In the wake of the Corona virus disease (COVID-19 pandemic), football in the country has come to a halt and this has obviously hit hard at most clubs in the Kenyan Premier League. With no training going on and subsequently no league matches at the weekends, allowances for the footballers have also dwindled with it.
It is indeed a tough time that has seen some clubs- Kakamega Homeboyz FC for example, decide to make pay-cuts on its playing units. Wazito FC, however, will not be making any pay cuts to both its playing units and non-playing staff.
According to club owner Ricardo Badoer, his staff too have families and it would not be fair to force them into pay cuts.
”My thinking is that when you have people working for you, you cannot decide not to pay them because there is a virus in the world, it would be very unfair for me to pull such a move. They have families, they need to put food on the table and as such, I have to consider their welfare too,” the boss tells Wazito media.
No football means no fans in the stadium and for clubs that heavily rely on gate collections to pay player-allowances, the disruption of the norm found most club managements at flat foot. Mr. Badoer, on the other hand, says he is always prepared for anything.
”I always have money put aside that can run my business and pay my people during bad times. When you survive bad times, you come back stronger because the staff will be willing to give their best because they are part of a well-run business,” he continues.
Covid-19 has hit hard in most European countries and with the few faces reported in Africa, individual countries have taken measures to curb its spread while looking at a return to normalcy soon. In Kenya, the 7 pm to 5 am curfew was extended to a total lockdown for four counties that have been declared hotspots. Nairobi county, a host to more than half of Kenya’s KPL clubs, is one of those counties.
Wazito, sitting 13th on the 18-team KPL log, has urged fans to steer clear of public gatherings and maintain high hygiene standards in order to help fight the virus.
”We encourage everyone to avoid public gatherings and adopt social distancing measures. Sanitize and maintain high hygiene levels. Stay healthy, stay safe, and we look forward to the day we will be back in the stadium playing and supporting Wazito FC,” reads a statement on the website.
They play Mathare United when the league resumes.