Fans’ right of reply over Gor’s Kisumu frustrations

What you need to know:

  • The stewards felt it was not right and insisted they needed to be incorporated as the bouncers were outsiders.
  • “Again she came with stewards from Nairobi, how do you come with stewards from Nairobi while you have some in Kisumu you have been working with since 2015? Why create such tensions?”

In my column last week, I railed at Kisumu football fans and the hanky panky that goes on at the Moi Stadium whenever Gor Mahia have a match there.

The article was largely informed by the events that took place there when we played Tusker and an exclusive interview I had with the club chairman Ambrose Rachier two days earlier.

Match day reports talked of hoodlums causing chaos at the entry and in the process letting in many without paying a single coin.

Adding to these woes was the chairman’s lamentations over the huge amounts - over Sh500,000 per match - and yet get almost peanuts in return.

My piece rubbed the Kisumu fans the wrong way and they accused me of being part of a sinister scheme to tar the good name of the town’s supporters.

In the tradition of right of reply today let me get the Kisumu guys — led by one George Odhiambo — to tell their side of the story.

First, the fans accuse the club of allowing third parties to sell chairs at the Kisumu VIP section on match days, stating that there was no way the club could charge Sh500 for the area and not provide chairs.

This, they believe, was deliberately done to create a demand hence the selling of chairs.

The same situation does not obtain when other clubs like Western Stima host Gor there, and the seats come as a package with your ticket.

According to them, Kisumu fans buy match day tickets in their numbers and Kisumu gets the club the highest gate collection in KPL matches since 2015.

On the issue of some stewards admitting fans at a lesser fee, they say it's a general gate management problem in the club all over the country and not just unique to Kisumu, and they insist it is upon the club management to stamp the vice out.

Odhiambo claims that gate collection figures are always manipulated in Kisumu and the wage bill inflated to enable pilferages.

Look at the last financial breakdown of the Gor vs Tusker match and you will laugh at some items there, he says. Other clubs do bring their home matches with Gor to Kisumu (Tusker, Posta Rangers, Nzoia, Wazito, Sony, Vihiga...) because they know how profitable financially it is to host Gor in Kisumu.

“If it was as grave as you put it, they wouldn't dare do that in a million years,” he adds.

“The issue of flights to Kisumu doesn't fly. Why pay for flights to domestic matches when the club can't even easily pay players at the moment? Why not do buses and cut costs drastically?
How does the club recoup flight costs when it comes to Kisumu as an away team? Frugality is a vital hallmark of good management.”

He says that in the last match, there was a push and pull between the stewards who normally man the gates and the treasurer because apparently she had hired bouncers in Kisumu to help man the gates.

The stewards felt it was not right and insisted they needed to be incorporated as the bouncers were outsiders.

“Again she came with stewards from Nairobi, how do you come with stewards from Nairobi while you have some in Kisumu you have been working with since 2015? Why create such tensions?”

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