- November 5, 2016
- Posted by: admin
- Category: #BadoMapambano
In the last ‘Mashemeji Derby’ between Gor Mahia and AFC Leopards that ended in a 2-0 loss for the Leopards, ‘Ingwe’ did the unthinkable: All tickets were to be sold via M-Pesa.
This was a clever way of dealing with fake tickets when big teams, including national soccer team Harambee Stars, are playing.
‘Ingwe’ officials announced the mode of payment but forgot to tell fans the procedure of entry at the stadium. They casually explained that a fan was simply expected to display the transaction message and, voila!, access granted. Although luck was on their side, this might not be the case next time.
M-Pesa can sometimes be tricky in the event of poor network. And what would happen in case a fan has paid, but the battery of his phone dies?
The procedure of displaying the message at the gate might create a backlog due to the manual nature of clearing fans. Besides, how would the club be sure that ‘men in black’ manning the entrance would not be compromised to nod even when shown a blank screen?
At the end of it all, officials gave returns as follows: VIP tickets, 259 @ Sh1,000; terraces, 5,746 @ Sh300; total gate collections, Sh1,982,800. Deduct expenses at Sh660,000 and the club was left with a net income of around Sh1.3 million
Now, let us be realistic. Who sits at the VIP stand? The club officials for both clubs, referees, reporters from various media houses, players from other clubs, team scouts and hangers-on and lastly, the fans who pay. What the ‘Ingwe’ officials would want us to believe is that on match day, less than 150 people at the VIP actually paid. A simple head count would confirm otherwise. Now, the thinking behind the mode of payment must have been backed by the fact that the club would reduce or eliminate free riders.
I doubt whether they achieved their objective. What ‘Ingwe’ collected is what K’Ogalo collects on a very bad day, say against Posta Rangers FC. ‘Highway Away’, the former ‘Ingwe’ treasurer, said they would rake in Sh3 million during a derby as Ingwe fans would pay to watch Mahmoud Abbas, Shadrack Oyando, Wycliffe Anyangu, Wilberforce Mulamba, JJ Masiga, Josephat Murila, Francis Kadenge, Dan Musuku, Mike Amwayi, Tony Lidonde and Peter Zimbo Owade.
See also: Local clubs should try selling fun not football
Ingwe’s solution to tackling the fake ticket racket was too pedestrian and for any alternative ticketing to succeed, the first things for clubs to do is to prepare the fans for the changes. Secondly, the system must be foolproof to beat tech-savvy fans. Thirdly, the physical layout of the stadium must be looked at, as there is no way e-ticketing or seasonal tickets can work without revising the entire physical layout of our stadiums.
Kasarani Stadium would be ideal for a dry run because the ticket verification booths are located far from the entrance.
Then there is the problem of clubs not having actual number of match attendance which is dangerous in case of an emergency.
Of course, club officials are not interested in the ‘silly’ statistics because it stops them from lining their pockets. I am sure as Ingwe released the returns of the last derby, the officials had no clue of attendance numbers, let alone those who walked in kimpango.
They always do things in reverse, counting tickets instead of doing a physical count at the gates using a manual turnstile or automated entry booth. Try introducing these accountability gadgets and they will be vandalised on day one.