Uganda Premier League clubs have started a joint campaign that will see them increase the sale of their jerseys to supporters.
Speaking during a joint press conference on Thursday, KCCA FC CEO, Anisha Muhoozi said having been badly affected by the pandemic that saw sports activities closed, clubs thought of other ways of getting finances.
“Our industry is not vibrant despite our football being ranked above other CECAFA regions. But the likes of Tanzania have had a higher commercial value, and that’s why you normally see players cross borders from here to sign for clubs in Tanzania or Kenya. This is because they have the ability to pay them,”Muhoozi said.
She explained that the financial muscle enjoyed by football clubs in countries like Tanzania and Kenya can partly be attributed to the fans who not only buy tickets to watch matches but also franchise from the clubs like replica jerseys.
“Ugandan fans are urged to buy apparel from their clubs and proudly wear them to promote Ugandan football,” she said.
Express FC CEO, Isaac Mwesigwa was optimistic the initiative will be of great value to the game of football in the country.
“I would like to encourage the fans to purchase our jerseys so that we can help the clubs become self -reliant but I also ask the clubs to make our merchandise available and affordable,”Mwesigwa said.
The deputy FUFA CEO, Humphrey Mandu, welcomed the “well thought” initiative that will contribute to the growth of Ugandan football.
“This is a good initiative, it’s very important to have our own because brand visibility is a key element and we need to grow our game. This is the path we need to take if we are to achieve the set goals,”Mandu said.
The “wear your jersey” campaign was endorsed by seven Uganda Premier League clubs including Vipers, KCCA, SC Villa, Express, Wakiso Giants, URA and Police FC.
The initiative was long overdue since the world’s richest clubs make huge sums of money off kit sales, allowing them to spend big on the transfer activities.
On the fans’ side, apart from buying the tickets to watch games, one of the most popular ways to show support and appreciation towards their favorite clubs is to buy and wear their football jersey.
Wearing the club’s jersey makes a fan feel as if they are on the pitch themselves but also as part of the club.
Whereas the initiative is a good one, its success will only depend on the ability by the clubs to ensure the merchandise is available in all corners of the country and at affordable prices such that fans can willingly buy them, other than going for jerseys for foreign clubs.