The Kenyan Premier League has had one of the most eventful seasons in recent years. First, before the season kicked off, official league sponsors SportPesa left the country and the league.
That created a huge financial hole in the league that most teams have certainly failed to get back from. The likes of Sony Sugar have been forfeiting games which led to their relegation halfway through the season.
Other teams have been losing players each day, even champions Gor Mahia with the government’s help has lost a number of players. Now, with the season in the second phase, teams have started to lose coaches as well.
Some have, however, been fired due to poor results. Here’s some round-up on what’s happening in the KPL…
Kisumu All-Stars Part Ways With Head Coach Henry Omino
It was just a matter of time after the KPL resumed, but finally, Kisumu All-Stars have lost patience with coach Omino. The team decided it was best to part ways with the veteran tactician after a five-game losing streak that has seen the team slip to the 17th spot, just above Sony Sugar FC who the league relegated, as mentioned above.
The news was confirmed by the club’s CEO Nicholas Ochieng who also thanked the coach for the good job he had done. Omino took over the team after they won promotion to the league as the board wanted someone experienced to lead the side.
Things, however, haven’t gone to plan and the team has already appointed Arthur Opiyo as head coach. Opiyo is a German-based coach who will have a tough job on his hands as he looks to bring the side out of the relegation battle they’re in now.
Omino was fired with his entire backroom staff, which has seen the new coach bring in Francis Oduor as his deputy. He’ll now be looking to build a caching staff that will help him get Kisumu All-Stars back in the race for survival.
Here’s what CEO Ochieng had to say to the press about his decision:
"Kisumu All Stars Football Club has parted ways with its Head Coach Henry Omino, Assistant Coach Andrew Aroka & Goalkeeper Trainer Joseph Ongoro."
"German-based coach Arthur Opiyo takes the responsibility for the first team as interim head coach for a period of one month and will be deputized by Francis Oduor. Our sincere thanks go to Omino and his colleagues for their unrelenting efforts to the club," he added.
Wazito FC Fire Coach Frank Ouna
Another team that has struggled with the demands of the KPL after gaining promotion is Wazito FC. The western Kenya based side recently released a total of six players due to performance issues with more expected to leave soon.
With that, Wazito expected an upturn in results and the failure to do so has cost coach Ouna his job. Now, Ouna is the third coach that has had to go this season and a fourth firing is coming soon.
Ouna, however, isn’t the only one who has faced the axe this time. Team manager Bramwell Makotsi has also been shown the door. That, in essence, leaves the club with only one member of the technical side, since Ouna left with his team, and that is Stewart Hall.
Now, Hall came in with Ouna, but it looks like he won’t be leaving with him and looks likely to take over the job until a replacement is found. The team started the season with Fred Ambani who guided them to promotion.
After a string of poor results, Ambani was replaced by American Melis Medo who only oversaw four games. He too was then showed the door and replaced with Frank Ouna who now is looking for new employment.
The team’s owner Ricardo Badoer is one who expects results, and it looks like no one will be safe until he gets that. Currently, Wazito FC sits 14th in the league with 11 points from 17 games.
Bandari FC Axe Bernard Mwalala
Sticking to coaches who have been losing their jobs, Bandari FC has fired Coach Bernard Mwalala. Now, Mwalala has been fired due to a string of bad results. The team is set to announce Twahir Muhiddin as coach for the remainder of the season.
Mwalala’s firing will come as a surprise to most football lovers after his strong performances since he took over. The team has finished runners up in the last two KPL season behind Gor Mahia who won the title in both the seasons.
He also managed to win the 2018/19 KFK Cup during his time as head coach. His replacement, who is the club’s technical director, is not a new name in the Kenyan football scene. He guided Bandari to the league back in 2015 and also won the FKF cup with them that season.
Mwalala leaves Bandari at a lowly 11th position in the league with just 18 points from 16 games. Muhiddin will certainly look to change that and hope he can come close to the runners-up position the team attained last season.