The Kenyan Premier League (KPL), officially known as the FKF Premier League, is a professional league for men's association football clubs in Kenya. Standing at the top of the Kenyan football league system, the league was formed in 1963 under the Kenya Football Federation but is now controlled by the Football Kenya Federation. It is contested by 18 clubs and operates on a promotion and relegation system with the Kenyan National Super League. Gor Mahia are the current champions having won the 2022–23 season.

FKF Premier League
Founded1963; 60 years ago (1963)
CountryKenya Kenya
Number of teams18
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toNational Super League
Domestic cup(s)FKF Cup
Super Cup
Top 8 Cup
International cup(s)CAF Champions League
CAF Confederation Cup
Current championsGor Mahia
Most championshipsGor Mahia
(20 titles)
TV partnersStarTimes
Current: 2023–24

The league was mostly stable until the late 1990s and since then its performance had been considered below average, with many of the league's clubs having little or no finances to support themselves. However, when SuperSport became an official league partner, the league has taken on a more serious role with teams becoming professional and the majority of the clubs managing to get kit sponsorships. This saw the level of competition improve compared to past periods.

Origin edit

Following constant wrangles between the then football governing administration and the eventual deteriorating of the National Football League, participating clubs opted out and decided to form a company that would see the smooth running of the league in a professional and transparent manner. In 2003, the Kenyan Premier League was created and registered as a limited liability company whose ownership was shared amongst all the sixteen participating clubs and was to be affiliated to the Kenya Football Federation.

The league was known as the Kenya National Football League from its creation in 1963 to 1996, the Kenyan Super League in 1973 and 1997 and, from 1998, the Kenyan Premier League.

Corporate structure edit

The Kenyan Premier League is operated and run as a private limited company incorporated in October 2003 under the Companies Act of Kenya. It is fully owned and managed by the 18 member clubs with each club being a shareholder. It is affiliated to Football Kenya Federation, which is also a shareholder and voting member of the KPL Board of directors. Non-voting members include the Kenya Football Coaches Association and the Kenya Football Referees Association.

The current CEO is Jack Oguda and Frank Okoth is the current COO and LNO. Okoth is also in charge of logistics.

Sponsorship edit

East African Breweries, through their Tusker brand, held the naming rights to the league from 21 August 2012 to 6 August 2015.

The improved level of competition and eventual attention given to the league by the fans has seen major companies in Kenya lining up to partner with clubs. At the moment, the league does not have a title sponsorship but it has a broadcasting deal with SuperSport. Umbro is the official referee kit supplier and is also the official ball provider.

On 18 October 2012 the league signed a KSh.10 million/= (US$117,275; £73,242 stg; €90,052) deal with Puma, which made them the Official ball supplier for the league and its clubs with immediate effect.[1]

On 24 November 2020, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) unveiled StarTimes as their official broadcasting partners for the FKF Premier League, through signing a seven-year deal worth US$1.1 million (KSh.110 million/= per year).[2]

Title sponsor edit

On 21 August 2012 the Kenyan Premier League signed a KSh.170 million/= (US$2.02 million; £1.28 million stg; 1.62 million) deal with East African Breweries to rename the league to the Tusker Premier League, the most lucrative deal in Kenyan football history at the time.[3]

On 6 August 2015, East African betting company SportPesa gained the naming rights to the league, signing a four-and-a-half-year deal with the KPL reportedly worth KSh.450 million/= (approx. US$4.36 million, £2.84 million stg. or €3.87 million) to rename the league to the SportPesa Premier League.[4] As part of the sponsorship, a new trophy was revealed by SportPesa and the KPL on 30 October 2015, with Gor Mahia, the 2015 champions, set to be its first recipient and retain the previous trophy for good. The trophy was manufactured in Italy, weighs 12 kg (26 lb) and is made of brass.[5] In 2018, SportPesa ceased operating in Kenya and ended its sponsorship of the KPL.[6]

In July 2020, the FKF has announced a title sponsorship deal for the KPL with online betting firm BetKing Kenya in a five-year deal worth a total of KES1.2bn ($11.2m/€9.8m), or an average of KES240m per year, with the league called the BetKing Premier League.[7] The deal was terminated in 2021.[8]

