- AFC Leopards have started a major drive to acquire new members in a move aimed at strengthening the fan base and attaining financial independence.
The registration fee has been stated as shillings 1200 for new members. The club as 1407 registered members and it is targeting to register at least 10, 000 members by the end of the year
“We want AFC Leopards to be a self-sustaining club hence the decision to start another drive to register as many members as possible,” explained Shikanda.
Since the gaming company, SportPesa canceled all sports sponsorship in the country in August 2019 the club has faced a challenging financial situation.
“Having registered members is the future of community clubs as far as sustainability is concerned and we are very thankful for 1407 fully registered members we have. They have come in very handy especially after we lost our sponsor,” Shikanda said.
The main beneficiaries of sportpesa were Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards. They have not witnessed any form of financial stability since the betting firm canceled the sponsorship due to unfavorable working conditions in the country.
Of great concern, most of the players have their contracts running out during the June transfer window. Before the pandemic, players had lost the willpower often skipping training sessions and threatening to donate points during league matches owing to unpaid salaries and allowances.
Worse still, AFC Leopards lost their coach Casa Mbungo and several key players during the mid-season transfer window.
In a nutshell, the move by AFC to register new members is justified as it will save it from collapsing or operating at sub-optimal capacity as this will spell doom to Kenyan soccer.
The Leopard’s boss expounded the benefits of being a registered member as; getting subsidized rates for merchandise and reduced stadium entry fee. The club is working on more benefits.
“We also have loyal fans who have not yet registered but also help the club in one way or another but we urge them to register fully and stand with the club as it charts its way to a great future,” added the boss.
“Our target is to have 10,000 members by end year and we are working on a structure that will ensure registered members enjoy a lot more benefits,” Shikanda concluded.