Express’ new CEO Isaac Mwesigwa arrives at a club quite synonymous with a high turnover of both players and coaching staff.
Mwesigwa has just replaced Hamza Jjunju, and the 37-year-old does not underestimate the task he arrives to as the six-time league champions struggle to regain relevance in matters silverware.
“The plan is to improve the Express FC brand by improving the performance of team on the field, in administration and create a business model that brings in revenue to the club,” Mwesigwa told Daily Monitor yesterday.
A good talk is always the mark of anyone who takes up a new position of leadership. But how often do they walk it?
“We are looking at two or so years to have Express as self reliable financially,” he assured, rather confidently, “All this will be highlighted in the strategic plan which will be our working guide.
“But the immediate plan is compete for silverware and revive fan groups in different regions and improve match day experience for fans.”
Mwesigwa’s talk of silverware will, however, be viewed with pessimism by club fans, who have seen Express break ties with one coach after another, George Ssimwogerere the most recent one; and lose their best players to notably KCCA and Vipers.
“Losing our best players was due to the fact the club was struggling financially and the players felt they had silverware opportunities elsewhere and better pay,” explained Mwesigwa.
“With the new plans, we shall be able to complete and hold on our players since we have a vision like any top club in the region.” A Masters in Information Technology and BSc in Computer Science degrees holder from Uganda Christian University (UCU) and Makerere University respectively, Mwesigwa also sings from the club structures hymn book.
“We need to create club structures which will ensure stability both technically and administratively,” he promised.
“With this, we can produce quality players so that we can compete for silverware and in a couple of years we are able to send them out for professional football. “Brand Management is also important because then we are able to generate revenues.”
Conflict of interest?
But there is conundrum in amidst all these grand promises. Mwesigwa has been involved in Ugandan since 2008, and can argue he comes with vast experience.
The problem, however, for lack of a better word, that experience comes mainly in him security players from across the decide contracts and selling them. Mwesigwa is a player agent, call it player intermediary.
He has played a role in deals involving KCCA players like former rookie Allan
Okello (now at Paradou in Algeria), Julius Poloto, Mustafa Kizza and Peter Magambo among others. And here he is promising he will help Express keep their good players. Is that even possible?
“I was an intermediary in an Agency with a number of directors,” Mwesigwa made his case, “The players will be managed by the agency, not an individual.” Quite a tough line to trade on, but for as long as Mwesigwa walks the talk and delivers, the Red Eagles fans, who last tasted silverware in 2012, will not care much.