Mathare United chairman Bob Munroe has pointed an accusing finger at the Football Kenya Federation for ‘killing’ community football clubs and the Kenyan Premier League.
The 2008 KPL champions are bedevilled by financial constraints with FKF under the chairmanship of the ousted Nick Mwendwa being blamed.
Placed bottom of the table with 11 points in 26 outings, Mathare are risking relegation from the FKF Premier League.
The Nairobi-based club is not in a financial position to host Bandari FC for matchday 27 on Sunday.
Bob Munroe has taken the blame directly to former FKF boss Nick Mwendwa for taking decisions that have plunged Mathare United and community clubs into financial disarray.
“Today [Saturday] is a sad day in the 35-year history of the Mathare Youth Sports Association (MYSA) and Mathare United FC (MUFC),” Munro’s letter seen by Sports Africa read.
“It’s an especially sad and even painful day for me and the MUFC staff, coaches, players, and their families as well as for the tens of thousands of youth in the Mathare and neighbouring slums who dream of helping themselves and their families escape poverty by someday playing for Mathare United.
“Our financial situation is the result of an escalating series of external factors over the last few years which kept reducing the revenue and/or raising the costs for all our top clubs.
“Those cumulative and financially destabilising external factors included: – the FKF forced expansion of the Kenyan Premier League (KPL) in February 2017.
“The related SuperSport termination of their KPL contract in March 2017, the necessary but difficult Covid-19 suspension of the league for five months in 2020, and the FKF hostile takeover of the Kenyan Premier League in September 2020.
“The FKF failure to pay to clubs a fair share of the KPL broadcast/title rights revenue – the FKF mismanagement of Fifa, government of Kenya and sponsorships funds during 2018-21.”
The Slum Boys’ situation is a clear reflection of what many football outfits are grappling with in recent years under the administration of Nick Mwendwa.
All time league champions Gor Mahia alongside their eternal rivals AFC Leopards are not also in stable financial conditions to run their operations smoothly.
“Sadly, our team is financially unable to host and honour a match for the first time since we started playing in the FKF leagues 28 years ago,” the chair’s statement added.
“Coincidentally, we’re scheduled to play Bandari whose head coach, Anthony Kimani, is a MYSA/MUFC legend who captained our 2008 Kenyan Premier League Championship team, whose goalkeeper coach, Wilson Oburu, is a former MYSA/MUFC goalkeeper, and whose lineup includes previous MYSA/MUFC stars such as defender Andrew Juma, midfielders Whyvonne Isuza and Kevin Kimani, and striker Chris Ochieng.
“The increasingly negative publicity about FKF also discouraged many companies. The Fifa ban then made the already difficult financial situation of clubs even worse.
“Today, our team is only one among nearly half of our top clubs, especially our community-based clubs, which are now struggling with serious financial problems.
“To have financially stable and competitive clubs and top league, a rigorous rethinking, restructuring and commercially-minded reorientation of FKF and Kenyan football is clearly needed.” Monroe explained.
Meanwhile, the game of football in Kenya is in a crisis with the current Fifa ban worsening the situation.