It is always easy to think that all is well at Uganda Premier League outfit KCCA FC given the image sold to the public and of course the success they have attained in recent times. Under the stewardship of manager Mike Hillary Mutebi, the club has soared to greater heights and achieved almost everything there is to win. Since 2015 when the flamboyant coach returned to Lugogo, KCCA FC have won three league titles, two Uganda Cups, three FUFA Super Cups, a pilsner Super 8 title and recently, the CECAFA Kagame Cup.
In addition, KCCA FC has gone ahead to play in the CAF Champions League and CAF Confederation Cup group stages, an unprecedented feat for any Ugandan club since continental club engagements changed format in 2004.
Achieving all the aforementioned success with largely players that have risen up the ranks from KCCA Soccer Academy (their junior team) gives a silver lining that perhaps all is well.
The appointment of Julius Raymond Kabugo as the club chairman on an interim basis in April 2015 came with good impressions and indeed significant changes that saw KCCA FC set the pace for the rest of the clubs across the country. There was a turnaround of how things were done at the club, giving the team a professional image and success on the pitch was realized in a short time.
Kabugo set up structures with David Tamale as the club CEO and he foresaw the day to day running. He appointed Sam Ssimbwa and Mike Mutebi as coaches. There was a complete change about the Club from operating just as a public relations tool for Kampala Capital City Authority to becoming a purely football club with a business sense.
By the time he left the club in 2017, KCCA FC had attracted several corporate sponsors, lured back fans with the success on the pitch and above all set the pace and standard for the rest of the teams.
All the above has perhaps been maintained and the club has continued to perform well but the recent dip in form that has seen the club go five games in all competitions without a win has unearthed what we did not know.
Kawowo Sports team took efforts to dig deep and know what exactly is happening at Lugogo and the findings reveal there is a mini crisis at the club.
Players demanding what belongs to them
It is a common practice in Ugandan football that players’ efforts are not appreciated either by failure to pay their salaries and bonuses or clubs/officials promising and never fulfilling.
In KCCA FC’s case, it is not about salary but rather the bonuses that were promised to the players for winning the CECAFA Kagame Club Cup in July this year.
According to a source at the club that preferred anonymity, since then the club has not fulfilled their promise. The exact amount each player is not known by the source.
The source who is a casual worker at the club further reveals, that efforts by the players to get what belongs to them was met by arrogant reaction from the club CEO, Anisha Muhoozi.
“The players have always reminded the people concerned to remunerate their money but this has been landing on deaf ears. The most recent engagement which left the players annoyed was when the CEO told them she does not give a damn and only showed them a phone indicating CECAFA General Secretary Nicholas Musonye does not pick calls to pay the prize money.”
“On Monday, there was a meeting between the players and the administrators and board member Ali Mulyanyama tried to engage the players but the meeting was postponed to Thursday (today).”
The poor run has seen KCCA FC exit from CAF Champions League and failed to win their last three league games (lost two and drawn once). Whereas it is normal for any team to struggle, the mood in the KCCA FC camp could partly be the problem.
Another source told Kawowo Sports that the players were given $150 (about Ushs 555, 000) at the start of the tournament and that is all they have received.
“Players were given $150 each at the start of the tournament and on return they got Ushs 30,000 for transport back home and were told to wait for their bonuses. Until now, there has not been any feedback.”
It should be noted that FUFA President Moses Magogo (who has now been suspended by FIFA) had promised each player $1000 for winning the CECAFA Kagame Cup but that also has not been fulfilled.
Players’ bonuses cut
Kawowo Sports reliably understands that the bonuses for continental engagements were abruptly reduced without explanation to the players.
Before, each KCCA FC player was entitled to $300 for away games on the continent but this has been reduced to $150.
One player confirmed the above changes and indicated their efforts are not being appreciated.
“It is not as rosy as you people think. Many players at other clubs always look at us and think we are better which is not the case. Our efforts are not valued but because we always think it will get better, we keep silent. The bonuses were cut without explanation and it is annoying that whenever we travel for CAF engagements, these people return home with a lot of stuff they buy.”
“On one of the trips as we returned back home, they bought us loaves of bread.” The player testified.
Allan Okello furious
With Okello’s move to FC Zurich failing to materialize, there have been efforts by the club to have the player renew his contract a move the latter is hesitant to make.
Reliable sources indicate the club approached the player’s parents/ guardians and reportedly gave them some money to try and convince him.
Whereas, the club claims the player has missed the last two games due to mild malaria and is expected to come back against Onduparaka FC on Friday, the main reason is because he is furious according to our source.
Not so long ago, there were reports of defensive midfielder Nicholas Kasozi not being in good terms with club for failure to clear his sign on fees. The player came out to refute the claims but our findings reveal it was true.
There are also reports that roving left back Musitafa Kizza has asked for close to 100M if he is to sign a contract extension.
This is still a developing story