Betting firm set to sponsor Shabana next season as Arati is installed club patron

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FOOTBALL Betting firm set to sponsor Shabana next season as Arati is installed club patron

Joel Omotto 16:27 - 24.06.2023

Tore Bobe have bagged a Ksh20m sponsorship from the gaming company following their top-flight promotion.

Local betting firm Bangbet is set to sponsor Shabana next season after they secured promotion to the Football Kenya Federation Premier League (FKFPL) last week.

Tore Bobe have endured financial challenges on their way to the top flight, having relied on contributions from well-wishers as well as gate collections, an issue that has seen coach Sammy Okoth hint at quitting after this season.

However, their financial problems are set to be lessened, somewhat, after securing a sponsor who will back them for one year. Kisii Governor Simba Arati made the revelation while hosting the team for dinner at a Nairobi hotel on Friday.

“We have investors in the country who have accepted to sponsor our team. To the players, you have been employed officially and I will look for more money to support you,” Arati said.

“This team, for a start, they have received Ksh20 million. If you become champions, there is Ksh10 million (more) on the table,” he added.

While he did not reveal the identity of their new partners, Pulse Sports can reveal that the betting firm is the ‘investor’ who will come on board to bankroll the team.

Bangbet have been eyeing the Glamour Boys over the last two months after it became clear that they were on the verge of returning to the top flight after 17 years in the cold as they seek to leverage on their big support base to increase their brand visibility.

The news would perhaps convince coach Okoth to stay with the club after his sentiments on Friday that he would only consider his future after getting commitment over how they plan to sustain the team in the Premier League.

“I cannot say I am sure of being here next season because I have done my job and I have promoted the team so the rest is up to the club,” Okoth said after Shabana beat Darajani Gogo 3-0 to return to the top of the table on Friday.

“If I will be here next season, then it means things will have to be different. Support has to be there, like yesterday (Thursday) we saw leaders from Kisii coming together to support the team which has given the boys motivation.”

The function also witnessed the appointment of Arati as Shabana’s new patron. There has been a tussle over the title in recent weeks with former FKF boss Sam Nyamweya claiming it, a move that received protest from a section of fans.