No, this blog has not been secretly turned over to the discussion of romantic relationships. No this is about another kind of relationship altogether. This is about one particular relationship that exist right across the spectrum of team sports in Kenya. This article is about the relationship that exists between corporations (normally government parastatals) and the teams they sponsor in various national competitions.
This relationship is responsible for some very successful teams such as Tusker FC/Kenya Breweries (football), Ulinzi Stars (football), Kenya Pipeline (volleyball) various Kenya Commercial bank teams in all manner of leagues and off course the role that Kenya’s disciplined forces have in Kenya runaway success on the track at the Olympics.
However underneath that success, there is the string of institutional clubs that have folded over the past few decades because their sponsors suddenly grew cold feet and took off without much warning. Most recently there was the case of Rangers FC. With just days to the beginning of the season the club now known as Posta Rangers, lost the backing of Posta Kenya, for reasons known only to the corporation. Aside from creating a colossal gap (estimated in the press to be between ten and fifteen million shillings), the club was also plunged into a leadership crisis that had only just been resolved as of 9th March, 2011. And they are the lucky ones. It’s not entirely unusual for teams that go through this experience to simply fold.
No doubt if a corporation can no longer bear the cost of running a team then I am not putting a gun to their heads and saying COVER THEIR COSTS OR ELSE! All this blogger is asking is that there has to be a less painful way of doing things than simply upping the stakes and walking away. All sports teams, whether founded by institutions, or run by the community represent a means to uplift the communities around them through the sporting activities, so in this blogger’s mind, the more practical thing to do would be to pass ownership of the team straight to the community it exists in. with a bit of fore warning it allows the teams officials more time to source for sponsoship and perhaps ride the inevitable tough times that lie ahead for ex-institutional clubs, following a break up.
Your thoughts on this?