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StarTimes UPL 2020/21: no shortcuts for VILLA in the season to come


Sovereignty in most cases happens to be the ultimate price paid for greatness. This code of living was the definition of the Jogoos for the greater part of the 1980s, 1990s, and the early 2000s for the few that can relate.

Over the past 15 years, however, SC Villa has been raven by disagreements. The club that once offered a study in sustained success has not added to its unprecedented tally of 16 league titles since 2004.

It’s odds of snapping the drought still looking long, but maybe just maybe- the cloak-and-dagger intrigues that have swirled around the club can finally be spoken of in the past tense.

This forthcoming 2020/2021 season presents a golden opportunity for Edward Kaziba’s team to continue the resurgence from the prematurely concluded 2019/2020 SUPL season. One where they looked amazing.

Much to everyone’s surprise, their approach to last season was everything but pragmatic, (the kind of philosophy many have associated with the Masaka-originated side).

Theirs was an offensive, enticing and engaging approach that most fans couldn’t help but find their way back into the stadiums. The players gave it everything and played with their adrenaline pumping so high that the exhaustion was there for everyone to see.

Edward Kaziba (left) and Ibrahim Kiirya (right) were the men behind a Villa side that finished 3rd last season despite the struggles the Jogoos endured through the months. | Courtesy photo

Call it rejuvenation but their charisma and resilience in games was inspirational. That entirely played testament to their never-give-up attitude as was exhibited in games the previous season.

They might have lacked experience and quality in team depth but had a certain mindless provincial courage. This to an extent had many simpering about the ones that sneered at them for the past 15years.

The irony surrounding the club Ownership

When doing a preview of a household name like SC Villa, it is imperative that we don’t limit our attention on the pitch alone but also dive into the off-the-pitch phenomena since it is paramount to the success of the club.

SC Villa like highlighted earlier has for the past 15years seen many scrambles and partitions with many not standing the taste of time.

Hope that the top management could conjure something sustainable to steady the Jogoo ship to stability threatened before the commencement of the 2018/2019 season.

This was after a stop-start electioneering period where the tone of candidates was deliberate, somber, and terrifying in its certainty, the club’s past leaders-whom fans still remembered with a sentimental fondness, decided they had seen enough.

The following weeks saw the likes of Franco Mugabe & Hajji Omar Mandela step forth to name an interim committee that was to shepherd the Jogoos through a normalization process.

William Nkemba was named the interim club president as the upper echelons at the club named the interim committee after ousting Eng. Immanuel Ben Misagga | Courtesy photo

This process was expected to straddle not more than six months as Uganda’s most successful club attempted to stop lurching from scandal to scandal.

Many Villa fans and observers alike had been quick to conclude that those developments were to ensure that the record Ugandan champions do not continue in what had largely looked like remorseless collapse.

It is indeed refreshing to know that all these fans and observers agreed that the club was not about to develop a ruthless instinct for success over time.

The promises made then seem to have not been fully fulfilled. This has seen the club slide back into the usual hullabaloo that has characterized them for the previous years. The problems concerning player remunerations have remained a constant concern.

This problem goes an extra mile to account for the current departures of key players with some opting for termination of their contracts and others like Basil Mutanda opting to see out their contracts.

The list of departures is quite elastic and word is many others are to follow. The likes of Emmanuel Kalyowa who has since presented his case to the FUFA committee, Yayo Lutimba, Charles Lwanga, Samson Kirya, and David Owori who is still pushing for the move out of the club.

Furthermore, there seems to be no clarity about who the actual owner of the club really is.

There are a number of parties (like five to be precise) that claim ownership but according to the FUFA Competitions committee, SC Villa is recognized as a limited company.

The board of trustees entails a group of seven gentlemen with whom the job to steer Villa to stability was entrusted. These include Franco Mugabe, Omar Ahmed Mandela, Gerald Ssendawula, McDusman Kabega, Frederick Ivan Kawuma, Moses Matovu, and the current chairman William Nkemba.

How will they fare next season?

Edward Kaziba’s side has lost many influential players that were simply the fulcrum of their side’s hard-fought third-place finish in the just-concluded season.

SC Villa stands to lose more players before the start of the StarTimes 2020/21 season. Edward Kaziba has already lost Emmanuel Kalyowa, Bashir Mutanda, Yayo Lutimba and the same might be for David Owori | Courtesy photo

This will by all means prove detrimental to their season as many fans and well-wishers anticipate a plummet. This thinking has been greatly informed by their business in the transfer market so far.

SC Villa like many other UPL clubs have signed a great deal of players and it seems to be signing more. Amongst the many is Ronald Ssekiganda, Meddy Senkooto, Andrew Kiwanuka, and Geoffrey Goffin Oyirwoth.

The new faces don’t seem to command a lot of respect in the perception of many and are definitely lower in terms of mileage. This has thus confirmed tough times to come for the club with many, myself inclusive reading them off.

An attack led by either of Faisal Muwawu or Ronald Magwali doesn’t seem to promise a lot of chaos to the opposition and Edward Kaziba and the company will have to give this a second thought going forward.

The process of realigning Villa to time-honored best practices will take a protracted period. Villa has found itself in a state of seemingly unstoppable decline because it failed to put in place structures that would have kept it on the rails.

It, therefore, strikes one as very telling that Villa fans call on-even begging-the likes of Capo and Mandela to participate in the day-to-day running of the club as if this will wish away the plethora of problems.

There will be no shortcut if Villa wishes to clean its house and interim committee boss William Nkemba is not oblivious to this. The loose threads that unraveled Villa revolves around the lack of concrete strategy.

If this strategy is not deeply woven into the club’s fabric, the whirlwind will continue to be reaped. There are no two ways about it. Structures and a strategy will give Villa a direction it so badly craves.

What do you think? – Can SC Villa surprise us again and retain or better the third position in the StarTimes UPL 2020/21?

We would love to read your thoughts and opinion on this. Share with us your views in the comment section below.

Timothy Kuteesa
Timothy Kuteesa is a professional journalist and editor with The Touchline Sports. He is also a certified Content & Digital Marketing Executive and Statistician. He likes to do a bit of Poetry & Writing in his free-time as well. Creative Art and Graphics Designing are some of his intrigues, coupled with Video & Photography. Email = [email protected]

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