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Kariakoo Derby: Yanga’s financial muscle grows by the minute

By Allan Damba
Yanga fans during the 2022 Yanga Day Celebrations | Yanga SC Image

Financial stability is the bedrock to success in the sports business, and, Tanzanian outfit Yanga SC, continues to thrive in this aspect by the day.

Their continued rise to eminence into one of the biggest teams in Africa and the region stems from the fact that they are building an unshakable financial firmness.

The club has over the recent years turned to the kind of ownership that includes both the old club members and the investors.

“We came up with a new transformation project from the old system to a new one,” Yanga president Hersi Ally Said revealed to Football256 correspondent.

“Initially, the club was run and owned 100% by the members, but changed that to a mixed modal, where there’s shared ownership between the members and the investors.”

“In this mix of private and public, the investors own 49% while the members have a 51% ownership, so we always hope for more investors to come and invest in the club,” added Said.

Yanga has several partners and sponsors including their improved contract with GSM Group for merchandise which is worth over $4 million (about UGX15.189B) for five years.

Their contract with Azam TV for exclusive media rights is worth $1 million (about UGX3.797B) annually, and $2 million (about 7.594B) per year for their main sponsor Sport Pesa. They also recently signed a partnership with UNICEF.

Taking advantage of their 87-year existential span, Yanga has a strong and loyal fanbase that they have turned into club subscribers at a cost.

“We learnt from Spanish clubs about how best we engage our fans in the club and how they can invest in us, so it’s two ways; how the fans and the club benefits from each other,” Said noted.

“We have come up with a fans’ engagement process and we have registered close to 50,000 members and each is paying $6 (about UGX22,000). So, it’s over Tsh1 billion that we’ve collected through only the fans engagement.”

“Fans are issued membership cards, so at the end of the day, the club is benefitting from the fans’ contribution,” added Said.

The club has further created other avenues to boost its revenue inflow, especially from their assured faithful.

“We have also created an application for Yanga members to subscribe and pay but also get information on time and in detail, so it’s also another window for fan engagement.”

“So, all these are sources of revenue and now, much as we are not 100% stable, we are coming to that in a few years,” an optimistic Said noted.

As Ugandan Sports entities continue to struggle economically, one is left wondering why clubs like Yanga and Simba SC can’t be used as the perfect benchmark for improvement.

“Clubs have to build trust to allow investors to come because everything runs with money including facilities, quality players, and so on,” Said advised.

“Financial stability is the most important, but investors have to see the mileage, and how will they benefit if they invest money.”

“So, a club has to create a platform for the investor to come and see the value for their money.”

“After that, then you will be able to attract more investors and sponsors to come into football, and the resources have to be used well,” he observed.

The Sports industry in Uganda has been ripe for quite some time now, but is yet to be explored, as many would-be sponsors are yet to be fully satisfied with the possible returns.

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