Mutualized services in football are when two or more football clubs use the same service as a solution to solve a common problem.
The football clubs involved will put aside their rivalry to use a common service as a solution that would help them to grow.
It’s believed that in the late 1990’s SC Villa, Express FC, and KCCA FC formed an association named V.E.K because they weren’t happy about the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) paying them less money from the Nile Breweries league sponsorship.
The three clubs approached Hedex for sponsorship and played a tournament in form of a super cup.
In that example, three clubs had a common problem of less income from sponsorship then united to attract a common sponsorship service as the solution.
Football in Uganda has very many problems. Clubs are faced with countless challenges that keep increasing every other year.
Some of the problems faced by clubs include; lack of training and match day facilities, lack of competent human personnel, and poor governance.
The majority of the problems faced by football clubs in Uganda, can’t be solved by each of the clubs on their own because the cost would be unaffordable.
KCCA FC’s 2018-2022 strategic plan shows that the club needs an estimated $2.5 million to construct a stadium at their current location in Lugogo but has so far got about $600,000 to start the first phase of stadium construction.
On having the funds available to start construction, KCCA FC’s chairman Martin Ssekajja was quoted by the press to have said that, “We would like to call upon sponsors, fans and KCCA FC well-wishers who can lend a helping hand to come through. We are going to create an app that everyone will use to donate their money for this project and we shall account for every penny.”
The entire process shows that KCCA FC is struggling to raise funds to construct a stadium that meets international standards.
KCCA FC can use mutualized services to partner with one of their rivals like SC Villa or Express FC to combine the efforts that would be required to raise the funds to construct a stadium and share the venue.
Mutualized services can be extended with negotiating for shirt sponsors, sleeve sponsors, stadium naming rights, and partners.
These would enable KCCA FC and the other club to earn more because they would be offering more in terms of numbers.
It might sound impossible because of the rivalry between KCCA FC and Express FC or SC Villa but rivalries like AC Milan and Inter Milan in Italy have used mutualized benefits to share a stadium, and are planning to construct a modern stadium very soon.
The other mutualized services idea that would benefit KCCA FC is the size of the land on which they are planning to construct a stadium.
Would KCCA FC get more if they partnered with the Kampala Rugby Club?
Do KCCA FC and Kampala Rugby Club have similar problems that can be solved with a similar solution?
Mutualized services should be the leverage used by clubs to grow themselves and develop football in Uganda.
NB: Good governance and strategic management need to be in practice if clubs are to get the best out of mutualized services.
That statement shows that if you don’t have the ball then you defend to avoid conceding a goal.
It also shows that if you defend well then you can get the ball and attack.
People will tell you how they played or watched a football match but apparently, the team that had the most possession is the one that played but defending is football too. The team without or less possession is playing too.
The recently concluded 2018-19 English Premier League (EPL) season showed that defenders or defending can be recognized.
Virgil Van Dijk was named Player’s Player of the season after fellow players voted him.
He’s not the first defender to win that award but it’s good to see a shift in mindset to show that defending is football too.
Manchester City won the league title with a consistently 9/10 performance from Benardo Silva.
The attacking midfielder from Portugal is known for dribbling but had one of the most successful tackles and ball recoveries throughout the season.
He also recorded the longest distance covered, a staggering 13.9 km in a match against Liverpool.
A clear indication that his defensive abilities are very good something that helped him compete for a position ahead of more established players in the Man City squad.
BACK TO UGANDA It’s good to see that in the recently concluded 2018-19 Uganda Premier League (UPL), goalkeepers and defenders were able to take home the man of the match award even better, Mike Mutebi the head coach of UPL champions KCCA FC says that Timothy Awany was the club’s best player during the 2018-19 season.
Football coaches in Uganda have a habit of separating football. They restrict defensive players to practice only defensive work, attacking players to practice only attacking work. This habit has reached, underage football, players as young as 10 years old have already been classified as either defenders or attackers.
Coaches have made players believe that as a defender you shouldn’t have any business using the ball, attacking players have been made to believe they have no business working to defend.
With this upbringing, Uganda is now filled with the majority of players not having the ability to function on the field when the demand is to defend and attack. Most of the players can only do one football function.
Perhaps it also explains why most goalkeepers are still struggling with being comfortable with the ball at their feet.
Worryingly though it explains why in Ugandan football when a team is defending, the pitch will be usually split into one part of the team defending while the other part of the team waits for the ball (seems like we are stuck in the past).
