By Nesh Gatiri
The months of anxiety and countdown to the start of the new season of the English Premier League (EPL) are all coming down to a close. For the twenty-fourth year running, football fans all over the world will be treated to another season of the English Premiership, dubbed the greatest show on earth.
For starters it is the most watched soccer league around the globe. It is only rivaled by the Hispanic giants of Barcelona and Madrid. This popularity translates to billion dollars in revenue from television rights, advertising and obviously attendance. It is not a surprise why every football player dreams of gracing this championship. Our very own national team captain Victor Mugubi Wanyama, has already acquired ‘millionaire status’ despite playing for mid table Southampton football club. You can guess how much top table team players earn!
Many people here in Kenya spend weekend afternoons at their favorite joints enjoying this entertaining competition sipping to their favorite drinks. Sometimes disagreements over which team or player is superior bear heated debates which sometimes may turn ugly. All in all winning teams fans look forward to a week of bragging while the losing one live for another day to celebrate.
In the recent past, gambling on these teams has been the talk of town. Many betting platforms, legitimate and suspicious ones, have been put up. Many have risked their stakes hoping to milk on their luck only to be disappointed. However, some have smiled their way to the bank for predicting scores correctly or even hitting the ever eluding jackpot.
The transfer window, a period when players hop from one club to the other suitor, is still open. This means fans will be left fingers crossed hopping their star players remain while they acquire a better one to boost their squad.
On a sad note though, our local league is heavens apart from the European counterparts. Poor management of clubs, delay of players’ pay, lack of sponsorship are all to blame.
As the new season docks off, let us all enjoy as a leisure activity and avoiding taking it personally. Football heads in the country should also borrow a leaf from the top leagues to ensure growth of the game back home