Football legend-cum-businessman Boniface Ambani has cautioned against state corporations owning football clubs but instead fill the sponsorship void.
In his arguments, the Ex- Rivatex FC star pointed out the inconsistent cash flow nature of these entities as the reason they should steer clear of owning a football side.
Ambani recalled the unpredictable economic crises that often befall state corporates in matters remuneration, plunging clubs and their ownership into jeopardy from the days of yore.
He shared his own experience while featuring for a host of state owned clubs during his hay days as a footballer, among them Kenya Pipeline FC, a club owned by an oil transporting company.
Ambani has spoken in the wake of Kenya Power and Lighting Company ending their sponsorship packages with National Super League sides Western Stima and Coast Stima simultaneously after years of financial assistance.
“I happened to play for the following corporate clubs during my football career; Eldoret Cereal, Rivatex FC (Eldoret), Oserian Fastac FC (Naivasha) and Kenya Pipeline FC (Nairobi). They all closed business when it was least expected. It was painful,” Ambani took to his social media pages on Thursday.
“They were all performers in their respective leagues. But as fate has it, they didn’t last to see the next century. Quite sad. So many families lost their livelihoods.” He added.
Sponsorship in Kenyan football has partially been amiss with many clubs struggling to raise finances for their season budgets, thus Ambani proposing the formulation of a policy barring corporate bodies from owning clubs, allow them offer sponsorships to curb the existing cash related misfortunes bedeviling local football.
He added that clubs like BataBullets, Kisumu Posta and Kakamega Motcom among others are state owned corporate clubs that suffered and are still grappling with financial difficulties up to date.
“They are not stable to date. They have been struggling. How long they’ll last remains a mystery. At times I wish, we had a policy that no state corporate should own a club . They should instead sponsor a club. ” He concluded.
Ambani further suggested that football clubs in Kenya should be community based to do away with the challenges he has highlighted.