With the folding of Kawangware, The KFF, KPL lost another community based football club to financial insolvency and in the world where the the most widely played sport generates billions of dollars by way of marketing, sponsorships, and sale of television rights one wonders when the KFF will wake up and smell the coffee on the vast untapped and potential that awaits them should they find some emeans to turns iconic football identites such as Gor Mahia or the fallen AFC Leopards into marketing brands
That so many people are around to shed tears when unfortunate things happen as was the case when Oserian, then Mumias Sugar FC were wound up and that nobody then, and even now seems to have learnt from the mistakes of the past and tried to implement some kind of concrete plan to remedy the situation with the ‘perilous’ situation that faces local football teams. Its one thing to wax lyrical about how some convenient scapegoat like , the penetration of the English Premier League or the mere existence of institutional football clubs is killing ‘community football clubs or ven inviting delegates from South Africa’s PSL or even from FIFA to give wise words of counsel but where is the action that speaks so much louder than words. Where are the massive adverts and marketing when for example there is a top of the table clash at City stadium. How many Kenyans are even aware that this season’s Premier league and indeed Nationwide divisions could probably be the most exciting and close finishes in recent memory?
One cannot imagine that a product is going to sell especially in a competitve market without advertising. Where are the Gor Mahia, and Mathare United replica shirts, one can hardly find one of the national team leave alone any of the leading football clubs in the country yet most sports stores are stocked up with the latest edition of Man United, Chelsea and Arsenal replica kits. Even local rugby, and cricket which doesn’t quite have the same player base have found a niche in these markets but football lags behind. What’s even more disappointing is that there doesn’t seem to even be any kind of a safety net for teams in financial distress to sort themselves out, these teams are merely left to waste away in preperation for yet another series or complaining about how football is being killed by whoever happens to be the popular villain for the occasion.
Until the KFF is prepared to take action rather than sit on thye sidlines and moan then Kawangware will not be the last football club we will be burying.