Period Sponsor Name
2012 to 2015 East African Breweries Tusker Premier League
2015 to 2018 SportPesa SportPesa Premier League
2018 to 2019 No title sponsor Kenyan Premier League
2020 to 2021 BetKing BetKing Premier League
2021 to present No title sponsor Kenyan Premier League

Competition edit

There are 18 clubs in the Kenyan Premier League.[9] During the course of a season, traditionally from February to November but switched to August to May in 2018, each club plays the others twice (a double round-robin system): once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 34 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion. If points are equal, the goal difference and then goals scored determine the winner. If still equal, the ordering is determined by their head-to-head records. If there is a tie for the championship, for relegation, or for qualification to other competitions, a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank. The two lowest placed teams are relegated to the National Super League, with its top two teams promoted in their place. The 16th placed team squares off with the third-best team from the National Super League for the third promotion slot.

In 2018 the league switched from a Feb/Nov calendar to an August to May competition to bring it in line with other countries.[10] The 2018/2019 season bridges the gap running from December 2018 to July 2019 after which the seasons will align with those of European nations.

2022–23 Clubs edit

The league's most popular teams are rivals A.F.C. Leopards and Gor Mahia.last title-winning season in 2018, while A.F.C. Leopards won their 12th league title in 1998.

Team Location Stadium Capacity Head Coach
A.F.C. Leopards Nairobi Nyayo National Stadium 30,000   Patrick Aussems
Bandari Mombasa Mombasa Municipal Stadium 10,000   Twahir Muhiddin
Bidco United F.C. Thika Thika Municipal Stadium 20,000   Anthony Akhulia
Gor Mahia Nairobi Nairobi City Stadium 15,000   Johnathan McKinstry
Kakamega Homeboyz Kakamega Bukhungu Stadium 5,000   Patrick Odhiambo
Kariobangi Sharks Nairobi Kasarani Stadium 5,000   William Muluya
Kenya Commercial Bank Nairobi Nairobi City Stadium 15,000   Bernard Mwalala
Mathare United Nairobi Kasarani Stadium 60,000   Collins Omondi
Nairobi City Stars Nairobi World Hope Stadium 5,000   Nicholas Muyoti
Nzoia Sugar Bungoma Sudi Stadium 5,000   Salim Babu
Police FC Nairobi Police Sacco Stadium 3,000   Fracnis Baraza
Posta Rangers Eldoret Utalii Grounds 10,000   John Kamau
Sofapaka Nairobi Nyayo Stadium 5,000   David Ouma
Talanta Nairobi Nyayo Stadium 5,000   Ken Kenyatta
Tusker Nairobi Kinoru Stadium 60,000   Robert Matano
Ulinzi Stars Nakuru Lang'ata Sports Complex 8,200   Vincent Moriero Odhiambo
Vihiga Bullets Kakamega Bukhungu Stadium 5,000   Mike Mururi
Wazito Muhoroni Muhoroni Stadium 5,000   Paul Nkata

Location Map edit

Location of 2020-21 Kenyan Premier League teams

Previous winners edit

Source: RSSSF – Kenya – List of champions

Total titles won edit

Club Winners Winning years
Gor Mahia 20 1968, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2018–19, 2019–20, 2022-23
Tusker 13 1972, 1977, 1978, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2016, 2020-21, 2021-22
A.F.C. Leopards 12 1966, 1967, 1970, 1973, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1998
Ulinzi Stars 4 2003, 2004, 2005, 2010
Luo Union 2 1964, 1975
Oserian 2001, 2002
Nakuru AllStars 1 1963
Feisal 1965
Utalii 1997
Sony Sugar 2006
Mathare United 2008
Sofapaka 2009

Top scorers in past seasons edit

"This man was a like a lion my friend, he had no mercy with goalkeepers. Most of them used to run away from goal when they see him because he would kill you with the shots. There was no joke. He was on fire. Leave the kids of nowadays alone; you score only 12 goals and you're top scorer? Our days were tough."

