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.
Whenever there’s a football problem in Uganda, the Federation of Uganda Football Associations (FUFA) is expected to solve it.
Poor officiation, clubs not paying salaries, poor football facilities, players failing trials, unprofessional coaches, women’s football issues, unregulated agents, chaotic schools’ football, unethical administrators, football not being able to make front-page headlines, clubs not performing at the continental level, etc.
Think of any problem within Ugandan football, and FUFA will be the first culprit.
Some problems are comical like; clubs not having sponsors, age cheating in underage football, and transporting clubs.
As the body that’s in charge of football in Uganda, FUFA should take responsibility for the blame but they can’t solve all problems.
Using an example of corruption, the Ugandan government is responsible and should take the blame but can’t solve that problem on its own.
It requires sensitizing the public that acts like bribing police, bribing your way to getting a job, cheating in exams, expecting to be paid extra for performing a service for which you are already paid, falsifying receipts, etc. are all acts of corruption.
That way, the public will know that corruption starts with me.
It’s a problem that can go away if we change behaviour from our homes and the quality of upbringing.
FUFA is a group of football associations. They are the members that makeup FUFA.
Uganda Football Referees’ Association, Uganda Football Coaches’ Association, Uganda Women’s Football Association, Uganda Football Players’ Association, etc. are some of the FUFA member associations.
FUFA needs to come up with a syllabus for developing the capacity of administrators to improve governance with FUFA member associations.
Come up with guidelines on who qualifies to be eligible for football administration courses.
Formulate a thorough member association licensing guide, delegate tasks that directly affect member associations, a balance scorecard, and an appraisal system for member associations.
From that process, it’s possible to ask questions like; What does each FUFA member association do to solve problems that are linked to them?
On 12th February 2020, the FUFA Competitions Disciplinary Panel (CPD) ruled that KCCA FC fans committed acts of hooliganism in a UPL match against URA FC after the Sam Ssimbwa (URA FC head coach) celebrated in front of them.
Interestingly, Sam Ssimbwa didn’t get any punishment, and I wouldn’t be surprised if he is among the majority blaming FUFA for any problem.
Unknown to CPD, three football problems were “swept under the carpet” yet these will haunt FUFA in the long run.
The URA FC vs KCCA FC fans violence can be solved by making the Uganda Football Coaches’ Association answerable as to why they have licensed a coach that behaves that way, make the Uganda Football Referees’ Association answerable as to why the referee did not book the coach, make UPL, URA FC and KCCA FC answerable for the way fans behaved in that match.
There should be repercussions for each football problem, ensure that it’s documented and make sure the responsible member association is doing something about the found problems.
The repercussions should always trickle down to the coach, fan, referee, administrator, and player to always be answerable and start taking responsibility for any football problem.
How long will it take for FUFA member associations to solve problems and to ensure they don’t happen again?
How long would it take to solve the majority of Uganda’s football problems?
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.