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SuperSport's exit was the beginning of the end for the KPL - Oguda

11:45 AM EDT 10/20/19
Brian Nyakan of Sofapaka v Eugine Asike of Tusker FC.
The broadcaster left almost two-years ago alleging a breach of contract leaving the league in financial shambles

Kenya Premier League Limited Chief Executive Officer Jack Oguda has explained how the exit of SuperSport affected the league.

The broadcaster severed ties with the KPL in 2017 over what it claimed as a breach of contract by the latter and Oguda has said it is at this point the rain started beating the Kenyan football competition.

“Things started crumbling after we lost SuperSport as our broadcasting partner as we had to go back and rethink on how we can popularise the league on television," Oguda told The Standard.

“Though we had a title sponsor, SuperSport used to cover two-thirds of our budget. During that time, clubs were running and paying their players without any problem."

Acknowledging the difficulties the KPL is facing, the CEO is of the opinion the league should run uninterrupted.

“The broadcasting rights deal was increased by ten per cent per year and after their departure, we lost close to one billion shillings," he explained.

“Bamba Sports came on board, then tried to negotiate with StarTimes but the deal fell through. Honestly speaking, we’ve never recovered since SuperSport left.

"The departure of SportPesa has worsened the situation. But for the credibility of the game, the league has to continue with or without a sponsor.”

KPL received Sh166 million every year in grants from SuperSport before it increased to Sh266 million in the subsequent cycle in a deal which was to run until 2022.

“Leagues across the world suffer from financial issues from time to time. In 2006, the league also didn’t have sponsors but it never stopped," Mwendwa said.

"The National Super League [NSL] has no sponsors, but we have not stopped playing. In the same way, we run NSL and Division One, that’s how KPL must run before things turn around.

"Football is played with or without money.” 

The KPL has entered week six with three walkovers already witnessed. Two have been dished by Sony Sugar to AFC Leopards and Tusker respectively while the other was given to Bandari by Chemelil Sugar.