A few weeks after betting firm Betsafe unplugged sponsorship from 13-time champions AFC Leopards, the Kenyan Premier League giants got a lifeline after Spotika came on board.

Spotika has injected Sh60 million into the team ahead of the Football Kenya Federation Premier League in August.

Spotika Marketing Manager Alfred Otieno said this a stopgap measure as the betting firm’s Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) initiative, but after the function, legal officers from both sides will sit down and come up with an enhanced sponsorship package.

“We came on board to save the situation first and then go into talks with AFC Leopards board for a proper sponsorship package and signing of contracts before the new season kicks off,” said Otieno.

According to AFC Leopards chairman Dan Shikanda, the funds will be used to cater for the club’s wage bill.

“Our priority is the welfare of our players and staff, where we shall be depositing their salaries directly into their accounts,” he said.

AFC Leopards marksman John Mark Makwata praised the deal, saying it was a welcome relief for the playing unit.

“We now don’t have an excuse of not delivering. With money in the Ingwe account, we are now challenged to deliver,” he said.

Shikanda said he intends to improve on the club’s revenue streams for sustainability so as not be depending on handouts or donations from well wishers.

“We want to capitalise on raising funds through membership fees and gate collections where we shall contract DTB Bank to manage the collections and sale of merchandise,” he said.

Shikanda said they hadn’t acquired a 20-acre piece of land at Kasarani, which they wanted to develop.

“We want to construct a stadium, club house and training grounds on the piece of land,” said Shikanda.

He added that they are looking for partners in the venture and will talk to Spotika to come on board.

Defence Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa said he will involve the military in the construction of a stadium for AFC Leopards’ planned stadium at Kasarani.

“The military built their new sports complex at Langata Barracks in a record time of nine months and from this, I also want them involved in assisting our team,” he said.

By Fred Odanga Azelwa.