For a long epoch, the ownership of Uganda’s arguably most successful football entity, Sports Club Villa has been contested, questioned, and obviously protested.

The in-house quibbles and cavils could soon be put to bed, at least for now if the libretti from the interim chairperson William Nkemba is something to go by.

Nkemba addressed a fully packed press conference at the Sheraton Rwenzori Ball Room in Kampala on Wednesday, 14 October 2020.

The SC Villa legend and former Uganda Cranes defender was flanked by the founding members of the club that started as Nakivubo Boys Football Club as Eriab Kamya, Dan Lule and Fred Kawuma Guy, FUFA representative Humphrey Mandu Watenga, as well as Denis Mbidde Ssebugwawo, an ardent member of this historic club that has won 16 Uganda Premier League, 9 Uganda Cup, and 3 CECAFA club titles.

Nkemba whose era as interim commenced in July 2018 termed the 2018-19 season as his best achievement thus far.

“We started from scratch. All the players’ employment contracts had expired and many had moved on. We built a new team and ensured sporting continuity to date. Last season, COVID-19 cut short our dreams as we were third by the time the league was halted abruptly (with 5 matches to play),” Nkemba told the media.

Eng. William Nkemba, Sports Club Villa interim president (Credit: John Batanudde)

He hinted at the club’s immediate plans to bury the purple patches that witnessed the club last win the premier league title in 2004 and the Uganda Cup 11 years later.

“Sports Club Villa has had some bad patches and some of the challenges at Villa Park have been ensuring sporting continuity, the contested ownership, and the governance issues. We need fundamental progress,” he added.

William Nkemba and Fred Guy Kawuma (one of the founding members of SC Villa)

Villa Members’ Trust:

Going forward, the founder members of the club have granted the start of the Villa Members Trust, which will be tasked to administer the team.

According to Nkemba, the membership to the Villa Members’ Trust shall be for those persons who subscribe annually and pay a fee of Shs 50,000.

They will be entitled to vote for the president of the club every four years and a seasonal ticket for all home games. The members of the Trust who will own Sports Club Villa and have a say for all the club issues as a community club.

“The development to start the Villa Members’ Trust has received the approval and concurrence of the founding members of SC Villa,” Nkemba clarified.

L-R: Denis Mbidde, William Nkemba, Eriab Kamya, and Dan Lule at Sheraton Kampala Hotel on 14th October 2020 (Credit: John Batanudde)

To that effect, Sports Club Villa shall be governed by the Trust with an annual club congress (General assembly of the club).

The congress which will be composed of not more than 120 members will come with the club executive committee with a president who will be accountable to the sporting success.

“The club executive shall employ a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who will head the club secretariat. We have been able to restore the upward sporting trajectory of the club,” Nkemba vowed.

L-R: Fred Guy Kawuma, William Nkemba, Eriab Kamya and Dan Lule share some ideas after the press conference (Credit: John Batanudde) Credit: John Batanudde

Tentatively, the 30th October 2020 has been set as the date for the official launch of the Trust.

All those willing to register have been given several alternatives and options as registering at the club’s office in Industrial Area, Kampala, online platforms (to be confirmed).

“We are scaling the heights where we are known to be. The selection will be on application and a premium subscription. Running the club is different from owning it. The Trust is all accommodative (Anybody that loves to associate with SC Villa, to be Villa and serve SC Villa). Football needs resources as money, time and innovations (ideas). We are going to educate, convince, and involve everyone,” Nkemba added.

Humphrey Mandu Watenga, the Deputy Chief Executive Officer of Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA)

In his address, Mandu lauded the club management for the initiative.

“This is the positive trajectory that we all believe in. I want to retaliate the confidence that FUFA has in Villa. Going forward, FUFA believes in good governance for clubs,” Mandu stated.

Dennis Mbidde Ssebugwawo speaks during the press conference held at Rwenzori Ball Room, Sheraton Kampala Hotel

The Villa Club Membership will be launched on 30th October and the fans meet up on 8th November 2020.

Dennis Mbidde Ssebugwawo

The timeline as regards the roadmap to the election of the SC Villa President will be communicated as time moves along.

William Nkemba stresses a point as Dennis Mbidde listens attentively (Credit: John Batanudde)

Meanwhile, SC Villa started training in preparation for the 2020-21 Uganda Premier League at Villa Park, Nsambya under the coaches Edward Kaziba (head coach), Ibrahim Kirya (assistant), Mubarak Kiberu (goalkeeping), and the trainers’ duo of former players Joseph Nestroy Kizito and Phillip Ssozi.

FUFA set the kick-off date for the 2020-21 season as 20th November 2020, a push from October 21, 2020.

SC Villa Achievements

16 Ugandan Premier League Titles: 1982, 1984, 1986, 1987, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1992, 1994, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2004

9 Uganda Cup Titles: 1983, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1998, 2000, 2002, 2009,2015

3 CECAFA Clubs Cups: 1987, 2003, 2005

13 CAF Champions League Appearances: 1983 (Quarter-Finals), 1985  (1st Round), 1987 (Second Round), 1988  (Second Round), 1991 (Finalist), 1993 (Quarter-Finals), 1999 (Second Round), 2000 (Preliminary Round), 2001 (Second Round), 2002 (First Round), 2003 (First Round), 2004 (First Round), 2005 (First Round)

1 CAF Confederation Cup Appearance: 2010

2 CAF Cup Appearances:1992 (Finalist) and 1994

3 CAF Cup Winners’ Cup Appearances: 1984 (Quarter-Finals), 1989 (First Round) and 1990 (First Round)

David Isabirye is a senior staff writer for Kawowo Sports where he covers most of the major events.

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