The Kenyan Premier League Ltd (KPL) is a private company incorporated in October 2003 under the Companies Act of Kenya. The KPL is fully owned and managed by the eighteen Premier League clubs. The KPL is affiliated to the Football Kenya Federation (FKF), which is also a KPL Special shareholder and voting member of the KPL Board of Directors.
The Kenyan Premier League (KPL), officially known as the FKF Premier League and as the BetKing Premier League (BPL) for sponsorship reasons, is a professional league for men’s association football clubs in Kenya. Standing at the top of the Kenyan football league system, the league was formed in 1963 under the Kenya Football Federation but is now controlled by the Football Kenya Federation. It is contested by 18 clubs and operates on a promotion and relegation system with the Kenyan National Super League. Gor Mahia are the league’s current champions and most successful club, with a record 19 titles to their name.
The league was mostly stable until the late 1990s and since then its performance had been considered below average, with many of the league’s clubs having little or no finances to support themselves. However, when SuperSport became an official league partner, the league has taken on a more serious role with teams becoming professional and the majority of the clubs managing to get kit sponsorships. This saw the level of competition improve compared to past periods.
Following constant wrangles between the then football governing administration and the eventual deteriorating of the National Football League, participating clubs opted out and decided to form a company that would see the smooth running of the league in a professional and transparent manner. In 2003, the Kenyan Premier League was created and registered as a limited liability company whose ownership was shared amongst all the sixteen participating clubs and was to be affiliated to the Kenya Football Federation.
The league was known as the Kenya National Football League from its creation in 1963 to 1996, the Kenyan Super League in 1973 and 1997 and, from 1998, the Kenyan Premier League.
Key KPL goals include:
(a) to raise the professional standards and performance of our clubs, coaches, players and referees;
(b) to improve the competitiveness and attractiveness of our league for fans, sponsors and media;
(c) to secure and use sponsorships and other revenue to strengthen the future of our league and our clubs;
(d) to provide a professional and competitive basis for our clubs and our national teams to represent our country in international competitions;
(e) to undertake new programmes within and among our clubs for contributing to community and national development and achieving greater national unity;
(f) to contribute to the improvement of football in our country and abroad through cooperation with other clubs and associations in and outside Kenya and with CECAFA, CAF and FIFA.
KPL core values
Key KPL values include:
Democratic ownership: In KPL our clubs all have equal shares
Democratic decision-making: In KPL our clubs all have equal votes
Fairplay: In KPL our clubs are all equal under the rules
Leadership on merit: In KPL our Chairman is the Chairman of the highest ranked club in the previous Premier League season and our Vice Chairmen are the Chairmen of the next two highest ranked clubs.
Good governance: In KPL our main policy and decision-making body is the Governing Council which meets quarterly and consists of the Chairmen of each of the 18 Premier League clubs plus FKF.
Transparency: In KPL our Governing Council meetings and records of decisions are open to the media
Financial accountability: In KPL all our members, sponsors and the media can review our financial records and accounts at any time
National development: In KPL our clubs are committed to contributing to local and national development through special projects on key issues such as AIDS prevention, environmental improvement and alcohol/drug abuse
National unity: In KPL our members are from all parts of the country and maintain a zero tolerance policy against tribalism, racism, corruption and hooliganism or discrimination based on religion, gender or disability
KPL Clubs Charter
Our clubs are committed to managing our clubs in a professional and honest manner and with respect for the rules as well as the principles of good governance, financial accountability, public transparency and fairplay on and off the field. We undertake to ensure that our clubs:
1. Play to win, play fair and accept both victory and defeat with dignity;
2. Respect the KPL and other club officials, the match officials and spectators;
3. Reject corruption, hooliganism, banned substances, racism and discrimination of any kind;
4. Behave with the utmost good faith and honesty in all relations with the KPL and other clubs;
5. Act always in a manner that does not bring the KPL or the game into disrepute;
6. Comply with the Laws of the Game and KPL, FKF, CECAFA, CAF and FIFA policies and rules;
7. Inform our officials and players on the relevant policies and rules and ensure they respect them;
8. Respect the contractual responsibilities and obligations of the employees of another club;
9. Discharge our financial obligations to the KPL and other clubs promptly and fully;
10. Seek to resolve any differences with the KPL or other clubs without recourse to a court of law.
KPL cooperation with the Football Kenya Limited (FKF)
The KPL and the Premier League clubs are members of the Football Kenya Federation (FKF) and pay a consolidated annual affiliation fee agreed by the FKL-KPL Joint Executive Committee (JEC) which consists of three members appointed by the FKF and three members appointed by the KPL and is chaired by a FKF representative or the KPL representative on alternate basis. Among other responsibilities, the FKF-KPL Joint Executive Committee helps coordinate the annual calendar of events and fixtures and considers changes in the Rules of Governing Kenyan Football as well as joint projects of mutual interest and benefit for both parties and Kenyan football such as training courses for top coaches, match commissioners, referees and youth development. It also approves annually the selection of top referees for the Premier League for appointment to matches.
