Whoever coined the cliché old habits die hard must have had Gor Mahia officials in mind. That lot never learns and are supremely allergic to progress.
The “biggest” club in Kenya recently returned from an “eye opening” tour of the UK where the team played a historic friendly against Premier League side Everton at Goodison Park while the officials, who accompanied them in massive numbers, reportedly benchmarked on modern ways of running football.
But if Monday’s charade in the name of players unveiling ceremony at some dimly lit hotel with signs of a leaking roof and dirty walls is anything to go by then there’s no denying that you cannot teach old dogs new tricks.
The whole thing was embarrassing that whoever put it together with such total disregard for basic order should be subjected to a firing squad for badly exposing a proud fan base to mockery.
So shambolic it was that even the club’s media crew failed to update the day’s events, their last update on their website and social media outlets being a media invite to the shameful function.
Apart from efforts to display sponsor’s logo, there was absolutely nothing Gor Mahia on display on such an important and official club’s event with only mean looking “gonya gonya” team members, some in old fake jerseys, others wearing artificial beards and ridiculous religious robes standing behind officials like bronze statues.
At the end of the day, instead of fans and pundits discussing the eight new talents the club presented, the funny characters carried the day, hogging the onlinesphere with rival fans having a field day poking fun at the whole mess. It was tough being a K’Ogalo fan on social media.
Gor Mahia brand has never been so cheapened and if it ever existed then Monday was the day it was murdered and buried before the nation.
At 50 years, you would expect K’Ogalo, the most storied club in Kenya to have some order and meticulous planning and execution of their functions but chaos reign still.
It’s no wonder the club is not a brand that can attract multiple sponsors like Al Ahly of Egypt and are forever brandishing begging bowls shamelessly even before people their fans consider “enemies.”
They just can’t put their house in order; it’s sickening! With the most disappointing lot being the youthful officials who were elected under the change banner, they have let down so many fans who believed in their agenda.
Granted the club is doing well on the field domestically, but still they are just a big fish in a small pond full of more sorry clubs like AFC Leopards, who call themselves giants but have gone 21 years without winning the Kenyan Premier League and are more famous for firing coaches than their footballing prowess.
Simba SC of Tanzania proved this when they snatched Meddie Kagere in the middle of a crucial campaign in the CAF Confederation Cup because they offered the Ugandan-born Rwandan striker a few more millions than Gor Mahia could afford.
Gor Mahia should not be losing top players to Simba or even their arch rivals Yanga SC.
With little or no competition on and off the field in Kenya, K’Ogalo must look across borders for inspiration from teams like Simba or even KCCA and Vipers SC of Uganda.
The above mentioned clubs are consciously modernizing and will soon dwarf Gor Mahia regionally in all aspects of the game as they remain stark in old ways.
-The views expressed here are personal not Kahawa Tungu’s.
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