The whole of this week Tanzanian broadcaster Azam Television have been in the country televising live friendly matches between Tanzanian league holders Azam FC and the ‘top cream’ of Ugandan clubs.
The idea is to prove that they have capacity to broadcast the Uganda Premier League just like what they do with the Tanzanian League. And we should all embrace them and forget what Supersport are bringing to the table.
Of course it goes down to who has the stronger financial muscle. There is no exact figure attached to the Azam deal, but we are made to believe that all the 16 clubs in the top tier league will bag Shs80m a season. On the other hand Uganda Super League says clubs will be bagging Shs68m each in the Supersport deal, Fufa says clubs will pocket Shs18m. Though other sources have confessed that clubs will be taking home Shs60m a season.
It’s at this moment that club administrators stopped thinking and are all confused on what route to take, Azam or Supersport? It should be noted that none of those two broadcasters has all those details documented anywhere.
I would love to find out how many clubs are looking at this money as revenue to be used for the welfare of their clubs, to improve the training facilities, to start projects that will generate more finances for the clubs.
In Supersport’s first season, it was shocking when Utoda FC officials found it fitting to fight for money in a bank lobby. In the endless meeting the clubs used to have at Sheraton Hotel to convince Vipers (Then Bunnamwaya) and Proline to sign the deed of Adherence.
I remember hearing a Utoda official wonder why those two clubs can’t be expelled. His reason was ‘They are stopping us from enjoying free money.’ Now those are the people that are supposed to think and draw a way forward for Ugandan football, make the league competitive and attractive.
Azam are here because they have a product to sell and promote and they believe the market is huge in Uganda. Supersport have the same thoughts and no one can stop them from wanting to promote their products here. But if you think that any of the two’s broadcasting of the Uganda Premier League will go a great deal in solving the problems facing the league and Ugandan football in general, think again.
Clubs officials ought to look beyond using that money to build houses, or go on holidays with their better halves. Its money they should use for football development. Yes it’s too little but you can use that too little to make enough that can sustain annual activities as a club.
Maybe institutional clubs like KCCA, URA, BUL, Sadolin are surviving on budgets from their companies, but that shouldn’t be the case. Football clubs need to learn to stand alone. Azam and Supersport want to give us a platform to showcase what we have, whoever wins the battle to broadcast the league, wouldn’t have solved a thing.
The onus is on all of you so called club officials to do what is right to get the league back and running. Attracting fans back to the stadia, attracting foreign players like it used to be in the past, the league should be the envy of the region like it was back in the day.
We have the players, the coaches that can’t be matched in the region, but our neighbors look good and better because they are more organized.