Players that are very good at attacking the aerial ball with the head will rarely fall back to defend set-pieces.
Defenders that are good at defending aerial balls with the head will rarely be a threat when attacking set-pieces.
MODERN FOOTBALL TRENDS The current trend in football is that every player on the pitch should be useful when their team is either attacking or defending.
Wide defenders have many assists after arriving in the attacking third of the pitch while many wide attackers will be in the defensive third when out of possession.
Lionel Messi is a wonderful tackler, Christiano Ronaldo has many defensive headed clearances from set-pieces and of course, Vincent Kompany came up with a wonderful goal, shooting from distance to keep Man City in control of the EPL title hunt.
The best two goals at the 2018 FIFA world cup came from two central defenders (Pavard and Nacho) playing as wide defenders.
This ability in those players shows they were taught all football skills at a young age something that needs to be done by football coaches in Uganda or else the margin to professional football will keep getting bigger.
For all young players that intend to impress as footballers, defending is football too.
Learning how to do both defending and attacking is one of the things football scouts observe in a player.
Disclaimer: The writer has nothing against freestyle football.
In February 2019, an image of the 1995 Uganda league table was shared on social media. In this image, the league had 15 teams, 11 of the 15 clubs were institutional teams.
Back then, institutions injected funds into football because they had the capacity to pay salaries and handle other costs that come with playing the league.
These institutions must have relied on tax payer’s money, something you can’t rely on upon forever to fund football.
Fast forward to 2019, only KCCA FC among the 11 institutional clubs that played in the 1995 league is still active.
Considering that Uganda’s budget was generally funded by donors and some taxes (I stand to be corrected) they were sane enough to ensure that money allocated from the budget doesn’t end up as recurring expenses in football.
The other 10 clubs have since closed shop because they didn’t have funds to operate a football club in the league.
The 2018-19 UPL season had seven institutional clubs. Uganda Revenue Authority (URA), Police, Maroons, Ndejje University, Kirinya Jinja SS, Bidco (BUL) and Kampala City Council Authority (KCCA) in addition to those clubs in the top flight, Plascon, Army (UPDF) and Water FC are other institution teams in the second-tier league.
It’s shocking that 10 institutions exited football years ago but a separate group of institutional clubs are still active in football. Have they researched why the other institutions exited?
had the funds to operate football clubs because government expenditure wasn’t
monitored and football was amateur. Let me stick to the amateur football
explanation for the rest of the article.
Amateur football doesn’t care how much revenue you make, all you need is to show up and play. The organization is basic too, all you need is a committee of volunteers earning allowances to do whatever has to be done.
WHAT HAS CHANGED?
Football is now professional, not fully in Uganda but at least it’s starting to paint the picture of being professional.
Professionalism comes with its demands. You have to EMPLOY the RIGHT people; you need a corporate governance module to ensure self-sustainability and the other basics that come with being professional.
In football, the challenges of being professional are much more demanding because a club is expected to spend according to how much money it makes from football-related activities.
KCCA FC has
done very well to start its journey to self-sustainability, they have employed
the right people and managed to attract sponsorship that funds almost 60% of
the club’s budget.
WHAT ABOUT THE OTHER INSTITUTIONAL CLUBS?
As football in Uganda continues on the journey to professionalism, the other institutional clubs will drop out of football because they have struggled to do the basics of football management.
Starting with employing the right people that work full time to make the club professional.
Maroons will give you reasons for borrowing a playing kit from KCCA FC but no sane mind would entertain that excuse.
There are plenty of examples in which institution clubs have struggled to show the kind of organization expected out of them. When Police FC hosted Paidha Black Angels (PBA) at Lugogo, the match was stopped at a certain point after a PBA fan threw objects at the assistant referee, officially the stop was recorded as a water break while the offender was dealt with swiftly. Is that security lacking at a Police match or a case of the offender being daring?
URA FC is
working on employees wearing jerseys as a sign to support the club but by the
time a person joins URA as an employee at an average age of 25, good luck
turning them into supporters.
Police FC had merchandise to sell for the 2018-19 UPL season, on inquiry, a customer needed to move to Naguru to buy a Police FC branded cup/flask.
Was it possible to have those cups available in every police post to make it easier for buyers? I am not a marketing expert but neither am I moving to Naguru for a flask I can easily get next door.
