Gor Mahia is still a welfare club? This stunted growth is appalling

Gor Mahia delegate, Jaro Soja, votes [Photo: Courtesy]

I want to congratulate the winners of the just-concluded K’Ogalo elections.

That said, it is only wise to point out some of the challenges the new officials are going to face as they begin their term.

For starters, the office bearers’ list is as long as Shakespeare’s last poem.

And why should the club have offices for Chairman, Senior Vice Chairman, First Vice Chairman, Second Vice Chairman, Secretary General, Deputy Secretary General, Assistant Deputy Secretary General, Treasurer, Assistant Treasurer, Organising Secretary and Assistant Organising Secretary?

What is the work of the four chairmen? What would they do in any given meeting? What tangible value do they add to the club?

Assume they were not there, would activities of the club stop running? Why would a club with a huge fan base

— but run from a small corner office

— have three secretaries general?

Most of them will often contradict each other in their statements

— each one of them will want to be quoted.

And with additional sitting allowances, the club’s wage bill will definitely be bloated.
Back in the day, when Gor Mahia represented Kenya in international tournaments

— and came back with trophies

— the club had only five active officials - chairman, secretary, organising secretary and treasurer.

All the deputies were dormant.

Fast forward to 2016, with things going digital, the number of officials has doubled. Meanwhile, no trophies are brought home

— and the club is still a welfare association run the way you would a group of bird watchers!

The so-called democratic elections can be so cruel. Fans have forgotten the role Joseph Ogidi Oyoo aka Gidi Gidi played in 2010-12 to revive the club

— they rejected him and voted in a different person.

His contribution to the ‘renaissance’ of the club, topping it up with all his IT knowledge, did not count for anything to the voters.

Democracy can be cruel. It can throw out a technocrat and replace him with a loafer down the corner. What if the club wants to go digital, who would they turn to for free advice?

Gor Mahia FC is like a child suffering from stunted growth. While its agemates across Africa are now adults, the child born in 1968 is still learning how to crawl.

No clubhouse, no training pitch, no stadium, no online ticketing, no merchandise shop, no own ambulance, no doctor, no club souvenir online magazine, no records, no trace of past trophies. The list is long.

Where I come from, we say that when a child dies at the hands of a housegirl, the next child should be given to a different housegirl.

The club won the league three times in a row, and it is high time we realised that Gor Mahia has outgrown Kenya.

Why should we compare the club with small outfits from upcountry. The other day

— which is a shame

— fans were relying on rural clubs like Sony FC to beat Tusker to salvage the Mighty K’Ogalo. That’s a shame?

I doubt if these elections will change the profile of the club from a glamorous continental outfit to a Nairobi club, one that drops crucial points at the time of need.

 A club which towards the end of 2016 league kept their fans crossing their fingers whenever they played Mickey Mouse teams like Nairobi City Stars and Posta Rangers.

The late Mzee Andrew ‘Kamukunji’ Ochido must be turning in his grave. This year witnessed low-cadre officials speaking louder than the chairman

— thanks to a bloated office where everybody feels big.

Remember this is Gor Mahia FC, where sometimes hangers on call the shots more than elected officials. Why? With a crowded office, a club ends up having laid back officials who soon realise they have no active role to play.

They stop associating with club matters and ‘see no evil hear no evil’ becomes their mantra.

I hope when the season opens, we shall not see chaotic scenes at match venues. The worst was when ticket sellers ran out of tickets during a crucial match.

With four chairmen and three secretaries, we should not see players’ contracts running late, thus creating anxiety amongst players and fans. Somebody should be able to point out to the ‘crowd’ that contracts are soon elapsing.

These officials should be visionary. Gor Mahia must not be poorer than the welfare association club established in 1968.

The overcrowded office should be ashamed of if the club does not undergo a major transformation in 2017.

In any case, there are very many busybodies around the officials who, if given room, can do fantastic jobs as volunteers.

They have been around since the founding of the club. If you ask me, I would rather the club utilised their skills rather than having a constitution that allows for the election of an overpopulated office.