The FKF National Executive Committee includes one KPL representatives: The KPL representative is appointed by the KPL Governing Council. The FKF Annual and Special General Meetings include the Chairmen of the eighteen Premier League clubs as voting members.
KPL history highlights
The Kenyan Premier League Limited (KPL) is a private company limited by shares. The company was incorporated on October 31, 2003 under Chapter 486 of the Companies Act of the Laws of Kenya.
Kenyan Champions League 2003
KPL launched and successfully managed the Kenyan Champions League which became one of the most highly competitive and fairplay leagues in Kenyan football history. It was also the best managed with no matches failing to kickoff, no abandoned matches, no incidents of hooliganism, no referee boycotts, no two-match weekends for any club, no serious injuries to any players, no appeals against the referees or results of any matches and no disciplinary action needed against any club officials or players. Also, no team dominated the other teams as the goal difference was two goals or less for all but two matches. The 2003-04 champions were Utalii FC with Tusker FC as the runner-up.
First Transparency Cup 2003
In November/December 2003 KPL launched the world’s first Transparency Cup with the theme of “Kicking corruption out of football”. The Cup champions were Utalii FC with Gor Mahia FC as the runners-up. The awards for the top clubs, players and referees were the highest for any Cup competition in the 40-year history of Kenyan football.
Second Transparency Cup 2004
In March/July 2004 KPL successfully organized the second Transparency Cup. The Cup champions were Kenya Commercial Bank FC with Thika United FC as the runner-up.
KPL Football Role of Honour 2004
KPL created the first Football Roll of Honour to recognize those who selflessly dedicated themselves to improving Kenyan football and named the following first eleven members who have free lifetime entry to all KPL matches: Mohamed Abbas, Ahmed Breik, Peter Dawo, Kadir Farah, Joe Kadenge, Joe Masiga, Josephat Murila, John Nyawanga, Bob Ogolla, Nahashon Oluoch and Allan Thigo.
Kenyan Premier League 2005/06
With the agreement of the then KFF, CAF and FIFA, KPL took over the ownership and management of the Premier League which was again highly competitive. Over two-thirds of the matches played were vic-tories and 90% of the matches were only 1 or 2 goal victories or draws. The 2005/06 Premier League champions were
New KPL office, staff and outreach 2005
In 2005 KPL established a new headquarters and office in Riadha House in central Nairobi and appointed a Managing Director and assistant. KPL also had an office co-located with the FKL at the FIFA GOAL Project headquarters at Kasarani Stadium.
Stopping hooliganism 2006
After several serious incidents in February 2006, KPL adopted a new ‘zero tolerance’ policy against hooliganism and attacks on referees. In over 400 KPL matches since then, there have been only three attacks on referees which were all firmly dealt with under the KPL policy. The last time a referee was assaulted was in July 2007.
KPL support to national teams 2003-07
During 2003-07 the KPL clubs provided the majority of national team players and voluntarily released their players for far longer periods than required in the FIFA rules.
Cairo Agreements 2006
The KPL would likely not have survived without the insistence and persistence of FIFA on protecting the principles and integrity of our sport. The watershed event for saving and improving Kenyan football was the meeting convened by FIFA in Cairo, Eqypt in January 2006. The meetings in Cairo involved the Presidents and senior officials of FIFA and CAF; the Minister, Assistant Minister and senior officials of the Kenyan Ministry of Sports; the Chairman and two senior officials of FKL; and three KPL club representatives.
The Kenyan Premier League is operated and run as a private limited company incorporated in October 2003 under the Companies Act of Kenya. It is fully owned and managed by the 18 member clubs with each club being a shareholder. It is affiliated to Football Kenya Federation, which is also a shareholder and voting member of the KPL Board of directors. Non-voting members include the Kenya Football Coaches Association and the Kenya Football Referees Association.
The current CEO is Jack Oguda and Frank Okoth is the current COO and LNO. Okoth is also in charge of logistics.
East African Breweries, through their Tusker brand, held the naming rights to the league from 21 August 2012 to 6 August 2015.
The improved level of competition and eventual attention given to the league by the fans has seen major companies in Kenya lining up to partner with clubs. At the moment, the league does not have a title sponsorship but it has a broadcasting deal with SuperSport. Umbro is the official referee kit supplier and is also the official ball provider.
On 21 August 2012 the Kenyan Premier League signed a Ksh. 170 million (US$2.02 million; £1.28 million; €1.62 million) deal with East African Breweries to rename the league to the Tusker Premier League, the most lucrative deal in Kenyan football history at the time. On 18 October 2012 the league signed a Ksh. 10 million (US$117,275; £73,242; €90,052) deal with Puma, which made them the Official ball supplier for the league and its clubs with immediate effect.
