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AFC Leopards’ troubles are self-inflicted

Happy gone days at the den: AFC Leopards have had close to 10 coaches in the last four years, averaging two per season. (PIX: Courtesy)

AFC Leopards have had close to 10 coaches in the last four years, averaging two per season.

Save for 2012 when Dutchman Jan Koops lasted over a season before he was shown the door, Ingwe have not kept a coach for a year.

Koops took over in June 2011 from Nick Yakhama when the team was languishing in 12th place and took them to an impressive fifth, but a third place finish — after leading the league with 18 points at some stage — saw the club dismiss him.

In 2013, Ingwe had a record three coaches in Tom Olaba, Luc Eymael and James Nandwa a situation that was almost replicated in 2014 as Nandwa was shown the door and replaced by Abdallah Juma, but the former KCB tactician did not last two months as he was demoted to assistant coach of Dutchman Henrik de Jong.

But all these merry-go-rounds have only worked to Leopards’ detriment. They have won only one trophy in the last four years, the GOtv Shield Cup in 2013 under Nandwa.

It is a trend that has been occasioned in many cases by a divided executive committee and an extremely demanding fan-base which bays for the blood of a coach after two or three poor results.

Barasa wheels away in celebration after scoring against rivals, Gor Mahia. Four seniour players have asked to be released by the club. (PIX: Courtesy)

Barasa wheels away in celebration after scoring against rivals, Gor Mahia. Four seniour players have asked to be released by the club.
(PIX: Courtesy)

Ingwe’s problems seem to be escalating. The tax man’s noose, financial breakdown, failed pre-season and a looming player exodus.

The team had officially planned to start training on Monday, but the programme was indefinitely suspended as only three players turned up.
A player who sought anonymity has disclosed that up to 10 of them have written to the Kenya Premier League to terminate their contracts due to lack of payment for the last three months.

Ingwe has found it hard to pay its players after KRA froze their accounts over unpaid taxes and this in turn has created a financial problem.
“According to Fifa rules, a player can terminate his contract with a club if he is not paid his salary for three consecutive months. This is the route we have taken and a couple of us have already submitted our letters to KPL,” said the source.

“We would love to stay at the club because most of us love the team. However, the officials are very elusive and are not communicating to us,” he added.

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