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AFC Leopards stars 'operating with empty pockets' plead for help after months without salaries

13:22 BST 21/06/2021
AFC Leopards vs Bidco United.
Players from the club revealed how they have had to operate without any money because of the delayed remuneration

Players of Kenya Football Federation Premier League side AFC Leopards are in deep financial problems after going for months without pay, Goal can reveal.

The players find themselves in difficult situations because they have not been paid for four months. A number of them, who spoke on the condition of anonymity, claimed that the off-pitch issue has harmed their morale.

"It is tough, things are difficult," a midfielder who spoke on anonymity told Goal. "We are sending a plea to the club to find ways of settling the payments since we are operating in a very difficult situation.

"We have dependents and some are kids who do not understand how we are faring out there. It is a miracle that we have had a far better season, especially in the four months that we have not been paid.

"We are happily playing for a club like AFC Leopards, we understand the financial situation on the part of the club is not as healthy, but we plead that they at least make efforts to see that we get at least two months salaries. That, I believe, will be beneficial to us."

Asked about what they might do to force the management to settle the payments, another star admitted they have not sat down as the playing unit and come up with a unified strategy: "Our leaders have been engaging the officials and we have decided to give negotiations time and see what the talk will yield," he said.

"Previously, we engaged in go-slows, but this time around, we want to keep the focus on the games in order not to ruin the season, we have been quite impressive. We are still focused on the Premier League title and the Shield Cup and we understand the importance of winning them all or one of them for the club and the fans.

"But that does not change the fact that we are operating with empty pockets and hungry stomachs.

"I mostly pity most of our foreign teammates because I understand how difficult it is to operate without cash away from your home."

Goal was unable to get an official response from the club at the time of going to press.

Despite the financial crisis at the club, AFC Leopards are fourth after 19 games and are engaged in a tight title race against Gor Mahia, Tusker, and KCB who are above them.

After beating Equity FC on post-match penalties, they also qualified for the FKF Shield Cup final where they will face their Mashemeji rivals, K'Ogalo who saw off Bidco United in their respective semi-final fixture.