A New AUPL Mandate, A Juicy Deal for Sponsors
By Arinaitwe Rugyendo
Friday last week, my board and I got another mandate to run the Azam Uganda Premier League for the next two years.
It was a vote of confidence on the part of the 11 clubs out of the 16 that voted us back into power during the league’s Annual General Meeting at the Nelson Mandela National Stadium, Namboole.
They did not only give us the statutory one-year mandate, they amended the rules to extend our term limit (pun intended) from one year to two years.
This means that going forward, the AUPL board shall always conduct business for two years, not one year, as has always been the case.
But in our case, we shall have done three years by 2018 since our first year is not going to be affected by this constitutional amendment.
This means a lot to me as a person and the football fraternity in general. We need ample time to make a tangible contribution to football. It is because of this tangibility that we want to diligently and honestly serve Ugandan football.
This is all because we believe that football has the greatest potential to unite our nation and construct genuine patriotism around an idea of a happy and prosperous nation.
It can also employ our children and brand Uganda at nearly no cost. This is our ideological calling at the AUPL. We need a strong league and to build it needs time, patience and sacrifice.
Despite a new mandate and exciting season, Ugandan football remains a sensitive product, full of politicians, dealmakers, cantankerous tacticians, rowdy fans and a few good men and women.
To succeed, reason must prevail. Rational thinking must guide every decision. You need logic not emotion to solve Uganda’s football problems.
You need science and not fiction to ideologically reorient Ugandan football. And you need sacrifice not politics to serve Ugandan football.
This is why we were elected in the place, on September 23, 2015, to try and salvage the image of the Uganda Premier League that had had gone to the wild.
Thus, the first phase (September 2015 – September 2016) took a lot of our time, trying to restore the image and build a product. We agreed we could not promote a stained product to potential sponsors without cleaning our house first.
We believe we have managed to achieve stability, steady progress and integrity of the game in a matter of ten months.
This situation is now irreversible unless someone bewitched Ugandan football. It is irreversible because the gains are slowly surfacing with potential sponsors calling in with proposals.
The next phase (2016-2018), will be about promotion of the product. We are convinced that Ugandan football is at its best moments, now that the nation has qualified for the Africa Cup of Nations tournament.
We believe we are at our best because Ugandan football has made its way to the floor of parliament and everyone is concerned that the state needs to do something.
We will use covert and overt means to engage all stakeholders to salvage our game and redeem our country.
The voters who brought us back know this. They voted our noble methods of work. What remains is to have the required resources to develop the league.
This is why I insist that this massive product is now at its best moment for any potential sponsor to pick on and benefit.
When we come knocking on your doors, please do not turn us away. Listen to us. Listen to the progress being made in Ugandan Football and make a contribution to make our country a proud and shinning footballing nation.
The writer is the Chairman of the Uganda Premier League
He can be reached on 0752 466 778