Only two games remain before the first half of the Kenyan Premier League season draws to an end. Twice defending Champions Gor Mahia hold a 9-point gap at the Zenith and will close the half season on top even if they lose their remaining two fixtures, an impossibility going by their current form.
The likes of Tusker and Sofapaka are dangling close to the top while perennial underachievers, Nairobi City Stars and Nakuru All Stars are looking familiar at the tail end of the log.
League positions notwithstanding, two things have stood out from the league this season; reigning champions Gor Mahia are hell bent to retain their title unbeaten, and AFC Leopards are firmly in contention for mooch of the season title.
This week Ingwe’s woes took a new twist when a story broke out that club captain Martin Imbalambala was locked out of his Shs 15,000 rented house, having apparently gone two months without submitting his dues. As a captain, you would assume that the defender is one of the best paid players in the club.
A lavish lifestyle perhaps? You decide.
The financial crisis strangling the club however makes Imbalambala’s plights a rule rather than an exception. The trouble-hit Leopards were two weeks ago thrown into further discredit when its players and technical officials were detained at a Mombasa Hotel before being bailed out by area County Governor, Ali Hassan Joho, and allowed to proceed to Nairobi.
That was just one of the many incidences witnessed at the club this season as a series of strikes, threats of boycotts and a longstanding dispute between players and management over non-payment of salaries and bonuses continues to tarnish the club’s image.
Prior to the Mombasa shame, Zdravko Logarusic’s side were had just beaten home side Bandari 2-1 which sent them fourth in the KPL table.
The club’s players have over the last few weeks received around Shs. 1 million from well-wishers, monies which they have shared within the squad hence not reflecting on their official financial books.
It seems like the parting ways with shirt Sponsor Mumias Sugar Company in March has left the club in a financial dungeon. However, the club’s management has been caught napping for the umpteenth time and a call for them to act in haste to save one of Kenya’s success stories in club football needs to be made, again.