In the 2017-18 UPL season, Stanbic Bank donated (lack of a better word) money to support Maroons then for the 2018-19 season, Centenary bank donated money to support Police FC.
Those two banks don’t appear on playing kits. Have those two clubs attempted to find out why a corporate company is willing to give them money but not appear on their jerseys?
SOLUTIONS FOR INSTITUTIONAL CLUBS
KCCA FC is
able to attract sponsorship revenue because they have a combination of
pedigree, fan base and organized at the moment. Apart from the name, they have
tried to be independent of their mother body.
URA, Police, Ndejje University, Kirinya Jinja SS and the rest can attract sponsorship revenue by changing football team names.
Let’s use an example of URA FC since they already have land in Naggalama (I had better be right on that).
If URA FC renamed to Mapenzi FC, URA would be the owners of Mapenzi FC operating as an independent company, the club would initially benefit from being funded by owners to set up a stadium in Naggalama.
The residents would identify with the club and start supporting it, more supporters would increase revenue from matchday, commercial activities like selling club merchandise and TV rights which would attract sponsors.
How long would it take for Mapenzi FC to break even?
Why shouldn’t URA FC use Naggalama FC as a name? Using Naggalama FC would have restricted URA to one area yet URA has a nationwide presence.
When URA stops funding Mapenzi FC, the funds can be used to set up grassroots structures across the country.
Imagine having a Mapenzi FC grassroots structure in every region of Uganda. Mapenzi would have achieved in having first sight on talent that can go on to play for the club and generate money when transferred secondly, Mapenzi FC would have extended its footprint across the country to attract supporters (more revenue) when they are still young (then it will be possible to make an employee proudly wear a Mapenzi FC jersey).
DO INSTITUTIONAL CLUBS HAVE ROLE MODELS?
My example of what URA FC and other institutional clubs need to do by changing names might be coming from an amateur that lacks an informed opinion.
I suggest they benchmark CSKA Moscow in Russia because it’s owned by the army.
I am sure Police, UPDF, URA, Maroons and the rest can easily afford a trip to Moscow.
Disclaimer: The writer doesn’t have anything against institutional football clubs, all examples were used in good faith.
Football has 17 laws of the game but referees in Uganda add an 18th law that requires them to use common sense which in my opinion makes sense considering their safety concerns in most lower league matches.
Law 1 covers the field of play Law 2 covers the ball Law 3 covers the players Law 4 covers the players’ equipment Law 5 covers the referee Law 6 covers the other match officials Law 7 covers the duration of the match Law 8 covers the start and restart of play Law 9 covers the ball in and out of play Law 10 covers determining the outcome of the match Law 11 covers offside Law 12 covers fouls and misconduct Law 13 covers free kicks Law 14 covers the penalty kick Law 15 covers the throw-in Law 16 covers the goal kick Law 17 covers the corner kick
These laws are formulated and amended by the International Football Association Board (IFAB).
They usually do this after research from major tournaments.
One of the biggest law changes came in 1992 when goalkeepers were no longer allowed to handle a ball passed intentionally by a teammate using the foot. They can handle the ball if it’s passed by a teammate using any body part from the knee and above.
WHAT HAPPENED NEXT?
The football clubs that plan player development (not in Uganda) worked out how a goalkeeper would be more involved in the game.
They started training young goalkeepers how to be comfortable with the ball at their feet because, before that, goalkeepers mainly used their hands and only used their feet to kick.
They embraced the new change and greatly worked on goalkeepers being able to use their feet to receive the ball, pass the ball short, medium or long and to dribble.
Ball-playing goalkeepers are now common but not all of them, some of the goalkeepers in clubs that weren’t playing the ball out from the back didn’t work on goalkeepers having neat footwork to move the ball.
Those goal keepers are in their 30’s and about to retire.
When football scouts are sent to watch potential signings, they have a profile for each position.
Goalkeepers in the modern era MUST be comfortable with the ball at their feet especially in open play.
Worry for goalkeepers in Uganda hoping to be scouted.
Watch a game in Uganda at any level, you’ll struggle to find a team that is comfortable building up the ball from the back.
Most goalkeepers aren’t comfortable with the ball at their feet in open play. Ugandans hate risks (especially in football) it’s understandable with competitive football that relies on results but development tournaments are filled with coaches and players scared of building up from the back just in case they make a mistake.
