Leopards 2011 Kenyan Premier League Roster
1. Barnabas Tiema (Goalkeeper)
2. Patrick Musotsi Matasi (Goalkeeper)
3. Wycliffe Kasaya (Goalkeeper)
4. Milton Milimo (Defender)
5. Martin Imbalabala (Defender)
6. Edwin Simiyu Wafula (Defender)
7. Douglas Okumu Odhiambo (Defender)
8. Edgar Wachiya Waudo (Defender)
9. Evalistus John Shamala (Defender)
10. John Amboko (Defender)
11. Israel Gideon Ogude (Defender)
12. Bernard Mang'oli Wanyama (Midfielder)
13. Nicholas Muyoti Ndubi (Midfielder)
14. Abraham Cokie (Midfielder)
15. Edward Seda (Midfielder)
16. Laurent Tumba (Midfielder)
17. Evans Wandera (Midfielder)
18. Augustine Etemesi (Midfielder)
19. Emmanuel Tostao (Midfielder)
20. Salim Mohammed Khamisi (Midfielder)
21. Eric Ochieng (Midfielder)
22. Laban Tsimonjero (Midfielder)
23. Abdul Shaban (Midfielder)
24. Paul Odhiambo (Striker)
25. Hugo Nzoka (Striker)
26. Selenga Mutitya (Striker)
27. Itubu Imbem (Striker)
28. Joseph Okumu (Striker)
29. Brian Masiolo (Striker)
30. Silas Aluvisia (Striker)
1. Robert Bollen (Head Coach)
2. Eliud Omukuyia (Assistant Head Coach)
3. Patrick Ngusale (Team Doctor)
4. Bernard Bosco Onyango (Team Manager)
5. Haggai Malenya (Assistant Team Manager)
6. Robert Matano (Technical Director)
7. Noah Wanyama (Technical Advisor)

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