At the back of the minds of the defending champions and their many fans will be the question of what’s in it for them.
All the FKF Premier League teams are preparing to battle this weekend, but the unshakable question of the prize money remains on the front burner.
The FKF Premier League is not among the leagues that pay the highest prize money in Africa. They do not feature in the top ten, yet reports are rife that teams would go to battle again for nothing.
Kenya Premier League past prize money
The highest league-winning prize money is paid by the South African PSL. They dole out $860,000 to the winner, while Egypt, Morocco and Nigeria (in seventh) pay out $500,000, $300,000 and $160,000 respectively, but where is Kenya?
The past two years have seen the winner of the FKF Premier League go home with nothing. In 2019, the league winner was supposed to pocket Ksh 4 million, while the 2020 winner of winner went home with Ksh 5 million.
Our acting CEO @samnzau1986 got a taste of the Tusker birthday celebration.
Ako na bahati tu mchanga haikupatikana, otherwise ingekuwa full shangwe!
Happy birthday sir! Cheers to many more! pic.twitter.com/nkxM6Wh0UG
— 🏆Tusker FC (@tusker_fc) August 11, 2023
These figures were supposed to grow, but things have not been working to script with the FKF Premier League.
Something good in the offing
The figures for prize money for the coming season are still unconfirmed. The last two seasons saw the FKF Premier League winners going home with nothing. Tusker and Gor Mahia received no cash prizes as the league organisers claimed there was no money, so they could not finance it.
Things may be looking up for the league, as plans seem underway for a more rewarding 2023/24 campaign.
The Sports Cabinet Secretary Ababu Namwamba has assured teams and players that it would be a different scenario this season as there will be a broadcast sponsor for the league. The Secretary boasted that they were making arrangements for a mega package never seen in the Kenyan Premier League.
No sponsors, no money
The glaring evidence is that the last two seasons saw the FKF Premier League running on fumes.
The fact remains that there is simply no money to share without a sponsor. It is why the last two winners have gone home with empty pockets despite the exertions of the campaign.
Let's go down the sponsorship trail of the FKF Premier League. The league signed a sponsorship deal with East African Breweries in 2012. The deal was worth KSh 170 million and thus renamed the league – the Tusker Premier League.
It was the most lucrative deal in the history of Kenyan football.
East African betting company SportPesa secured the rights in 2015, signing a four-and-a-half-year deal with the FKF Premier League worth Ksh 450 million to become the SportPesa Premier League.
The league changed sponsorship again in 2020, with BetKing Kenya in a five-year deal worth Ksh 1.2 billion. The contract was terminated in 2021, making the winners of the league for the next two seasons go home empty-handed.
If the claims by the Sports Cabinet Secretary are anything to go by, then the FKF Premier League teams have something to cheer about.
StarTimes presently has a seven-year broadcast deal with the FKF that started in 2020 and is worth Ksh 110 million.
This article was most recently revised and updated 4 weeks ago