Nairobi News


AFC Leopards players go on strike in winning bonus tussle

AFC Leopards secretary general Gilbert Andugu has implored the players and technical bench to maintain their impressive run despite challenges on the financial front.

In an exclusive interview with Nairobi News, Andugu explained the management is working round the clock to pay their outstanding match-winning bonuses.

The players are yet to receive their allowances totaling Sh20,000 each despite winning in five of their last six league matches versus Murang’a Seal, Kariobangi Sharks, Muhoroni Youth, Ulinzi Stars, and Kakamega Homeboyz.

The delays caused the players to refuse to train on Wednesday 21, 2024, despite a meeting with chairman Dan Shikanda.

The playing staff are demanding their arrears be paid in full before they resume training.

“The players are motivated to win because of the bonuses. I am hoping we will be in a position to clear that soon,” explained Andugu, who also played down reports the delays in payments could affect the team morale as has happened in the past.

“We are currently the best team in the league. The management and technical bench have worked hard to improve the level of the team after an average start to the season. We speak to the players daily to ensure they understand our situation. All salaries have been paid. The arrears in allowances will soon be cleared.”

Leopards’ players are each paid between Sh5000 and Sh10000 per win as a bonus.

Leopards coach Thomas Trucha, who’s been instrumental in the team’s recent success, lifted the lid on ‘internal problems’ within the team following the epic barren draw away to Homeboyz at the Bukhungu stadium in Kakemega on Sunday.

“I am satisfied with the result but we deserved more and perhaps should have won. Some internal challenges in camp affected our preparation for this assignment but we still managed a clean sheet.”

The club relies on an estimated Sh65 million a season sponsorship from jersey sponsors Betika, alongside gate takings, sale of merchandise, membership fees, and donations from well-wishers as its main sources of income.

Shikanda has however repeatedly explained that the revenue streams are still short of the current expenditure.

The clash against Homeboyz was meanwhile well attended with an estimated 1500 fans making the 800-km round trip between Nairobi and Kakamega in minibuses, in a classic case of sports tourism.

The result leaves Leopards ranked eighth on the 18-team league standings with 31 points from 22 matches, and 16 points adrift table toppers and arch-rivals Gor Mahia.

Dubbed Ingwe by its ardent supporters, Leopards will next play host to Nzoia Sugar in the next assignment slated for Sunday.

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