Gor Mahia's African Dream: Ambrose Rachier's final push for continental glory before leaving office

Gor Mahia's African Dream: Ambrose Rachier's final push for continental glory before leaving office

Mark Kinyanjui 05:30 - 27.06.2023

K'ogalo chairman Ambrose Rachier intends to relinquish Gor Mahia chairmanship by pushing for continental success next season. Here is how.

Gor Mahia chairman Ambrose Rachier is a man determined to make the club strive for more success beyond the borders as he approaches his last year in office, with his last term ending in 2024.

He revealed his ‘pride’ is forever being the man that was at the helm of the club when they completed a double decade of FKF Premier League titles, the eighth of his reign. 

Rachier was voted chairman of the club in 2008, at a time when the club was regularly languishing in relegation and mid-table mediocrity. It took the club five years to win their first title in 2013, having narrowly missed out on the 2012 title. 

Between 2013 and 2020, they missed out on the title just once, in 2016 to a frankly extra-ordinary double winning Tusker side. In 2018/19, Gor made history by becoming the first club to reach the quarter finals of the CAF Confederations Cup, and although they were bundled out in an embarrassing defeat to RSB Berkane, it boarded well for the future…well, until Covid striked the world.

Rachier believes this is the reason Gor never won the title in three years, given companies like SportPesa pulled out of sponsoring the club.

“Covid brought us down almost to a halt! You can clearly see it. There was a massive problem with taxation because sponsors were being discouraged by the government owing to over-taxation, which made Sportpesa walk out on us.

On top of that, Gor were also handed a two-window ban in 2021 for failing to pay Ghanaian Jackson Owusu and later goalkeeper Adama Keita.

After Owusu sued Gor, the 19-time league winners were instructed by Fifa's Dispute Resolution Chamber (DRC) to pay him within 45 days which they failed to comply with.

The player then requested FIFA to issue a sanction against the current league leaders and the action was followed through. However, the ban was lifted in March, which allowed K’ogalo to sign players like Patrick Kaddu, Emery Bayisenge, Sylvester Owino and Enock Wanyama. Owino and Bayisenge in particular, have played a key part in helping the club deliver goal number 20.

“The pandemic derailed us because fans could not attend matches and we had no sponsors. A number of players also took us to FIFA which made us get banned from recruiting.  We have now picked up and we will be able to go places.”

Rachier is adamant his tenure at the helm will end with Gor Mahia doing well in Africa, potentially winning a trophy or going far, replicating what Simba and Yanga of Tanzania have done at the continental stage this season. 

Although he believes that he can now retire in peace, he believes it will have been with a proper fight in Africa’s elite competitions.

Infact, he goes as far as to say that Gor “intend to clinch the title” in Africa.

“We intend to clinch the title in Africa and we will prepare accordingly for it during this break!”

However, he points out three key things the club needs to realize the dream.

“We need increased sponsorship. A club like this has financial challenges. You see, those who have been doing well financially have done so because they are corporate owned. Corporate bodies have money which we need on a very serious note.

“We need good leadership at federation level and we need facilities. We have alot of problems with where to train. We are trying to get our own stadium but in the meantime we have a shortage of stadia in the whole country, so I challenge the government to pay some attention to.

“I want to invite sponsors to bank with us. We will help showcase them in Africa.”

If you were in Kasarani on Sunday afternoon, you would have been amazed by the sea of fans that flocked the pitch at full time, making the situation so dire, the players had to be represented with the trophy in the stadium’s VIP launch. Ambrose encourages fans to turn up every week in such numbers.

"I  encourage our fans to return and watch games. If you collect upto a million shillings in a match, after eighteen home games you can collect 17 million shillings and above which is good revenue. Fans need to help us. 

“The federation should also give us broadcast partners to give us revenue as well. We had a very good time with Supersport! Wha happened to that deal?

“That is how we will get closer to dominating in Africa!”