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Let us look into the mirror about the USL Project-Magogo


Eng. Moses Magogo

Many a Ugandan has expressed untold desire to consume professional football but how many really understand the concept!

To some, when clubs run the league then that is professional football and my response is that the most profitable and watched league in the world is the German Bundesliga which is run by the DFB (The Germany Football Association)

To others Professional football is TV football while many think when sponsors bring in money then it is professional football. I also know a group who think that when players are playing in another country then it is professional football, Not at all and I say that Yuda Mugalu is a Ugandan Amateur player in DR Congo

So what is the concept that many people have grappled with but do to really understand?

Professional Football is the sale of football products and services for a profit. This implies that the proceeds from the sales are more than the expenses. Every human resource in the professional football cycle should be performing his role at a fee. The club owners are business people interested in making money using football clubs, the players, the coaches, the administrators, the sponsors should all be looking at making their money from the fans using their routine and numbers

Football products include players, replica jerseys, merchandise and memorabilia, football club/team branded day-to-day useable products etc while the services include match tickets, subscription fees for TV Channels, etc that give the fans (Customers) a cause to spend their hard earned money onto their club.

In summary, Professional Football is about numbers in the stadium and on the multimedia.

BIDCO Players being chased

With the introduction of the Professional Club Football Concept in Uganda, the overall objective was to overhaul the football industry and open another page; unfortunately, we are stack in the reverse gear and pressing the accelerator harder than Suzan Muwonge. The otherwise wonderful project has been hijacked by self-seekers who do not understand any iota of the professional football concept. The USL project is in free-fall and to some of us who toiled with the introduction of the idea; we shall have been proven wrong by the conservatives who thought otherwise.

The project that should have collected professionals in the areas of Football (technically), Marketing, PR, Legal, Finance, Medicine, ICT, Media, etc has instead been used as a collection of all sorts of hang-around among others renown FUFA critics  and/or those rejected by FUFA for their football crimes and incompetence

The club officials at USL have left huge human, time and financial resource vacuums at their respective clubs and no wonder the clubs of the active USL Club officials are experiencing sporting and non-sporting stunted growth

The current overall outlook of personnel and ideologies setup of the USL is a football political party with one agenda of overtaking power at Mengo other than professionalization of the league. On top of lack of the technical know-how, the USL team salvate at any opportunity to disagree with FUFA, position the mortars and LMG’s for war consequently abandoning the enormous duty of creating professional outfits called clubs. In the process, they have exposed their lack of knowledge of football rules by contesting the basic principles of association football. It is unfortunate but hitherto, who would have known that these people with a huge legal background do not understand basic football laws!

With the coincidence of sponsorship boom into league football, the resources were found to hire renowned spin doctors (self-styled media gurus who know nothing about professional football) to create an artificial era. For how long were they going to tell the world that black is white? Like Ashford Mamelodi put it, DSTV works with numbers and the reason they were in Kenya and not Ugandan was about the number of decoders bought and paid for monthly by subscribers, the very reason they have come to Football, Cricket and Rugby at the same time in Uganda. This has nothing to do with individuals and nothing to do with who is running those sports. Instead with the status quo they will not stay long

Unresolved cases of Hooliganism at USL matches

So what achievements are we talking about two years down the road? In fact the situation that is being swept under the carpet is worse than ever. The frequency of fixture changes, the loss of identity of home grounds, the kick-off times, the lack of judicial mechanism to enforce rules, the absolute and unquestioned powers of and lack of fair play by organizers who are coming from competing clubs, and transparency in monies meant for all clubs, patronage of unqualified clubs coupled with underhand dismissal of legitimate clubs, the crumbling club structures, the poor quality of football etc

Then what is the way forward; Institutions should be created ahead of individuals and should be given the chance to work. Let the clubs create a USL board comprised of a fine mixture of integrity, moral, business etiquette and football who come from outside the clubs/FUFA and let the board be independent of the clubs/FUFA but reporting periodically to the shareholders (Clubs and FUFA). The board shall create the management team for the day-to-day business of the USL headed by the CEO. Let these staff be recruited professionally by the Board and give all Ugandans an equal chance to apply. Let the Club Officials go back to their clubs and put their weight behind their clubs for better growth.

With the new management created on merit at USL right from the board to the messenger, the shareholders thus the clubs and FUFA will demand for results from this unit and the case of football politics at the expense of the league will be a thing of the past. What are club officials looking for in the board of the USL for heaven’s sake? It has not worked anywhere and actually it is one of the reasons S. African football with all the resources they have are not where they should be. The English Premier League Board, the model that we want to mimic, has no one from clubs. Have you heard of anybody from Arsenal or Manchester United on the League Board? It does not just make sense

I will hand over the button to the hired spin doctors

(About the Author: Magogo is the Vice president of FUFA in charge of Administration and a FIFA certified Administration Instructor. Besides Football, he is a professional Engineer working with African Development Bank in Kampala City. He will be posting a weekly Topical Opinion of matters of subject every Friday)

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