Divisions as clubs seek cash bailouts from government

Thursday June 4 2020

Cash Plea. Busoga United’s patron Nyago was

Cash Plea. Busoga United’s patron Nyago was among the 10 represented clubs during the meeting. PHOTO/EDDIE CHICCO  

By DENIS BBOSA

The majorit y of the StarTimes Uganda Premier League clubs are going through an unbearable dire state of affairs that has forced them to cry out to government for immediate help.
On Tuesday, affected clubs convened an impromptu meeting seeking to lobbying the government for a financial bailout after they accused the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (Fufa) of not responding to their grievances.

Loud appeal
“We are appealing to government to support us like they have done to Uganda Cranes with the Shs10b annually because we are the people that make those stars,” Busoga United chairman Diana Nyago told Daily Monitor yesterday.

She said that the 10 club officials that met in Kampala resolved to ask for Shs50m for each club to help them navigate through the next three inactive months. This takes the total sum to Shs800m.

“Most of the private clubs have not paid their players for the last two months and with no income in the next three months we are afraid we are going to lose our players and club business,” she added.

League influential clubs Vipers, Express, SC Villa, KCCA, URA and Police ironically missed the meeting, which ultimately waters down the strength of their quest.

Vipers’ publicist Abdul Wasike, like his Police counterpart Muga Bakari told Daily Monitor that their clubs didn’t get notice of the clubs meeting on Tuesday.

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Nyago revealed they decided to petition the Sports and Education Minister Janet Museveni after Fufa gave a deaf ear to their Shs1.2b quest off the $50,0000 (Shs1.9b) Fifa grant to the federation before the league was prematurely cancelled.

“We have not heard from Fufa on how they spent that money but they are aware that the clubs are struggling. Their continued silence may mean consent,” she added.

Sponsors cash not enough
Yesterday at the Parliament canteen, Western Youth MP, also the Mbarara City chairman, Mwine Mpaka alongside his Ayivu counterpart Bernard Atiku (Onduparaka official) outlined the deliberations from the clubs meeting and next course of action.

“Fufa don’t value us at all. They have left us at the mercy of the limited sponsorship and no gate collection at the moment. We want the line minister to intervene,” Mpaka revealed.

Atiku was of a view that the clubs be given part of the Shs10b since the national teams are not in action at the moment.

“Fufa gets money from Fifa, StarTimes and government. It is time we get a share of that because clubs are the nursery bed of the national teams,” Atiku said.
Fufa head of communications Ahmed Hussein, when asked how they intended to spend the Fifa relief fund, revealed; “spending money on activities that were not planned for in the Fufa budget means some activities would be foregone. The money is to cover our budget for activities from July to December 2020.”
More cash flowing in
Latest reports indicate Caf is set to wire about $200,000 (Shs752m) to Fufa accounts to cater for the Covid-19 impact in Ugandan football and federation president Moses Magogo said the Excom will discuss the share out.

“Federations and clubs are operating in the same economic times like all other businesses facing the same financial challenges,” he said.

Cash Flow. In April, Fufa received $500,000 (Shs1.9b) from Fifa as advance payment of their quarterly grants, which the Ugandan FA used to pay all their staff and national coaching salaries, as well as meet any third party obligations. More $200,000 (Shs752m) from Caf is on its way.

dbbosa@ug.nationmedia.com

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