Kenyan Premier League: News Round-Up
Since the second half of the season in the KPL, a lot of drama has unfolded as was expected due to the financial struggles the league is facing. Players have been moving on to new clubs due to unpaid dues and others due to form.
The axe has also started falling on head coaches as well with as many as three going in the last week. Even giants like AFC Leopards and Gor Mahia haven't been spared. Gor Mahia has seen players such as star striker Yikpe leave due to the financial struggles of the club.
It looks like the financial crisis that was looming over the Kenyan Premier League after sponsors SportPesa vacated the league has come into full effect.
Here's a round-up on what is going on in the league currently.
Gor Mahia captain linked with a move to Nkana FC
Gor Mahia FC Captain Kenneth Muguna has been linked with a move to Nkana FC in the Zambian League. This comes in the back of an impressive season where the midfielder has scored 6 goals for Gor Mahia in the league in the 2019/20 season.
Now, Gor Mahia FC just is one of the teams that have struggled due to the financial crisis that hit the league after official sponsors SportPesa vacated the league. The team has already lost star striker Yikpe Gislein Gnamein to Yanga SC in Tanzania and it looks like more will depart if the financial crisis isn’t addressed.
There have also been times where the captain and star defender Joash Onyango refused to play due to wages owed by the club. But unlike fellow sides who are struggling financially, Gor Mahia has not failed to honor a game. They have also somehow managed to keep most of their start players even when strikes have been reported.
Here’s what Gor Mahia CEO Lordvick Aduda had to say to members of the press about any potential move,
"We have read reports linking him to Nkana but no one has approached us to secure his services,”
“Some football agents have taken advantage of the club's financial constraints to lure our best players for greener pastures but with Muguna, they will not succeed as he has a running contract. We are not afraid of losing him for free either. I spoke to Muguna and he hasn't told me anything.”
"For a young player like Muguna to move to Nkana, there is no progression career-wise. What offer can Nkana whom I rank below Gor offer us? They signed Musa and Shakava as free agents but we will not accept their offer for the player. Those who wanted to leave the club due to lack of pay have already left but we learned something.”
It looks like Gor Mahia is quite adamant about holding on to their star midfielder.
3 More Players Leave AFC Leopards
Gor Mahia isn’t the only team that has struggled due to the financial constraints of the league after SportPesa left the league before the 2019/20 season kicked off. AFC Leopards is another team that has been struggling to hang on to players due to the financial crisis.
Just a few weeks back a looming mass exodus was reported and it looks like it has started. The team has lost three more players recently; with no sight of the end for the exodus, AFC needs to find ways of generating income.
On their official Facebook page, AFC Leopards confirmed the departures of Brian Marita, Moses Oburu and Dennis Sikhayi who has since joined Wazito FC in the Kenyan Premier League for greener pastures.
It certainly looks like it will be a long second half of the season for AFC Leopards who have also lost their coach this January due to unpaid dues. AFC Leopards currently sit 7th on the Kenyan Premier League table with only 28 points from 17 games so far.
The team has far struggled from not only the financial issues but also form as well. And with players and staff jumping ship almost every single day, it looks like no good days are on the horizon for Ingwe.
Gor Mahia Snap Up Clinton Okoth
It’s all not suffering from Gor Mahia FC due to the financial crisis the club has been facing. The team is still able to lure the country’s top talents due to their rich history.
The latest player who has since joined Gor Mahia FC and looking to be a top hit in the KPL is Clinton Okoth. The young striker has joined from Migori Youth FC in the second tier of Kenyan football or as it is famously known as the NSL (National Super League.)
Okoth who has been a revelation in Kenyan football has scored 14 goals in the NSL to propel his team to 5th on the table leaves Migori on a year-long loan move. The news comes as no surprise as Gor has been trailing the young forward for some time now.
He’s expected to replace Yikpe Gislein who left for Tanzanian side Yanga FC. Okoth will hope that his move to Gor Mahia FC is a success and that they extend his stay longer. Gor has the allure of being Kenyan top side and it looks like, despite their struggles, they will continue snapping up the best players around. With the likes of KCB and Mathare offering the striker financial security, he still opted for Gor Mahia in the end.