Football organizations need money to operate yet it’s a very scarce resource because of the tight competition involved in acquiring it.
To beat the tight competition, football organizations in Uganda must have good financial management practices.
Managing finances transparently, efficiently
and effectively is essential to ensure continued income and growth for any football organization.
Mentioning good financial management practices and the majority of Ugandans in the same sentence is almost equivalent to mentioning water and oil in the same space. The two hardly mix!
Financial literacy is supposed to be taught from the infancy stage using the same effort as reading, writing, etiquette, and all the other lessons that are taught in that period of human growth.
Unfortunately, the majority of Ugandans don’t undergo financial literacy that would enable us to practice good financial management. As we get older, we struggle to manage personal finances yet besides, we have football organizations to manage.
A friend of mine named Peter traveled with his family and in-laws to Kabale to celebrate Christmas. As the norm usually has it in most Ugandan cultures, his parents gave his niece 10,000 Uganda shillings as pocket money on the way back.
Along the way, the excited niece and the mother planned on how to use the money and settled for the idea of buying roasted chicken to enjoy the road trip.
They gladly requested Peter that should he come across a selling point for roasted chicken, he should stop so that they spend their money.
Concerned about their choice on how to spend the money, Peter asked the sister in law and niece whether eating chicken was their main need.
Of course, his question wasn’t treated in a good way but he exercised his authority to inform them that he wasn’t going to stop.
The above scenario of impulsive spending speaks to the majority of us Ugandans yet we are required to manage finances in the organizations that we serve.
Another misconception among we Ugandans, it that good financial management practices is a job for people employed in the finance department yet it’s every individual that is part of an organization.
In June 2020, the Federation of International Football Association (FIFA) approved that $1.5 million will be sent out to each member association as COVID-19 relief aid.
Football clubs in Uganda are already demanding for the money to pay off salaries and in typical Ugandan financial management fashion, there are already articles published to show how the money should be spent.
The money is not meant to bail out only football clubs but the entire football family of FUFA’s 34 members.
I can understand that football clubs in Uganda have been badly affected by COVID-19 and need money to pay salaries but I am very sure the majority of football clubs have always had inconsistencies in paying salaries.
I am not sure about the instructions but, If I had to decide, I would ensure that $1.5 million is spent on activities that will lead to growing or attracting competent human capacity within football and infrastructure that would lead to sustainable income within football.
For example, there’s no club with a training ground worthy of a professional football club in Uganda.
How many football clubs in Uganda lack training facilities? How many football clubs spend money on renting or hiring poor training facilities?
If part of that money were to be used to construct modern football training facilities in some parts of the country, would clubs still have to rent or hire training facilities as a cost? Would owning training facilities enable clubs to make money in the long run?
We need to prioritize the training of good financial management practices within football in Uganda.
It’s never too late and, will save us the burden that comes with the ignorance of managing finances for football in Uganda.