Sports Club Villa, the country’s most successful footballing outfit, today embark on a fresh journey they believe will fundamentally shape their future.
William Nkemba, a club legend and interim chairman for two years now, believes they have done extensive analysis of Villa’s challenges and arrived at the major areas to address.
“Ownership, governance and the administrative structure,” hinted Nkemba to Daily Monitor.
“Those are the areas we agreed need addressing after consulting widely since I came in as interim chairman, and on Wednesday, we shall - as a committee - unwrap the whole package.”
Ownership has, indeed, been a major matter of contention, especially after the club clandestinely changed hands at the height of the Uganda Super League/Fufa Super League/Fufa crisis in 2012/2013.
This was a coup well engineered and propagated by hands at Fufa, which saw then chairman Fred Muwema diminish into the unknown, and Ben Misagga arrive in 2014 amid fanfare. And suddenly, SC Villa was SC Villa Jogoo.
Four years on Misagga - a Uganda Cup title delivered in between, was increasingly the recipient of ire from fans and those who wanted to succeed him.
He succumbed and ended his four-year reign at Villa Park mid 2018.
Edgar Agaba and Dennis Mbidde were some of his his sternest critics, and were warming up to replace him in elections slated for that year.
But with several ownership issues, where Misagga’s Lusaka Commodities company also strangely owned Villa players and even traded them off, historical directors including Franco Mugabe and Omar Mandela intervened.
After a meeting in Kampala, they named club legend Nkemba to lead an interim committee that would chart a way for the club’s return to their glory days, and today at Sheraton Hotel they deliver a verdict.
It’s for a long haul
SC Villa have previously - and not once - announced a fresh start, most dubbed new dawns, but everytime it has ended in hit air.
But Nkemba believes this is not a new dawn, but a “fundamental change that seems to address all the club issues for the future.”
According to him, the new arrangement will be “accommodative to all Villa people,” adding, “But people have a right to associate and dissociate.
“We are providing an opportunity for every fan to express themselves.
“This has come after sustained deliberations and discussions with different stakeholders.
“We listened to all, and at the end of the day, we all agreed with what benefits Villa. Now we are ready.”
Daily Monitor understands that major in the communication today will be to clearly state that Villa is now fully a community club. Community clubs are those owned by a membership of more than 100 or so fans, according to Fufa.
This model is setup for sport but proven most suitable for posterity and sports business.
Here, fans have a sense of ownership and belonging because they have shares in the club.
This was one of Mbidde’s rallying points when announcing his candidature for Villa president in 2018.
Spanish giants Real Madrid and Barcelona are community owned clubs.
Fufa currently list Express FC (owned by Express Sports Club Limited) and SC Villa (owned by Sports Club Villa Limited) as community clubs, but the above hardly been operating with a clear structure of community clubs.
According to Nkemba, the whole ownership and governance structure issue will be broken down in detail and Villa fans will at last know how their club is run and they will be part of that in some way.
SC Villa, who broke away from Express to start at Nakivubo Boys in 1975, have 16 league titles and nine Ugandan Cup gongs under their name.
They were also the first Ugandan club to clinch a local double, in 1986. They are remembered for reaching the Caf Champions League (under its old setting) finals in 1991.
Villa have, however, not won a league title since 2004, when former Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic - who has since taken Uganda to Afcon, coached in Sudan, Orlando Pirates, Zamalek and now Zambia - led them to their 16th.
VILLA’s LONG DROUGHT
16 Years’ Wait. Villa have, however, not won a league title since 2004, when former Cranes coach Micho Sredojevic led them to their record 16th Uganda Premier League diadem.