Off the pitch; Ambition during the Transfer season

The Kenyan game is getting exciting more and more by the day and I can’t deny- every single day; there’s something exciting to make me smile about the situation of the game in this country. If it’s not a player, it’s a coach, when it’s not some funny management team, it’s a decision they have made. It’s not a perfect game- we are always striving for perfection, sadly though; we might never achieve it; it’s a mystery. We, though, must always push on.

The transfer window is here, some teams impress me, but others are still the same old self – always planning to fail in advance. I guess every day each team should be thinking of a way to better their previous results, every day for a football club should be a new awakening that yesterday matters no more- only tomorrow can change history and even make it better.

Come on, in a nut shell, it’s something to do with a desire for achievement and the willingness to strive for its fulfilment. Something I would better put into one word- ambition.

In a world where winning is everything, it’s only fair to mention that only ambition can keep you on your toes. Rising above everyone else at the end of the day is the greatest thing that can reward your sweat while at the same time- each result is always commensurate to the ‘sweat’ a team put in preparation for a match.

One famous football pundit once said ‘’some leagues/cups are won in the transfer period.” At the end of every season- I’m pretty sure each team/club comes up with a season report. It’s where the team outlines it’s positives and negatives, further it’s where the team seeks to build from as they step into the transfer window and subsequently the next season.

It’s mostly at this time too that jobs are lost, players recommended for dropping, contract extensions and even the fans given a forum to air out their thoughts.

In Kenya Reports are given- how much they are looked into as basis of getting better though is left for debate, but much more exciting is what happens on the player’s part. Are players given personal reports on what they did well in during the season, are they told what they need to improve on in the next season? Are they also asked to give their opinion on how the team can get better?

I was always going to dig into the management of the clubs. The players are like employees of a company- you provide the guidance and leadership as the management. Do you ever have a plan for your club, whether over five years, or two years or three years – whatever works best for you? Do you ever make your players, managers aware of the plan and how you want it executed? Is it workable and do you think they are the right guys to bring it into realization?

I’m pretty scared that most club owners work with the thoughts of making money, selling players, getting more TV revenue and the greatest of them all- featuring again next season. Henry Ford, the famous American industrialist, once said-  ‘’A business that makes nothing but money is a poor business.’’

It’s the bitter truth though in most football clubs- we are not offering our players anything apart from money. It’s fast becoming a routine to play and retire after some time, when you can finally attract no more interest from another club. We don’t provide our players with ‘homes’- places they would want to be associated with after they retire. It’s always a matter of playing, earning your money and moving on to the next club.

Are we trying to complete a puzzle? No player is meant for a club that he must keep on moving from one to the other with the hope that he will finally land at ‘his designated club’. I’m saddened when each time a player is dropped another club wants him hoping he will finally come good when clearly his best is way behind him while others are denied a chance just because they have no experience. Experience my foot, I ask.

You can’t clearly say that every year you conduct trials and just still can’t get no good player, you then resort to recycling somebody who has been dropped from four clubs in the last four years- that’s a joke. It should be noted though that I’m not rubbishing the idea that some players are dropped maybe because the club’s ‘plan’ for the next season excludes them – but for somebody who’s dropped for the sheer reason that he’s clearly adding no value or on disciplinary grounds, you wonder why they are chosen by some coaches to go ‘survive’ another season on a bench.

A large, thick line should clearly exist between friendship and professionalism in this field though. Doesn’t mean that if you’re a professional- then you throw friendship out of the window and become one enemy of everyone. No! It’s about players who are chosen because either they have links with somebody influential at the club or some part of the history of the club would favour them commanding a starting XI. In this league I have seen players signed to certain clubs just because they are relatives of somebody influential at the helm or because they are seen as the face of the club despite their liabilities and even given contract extensions just to make a few people happy. This is a stage we should be well past right now.

And so now lastly as a club- try and hold on to your best- manufacture if you can, store, buy when necessary and sell but never forget to replace. The moment you sell without replacing it either means you had no plan and one side of the equation is always going to suffer. Each club needs to understand that optimizingstrategic, operational and financial stability is the absolute key to not losing capacity and prestige.

Have a peaceful and lovely transfer season. 
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