Sports in a lucrative economic activity in many parts of the world. In this article we are focusing on the economics of soccer in Kenya. However, we have to note upfront that there is inadequate data in the field of soccer in Kenya. Research has always indicated that many developing countries have limited data on sports in general. We’ll dive into various sources to source for information and present it in this article.

Soccer is a multi-million dollar business in many parts of the world. There are many sources of revenues which includes: sale of tickets, sponsorship revenues, TV rights and tourist spending among other sources. Sportsmen and management teams bring a lot of revenue to the local economy when Kenya is hosting football tournaments or any other sport for that case.

Andreff & Szymanski (2006) argues that sports does not make people forget about the problems of underdevelopment in their country. People won’t forget their poverty, illiteracy and hunger due to sports.

Financing of Kenya Premier League (KPL)

The Kenya Premier League signed a deal worth Ksh 170 million on 21 August, 2012 with East African Breweries (EABL) to change its name to Tusker Premier League. It was the most profitable deal at that time.

On October 18, 2012, Kenya Premier League (KPL) signed a Ksh. 10 million deal with Puma which saw Puma become the official ball supplier for the KPL clubs and the League with immediate effect.

Sportpesa, an East African Betting Company gained its naming rights of the Kenya Premier League on 6 August, 2015. Sportpesa and the Kenya Premier League signed a four-year deal worth Ksh 450 million. Sportpesa introduced a trophy made of Brass manufactured in Italy which weighed 12 kilograms. Gor Mahia FC won that trophy in that season.

Sportpesa also signed a sponsorship deal with SPL Champions Gor Mahia and their rivals AFC Leopards worth Ksh 120 million every year. In 2016, FKF also signed a 5 year sponsorship deal with Sportpesa. However, in 2019 Sportpesa announced to have cancelled all sponsorship deals in Kenya due to the government’s move to block its pay bill numbers and delayed license renewal.

Highest paying football clubs in Kenya

The Kenya Premier League has been expanding over the years and most Kenyans nowadays flood the Kenyan Stadiums to watch it.

Many Corporate firms have come out to sponsor some of the top local clubs. In spite of all that, most local players earn lowly. Gor Mahia, AFC Leopards and Tusker FC are the most successful clubs in Kenya. They are the clubs that pay their players highest in the Kenya Premier League. Others include Sofapaka and Mathare United.

Gor Mahia

Gor Mahia Football Club has been the highest salary paying club in recent years. Gor Mahia has been paying Dennis Oliech Ksh 350,000 per month since he signed a one year contract with the club. In addition Gor Mahia were to pay him Ksh 3.5Million sign on fee which was to be paid in two installments. However, Gor Mahia recently terminated Oliech’s contract due to what the club termed as serious misconduct.

Gor Mahia has also been paying Ksh 130,000 a month to Francis Kahata who recently left the club to join Tanzanian Club Simba SC. Apart from the salaries Gor Mahia pays all their first team players a winning bonus of Ksh 10,000 once they win a game.

Gor Mahia in the recent past paid Rwandese striker Meddie Kagere about Ksh 200,000 a month before he completed his move to Simba SC. Another Rwandese, Jacques Tuyisenye pocketed Ksh 100,000 before moving to Petro Atletico of Angola. The current Gor Mahia squad players earn between Ksh 50,000 to Ksh 100,000.

AFC Leopards

It is the second most successful club in Kenya. Remuneration of players range between Ksh 40,000 to Ksh 100,000.

Tusker FC

Players who play for Tusker FC earn between 40,000 and 70,000. The club also pays bonuses   of Ksh 5000 for a draw and 10,000 for a win in every game they play.

Mathare United

Mathare United is one of the local football clubs that is developing. Players at Mathare United earn at least Ksh 40,000 while the highest pockets over Ksh 60,000.

Mathare United players earn the highest allowances in Kenya Premier League. They pocket Ksh 11,000 for every game that they win. Ksh 13,000 is paid for away matches. Ksh 4500 is also paid to a player who provides an assist. Ksh 7500 per game is paid to the captain as well as whoever is voted man of the match in every game.

Sofapaka Football Club

Sofapaka players pocket between Ksh 40,000 and Ksh 60,000 per month. A bonus of Ksh 5000 is also paid to every player once they win a match.

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Andreff, W., & Szymanski, S. (2006). Handbook on the economics of sport. Cheltenham, UK: Edward Elgar.

This story was written by Gibson Mugoya (sports news writer) and Geoffrey Kerosi (Economist). 

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