Fifa's Kenyan Premier League clubs management course in Mombasa involving the chairmen and other senior officials set new priorities and challenges for the KPL clubs and represented yet another major step toward the professionalisation of our league and club management.
The Fifa course provided a timely culmination for the 2008 season which, for both the KPL and the national Harambee Stars team, was the most competitive and successful year ever in Kenyan football.
In 2008 the historic firsts in the 45-year history of Kenyan football included:
- no club played more than one match every weekend
- the league standing were equalised in matches played every week
- over 80% of the 240 matches were either one-goal victories or draws
- there was not a single abandoned match (but one match was stopped due to insecurity)
- there were only 11 IDAC cases (six disciplinary cases plus five match appeals)
- every appeal was decided by IDAC within two weeks after it was submitted
- only one club was awarded points following a match appeal (Gor Mahia)
- with only three matches left to play in early November there was still a tight race for the title while six clubs were also stll battling to avoid relegation
- the national Harambee Stars team rose over 50 places from the 2007 Fifa World Rankings and also qualified for the final round for the 2010 African Cup of Nations and Fifa World Cup
It was tempting for KPL to become complacent and rest on those achievements. However, the timely Fifa Clubs Management Course just one week after the league ended helped set a series of new and exciting challenges for our league and top clubs for the 2009 season.
For example, before the 2009 season kicks off in early February all KPL clubs committed themselves to hire a full-time CEO/Secretary General, to have signed contracts with all their coaches, to own or rent a good training ground and to put in place new match security measures and personnel. By mid-2009 all KPL clubs will have a proper office with good communications facilities.
On finance, all KPL clubs will provide their audited accounts for 2008 as well as certified quarterly financial statements in 2009 in order to qualify for KPL grants in 2009. Also during 2009 all clubs will develop and implement new communications and marketing strategies.
By the start of the 2011 season, the coaches of all KPL clubs must have the minimum qualifications in the new FKL national classification and licensing system for coaches. By 2012, all KPL clubs will be in full compliance with a new FKL club licensing system to be developed in consultation with Fifa and the KPL.
Our KPL clubs want to express our thanks to Fifa and its instructors as well as our colleagues in Football Kenya Ltd (FKL) for organizing the Clubs Management Course which laid a comprehensive basis for launching a new and challenging chapter in the professionalization of our league and club management.
Our KPL clubs also want to thanks SuperSport, the KPL staff and our club sponsors who made the 2008 season so successful.
It was the most competitive and successful year in Kenyan Premier League history … except for 2009.