•“We didn’t have fans in the stadium which meant our income was severely impacted. It is a year that reminds us that impossible things can happen,” said Shikanda.
• Meanwhile, Gor Mahia have confirmed signing seven new players ahead of the new season.
AFC Chairman Dan Shikanda and his Gor Mahia counterpart Ambrose Rachier have described the just concluded Kenyan Premier League season as one they would wish to forget as fast as possible.
Both managers agreed the season was tumultuous and thanked their shirt sponsors Betsafe for jumping to their rescue.
“2020 was a problematic year for us in the field of football management,” said Rachier.
Rachier noted that football, like all other sectors, bore the brunt of the Covid-19 scourge.
“Our lives were all negatively impacted by the pandemic, and 2020 is a year we would like to put behind us,” said Rachier, a sentiment that Shikanda concurs with.
Shikanda said the whole of 2020 seemed like the end of the world given everything was uncertain.
“We didn’t have fans in the stadium which meant our income was severely impacted. It is a year that reminds us that impossible things can happen,” said Shikanda.
“We faced a myriad of challenges that made it difficult to hone our players well enough to perform on the pitch.”
Both Gor and AFC were plagued by numerous injuries.
“Almost 50 players of our players were infected at different times and therefore were unable to play football. Worst still, we had several of them positive for Covid-19 at a crucial time and this affected our performances,” said Rachier.
Rachier said Betsafe came to their rescue at a time when they had few options.
"In fact, they had paid for the season in advance and that allowed us to pay our players and staff and meet other financial obligations,” said Rachier.
“Not many people understand what it takes for a team to appear on the pitch on a weekend to play a league match. It is a week of training, transport, security and health, all of which are costly,” added Shikanda.
“With a partner like Betsafe supporting us, even with the measures they had to take due to the tough economic climate, we can focus on improving our performance for the coming season.”
“We have made sure our players and staff are all vaccinated, and it is the only way everyone can get back into the stadium and see us win.”