•With the sponsorship set to take effect from the new season,Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda, says clearing the salary arrears and other debts will be his top priority
•Besides paying debts, Shikanda revealed that plans were underway to formally launch 'Ingwe Water' by the end of next week
After securing an annual Sh40 million shirt sponsorship deal with Betsafe, AFC Leopards have embarked on clearing the five-month salary arrears accrued during the 2019-2020 season.
Both Leopards and Kenyan champions Gor Mahia have had it rough since the unceremonious exit of another gaming firm in August last year but their long wait came to an end yesterday after penning deals with the new firm which will run for the next three years. Gor will be banking Sh 55 million per year from the deal.
With the sponsorship set to take effect from the new season, Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda says that clearing the salary arrears and other debts will be his top priority.
Shikanda said the new betting firm, who are expected to hit the ground running in the coming months, shied from shouldering their liabilities but he vowed to roll his sleeves and gradually clear with players and suppliers.
"We are grateful that after months of knocking doors, we have finally nailed down a sponsor. The club has a bigger responsibility to clear the debts which run into millions before we start with Betsafe from next season. Our players are demanding their five-month salaries and there are a number of suppliers who are on our necks. We inherited debts and I believe they are all genuine cases which we have to clear for the club to have a clean image," he said.
Similarly, Gor chairman Ambrose Rachier welcomed the new partner , saying, "'We are happy to announce this deal with Betsafe. A very welcomed message to all our fans that we have secured long term financial support from a strong and a safe partner,"
Besides paying debts, Shikanda revealed that plans were underway to formally launch 'Ingwe Water' by the end of next week.
He said the club will pocket Sh10 from the sale of half a litre bottle but the immediate target was more than a thousand Leopards families who will be supplied with larger volumes.
"We are keen to launch the partnership by the end of next week. the club will be getting money from the sale of the water but we want to supply our fans with larger volumes for the club to generate more income.We have more than three products which we will be selling to our fans. Our core business is to play football but the club can not solely rely on sponsors to meet its budgetary costs hence the need to go commercial," he revealed.
Meanwhile, Betsafe's public relations manager, Tom Bwana said, "We will be launching in the Kenyan market very soon and our top priority is to support Kenyan football. Being a responsible gaming provider since the very beginning, we hope to bring more engagement and excitement together with Leopards SC in the near future."