At the 2019 AFCON U-17 tournament, Uganda Cubs (men’s U-17 national team) struggled to build up from the back which resulted in possession being sacrificed easily on many occasions.
An underage team not having players comfortable with building up from the back is a sign that work has to be done in the junior league because that’s where the majority of coaching happens.
The other worry is that because most goalkeepers struggle with the ball at their feet in open play, it affects the coach’s ability to use certain tactics.
Under FIFA regulations on the status and transfer of players, if a professional footballer transfers to another club during the course of a contract, 5% of any transfer fee, not including training compensation paid to his former club, shall be deducted from the total amount of the transfer fee and distributed by the new club as a solidarity contribution to the club(s) involved in training and education the player over the years.
This solidarity contribution reflects the number of years the player was registered with the relevant club(s) between the seasons of the 12th and 23rd birthdays, as follows:
Season of birthday
% of compensation
% of total transfer fee
The above table is a breakdown of solidarity payment contribution.
According to my financial expert Andrew Muhimbise, passive income is money earned without the direct involvement of the income earner.
Passive income does not mean earning money by doing nothing.
It means generating revenue without having to exchange time for it (beyond the initial time invested in creating a passive income stream).
For instance, owning real estate or company shares, you actually don’t have to physically be there to earn but, to earn passive income, you need an initial effort.
Paul Pogba’s move from Juventus to Manchester United for £89,300,000 helped Le Havre AC to earn £893,000 as passive income.
He joined the club aged 12 for four years. Since they contributed to his development and education as a football player, they earned passive income for their efforts.
Racqui San Isidro who ply their trade in Spain’s fifth division were saved from running out of football business by the solidarity mechanism payment.
The same cannot be said of football clubs in Uganda.
FUFA SHOULD IMPLEMENT A DOMESTIC SOLIDARITY MECHANISM PAYMENT SYSTEM THAT DEVELOPS UGANDAN FOOTBALL
The solidarity mechanism payment system only applies to international transfers (involves moving from one federation to another federation), Federation Of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) can implement a domestic version that would STRICTLY apply to DOMESTIC transfers.
Clubs will work very hard to train and maintain quality players because they will know that it pays to train a “Pogba”. At the moment, we have young players moving every transfer window, the lack of stability denies players a chance to get proper football education and to develop talent.
Clubs will appreciate the value of having full-time standard academies and attaching value to talented footballers. With more transfers and funds being paid to clubs, more money will get to grassroots which helps clubs acquire equipment.
Clubs will work very hard to stay in business by adopting modern business methods. Having the hope that there’s payment because of a good product on the market would keep any club afloat.
The problem of age cheating will be solved because clubs would need to register players from the age of twelve and keep tracking them to avoid missing out on a huge payday.
The most expensive Ugandan footballer has got to be Farouk Miya after Standard Liege paid $400,000 to Vipers.
On applying the solidarity mechanism payment formula, Standard Liege should be paying Friends Of Football (FOF) about $6,000.
Do they have the paperwork to prove he was groomed at their academy?
Do they have the knowledge that they are due $6,000 from Standard Liege?
Why is it that a law that was introduced to develop football at grass root level is not serving its intended purpose?
The biggest move of the 2016-17 Ugandan transfer window was of Musa Esenu joining Vipers SC from Soana FC for a reported 25,000,000 Uganda Shillings.
The 21-year-old striker was groomed by Future Stars in Soroti.
Below is an illustration of how a domestically applied solidarity mechanism payment would benefit Future Stars.
95% due to Selling Club
Season of Birthday
Season of 12th Birthday
Season of 13th Birthday
Season of 14th Birthday
Season of 15th Birthday
Season of 16th Birthday
Season of 17th Birthday
Season of 18th Birthday
Season of 19th Birthday
Season of 20th Birthday
Season of 21st Birthday
Season of 22nd Birthday
Season of 23rd Birthday
As illustrated above, Future Stars would pocket 750,000 Uganda shillings of passive income from Esenu’s move for their initial effort in grooming him. It sounds like very little money but it’s enough to buy basic football equipment to keep them running.
It would prepare Future Stars to receive bigger amounts should Esenu move from Vipers for a higher transfer fee and most importantly, its better than nothing at all.
The ball is in FUFA’s half to be creative and come up with a domestic solidarity mechanism payment system to help clubs to develop through being able to get funds to the grass root structures that groom football players.
Amending domestic player transfer regulations would do the trick.