Joe Kadenge speaking in October 2010 on his days as a player with Maurice Ochieng.[11]

The league record for most goals scored in one season is currently held by Maurice Ochieng, who completed the 1976 season with 26 goals for Gor Mahia.[12] His former teammate, Joe Kadenge, praised him as a lethal striker in front of goal.[11]

[*]Award was shared during that season

Year Player Club Goals
1976   Maurice Ochieng Gor Mahia 26
2006   Boniface Ambani Tusker 21
2007   Kevin Ngugi Coast Stars 15
2008   Francis Ouma Mathare United 15
[*]2009   John Baraza Sofapaka 15
[*]2009   Emeka Joseph Tusker 15
2010   John Baraza Sofapaka 15
2011   Stephen Waruru Ulinzi Stars 12
2012   John Baraza Sofapaka 18
2013   Jacob Keli Kenya Commercial Bank 17
2014   Dan Sserunkuma Gor Mahia 16
2015   Jesse Were Tusker 22
2016   John Makwatta Ulinzi Stars 18
2017   Masoud Juma Kariobangi Sharks 17
2018   Erick Kapaito Kariobangi Sharks 16
[*]2018–19   Allan Wanga Kakamega Homeboyz 17
[*]2018–19   Umaru Kasumba Sofapaka 17
[*]2018–19   Enosh Ochieng Ulinzi Stars 17
2019–20   Timothy Otieno Tusker 14
2020–21   Erick Kapaito Kariobangi Sharks 24
2021–22   Derrick Otanga KCB 16
  Elvis Rupia Kenya Police 27
  Benson Omala Gor Mahia
Most time topscorers
Most goals by a player in a single season

Multiple hat-tricks edit

Rank Country Player Hat-tricks
1   Elvis Rupia 5
2   Benson Omala 3
  Jesse Were
  John Makwatta
  Erick Kapaito
6   Enoch Agwanda 1
  Boniface Akenga
  Levis Barasa
  Ojok Deogracious
  Ibrahim Joshua
  Lawrence Juma
  Masoud Juma
  Patrick Kaddu
  Meddie Kagere
  Michael Karamor
  Sydney Lokale
  Paul Mungal
  Keiphas Mutuu
  John Mwangi
  Enosh Ochieng
  Raymond Ochieng
  Bernard Odhiambo
  Vincent Ogolla
  George Ogutu
  Michael Olunga
  Felix Oluoch
  Mwingi Shami Kibwama
  Erisa Ssekisambu
  Dan Sserunkuma
  Jacques Tuyisenge
  Victor Umune
  Philip Wanjala
  Stephen Waruru
  Brian Yakhama
Most hat-tricks in single season
Most hat-tricks by a player in a single season;

See also edit

References edit

  1. ^ "Puma deal for Premier League". 18 October 2012. Retrieved 21 October 2012.
  2. ^ Eshitemi, Rodgers (24 November 2020). "FKF unveils StarTimes as official Premier League broadcast partners, KTN acquires free to air rights". Standard Media. Retrieved 22 January 2021.
  3. ^ "KPL now Tusker PL in Sh170m deal". 98.4 Capital FM. 21 August 2012. Retrieved 21 August 2012.
  4. ^ "SportPesa are new sponsors of Kenyan Premier League". 6 August 2015. Retrieved 9 October 2015.
  5. ^ "New SportPesa Premier League trophy unveiled". Kenyan Premier League. 30 October 2015. Archived from the original on 17 August 2016. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  6. ^ "SportPesa to end Kenya football league sponsorship over tax". BBC News. 2017-06-23.
  7. ^ Ross, Martin (2020-07-16). "FKF heralds eight-figure Kenyan Premier League title sponsorship". SportBusiness.
  8. ^ Fletcher, Robert (2021-08-09). "Kenyan Premier League terminates BetKing sponsorship deal". iGB.
  9. ^ "Summary – Premier League – Kenya".
  10. ^ "KPL embraces changes for new season". 4 July 2020.
  11. ^ a b Dennis Machio (24 October 2010). "Kenya's all time top scorer Maurice Sonyi honored". Retrieved 15 July 2012. (Portion of Joe Kadenge quote translated from Swahili)
  12. ^ James Waindi. "Sonyi fears his son Ochieng' will down Gor Mahia". Retrieved 15 July 2012.

External links edit