On 6 August 2015, East African betting company SportPesa gained the naming rights to the league, signing a four-and-a-half-year deal with the KPL reportedly worth Ksh. 450 million (approx. US$4.36 million, £2.84 million or €3.87 million) to rename the league to the SportPesa Premier League. As part of the sponsorship, a new trophy was revealed by SportPesa and the KPL on 30 October 2015, with Gor Mahia, the 2015 champions, set to be its first recipients and retain the previous trophy for good. The trophy was manufactured in Italy, weighs 12 kg (26 lb) and is made of brass. In 2018, Sportpesa ceased operating in Kenya and halted its sponsorship of the KPL.
On 24 November 2020, Football Kenya Federation (FKF) unveiled StarTimes as their official broadcasting partners for the FKF Premier League, through signing a seven-year deal worth US$1.1 million (Sh110million per year).
There are 18 clubs in the Kenyan Premier League. During the course of a season, traditionally from February to November but switched to August to May in 2018, each club plays the others twice (a double round-robin system): once at their home stadium and once at that of their opponents, for a total of 34 games. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. Teams are ranked by total points, then goal difference, and then goals scored. At the end of each season, the club with the most points is crowned champion. If points are equal, the goal difference and then goals scored determine the winner. If still equal, the ordering is determined by their head-to-head records. If there is a tie for the championship, for relegation, or for qualification to other competitions, a play-off match at a neutral venue decides rank. The two lowest placed teams are relegated to the National Super League, with its top two teams promoted in their place. The 16th placed team squares off with the third-best team from the National Super League for the third promotion slot.
In 2018 the league switched from a Feb/Nov calendar to an August to May competition to bring it in line with other countries. The 2018/2019 season bridges the gap running from December 2018 to July 2019 after which the seasons will align with those of European nations.
The league’s most popular teams are rivals A.F.C. Leopards and Gor Mahia.last title-winning season in 2018, while A.F.C. Leopards won their 12th league title in 1998.
||Nyayo National Stadium
||Mombasa Municipal Stadium
||Chemelil Sports Complex
||Nairobi City Stadium
|Kenya Commercial Bank
||Nairobi City Stadium
|Kisumu All Stars
||Kipchoge Keino Stadium
Head coaches in the league are involved in the regular running of their teams, including the training, team selection and player acquisition. Their influence and popularity varies from club-to-club and is related to the ownership of the club and the relationship of the manager with fans.
|| Patrick Aussems
|| Casa Mbungo
|| Anthony Akulia
|| Carlos Manuel Vaz Pinto
|| Nicholas Muyoti
|| William Muluya
|| Salim Ali
|Mt Kenya United
|| Anthony Mwangi
|| Benard Mwalala
|| Sammy Omolloo
|| John Barsa
|| Salim Babu
|| John Njogu
|| Robert Matano
|| Sammy Okoth
- 1963 : Nakuru All-Stars (Nakuru)
- 1964 : Luo Union (Nairobi)
- 1965 : Feisal FC (Mombasa)
- 1966 : Abaluhya FC (Nairobi)
- 1967 : Abaluhya FC (Nairobi)
- 1968 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
- 1969 : not played
- 1970 : Abaluhya FC (Nairobi)
- 1971 : not played
- 1972 : Kenya Breweries (Nairobi)
- 1973 : Abaluhya FC (Nairobi)
- 1974 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
- 1975 : Luo Union (Nairobi)
- 1976 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
- 1977 : Kenya Breweries (Nairobi)
- 1978 : Kenya Breweries (Nairobi)
- 1979 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
- 1980 : AFC Leopards (Nairobi)
- 1981 : AFC Leopards (Nairobi)
- 1982 : AFC Leopards (Nairobi)
- 1983 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
- 1984 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
- 1985 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
- 1986 : AFC Leopards (Nairobi)
- 1987 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
- 1988 : AFC Leopards (Nairobi)
- 1989 : AFC Leopards (Nairobi)
- 1990 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
- 1991 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
- 1992 : AFC Leopards (Nairobi)
- 1993 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
- 1994 : Kenya Breweries (Nairobi)
- 1995 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
- 1996 : Kenya Breweries (Nairobi)
- 1997 : Utalii FC (Ruaraka)
- 1998 : AFC Leopards (Nairobi)
- 1999 : Tusker FC (Nairobi)
- 2000 : Tusker FC (Nairobi)
- 2001 : Oserian Fastac FC (Naivasha)
- 2002 : Oserian Fastac FC (Naivasha)
- 2003 : Ulinzi Stars (Nakuru)
- 2004 : Ulinzi Stars (Nakuru)
- 2005 : Ulinzi Stars (Nakuru)
- 2006 : SoNy Sugar (Awendo)
- 2007 : Tusker (Nairobi)
- 2008 : Mathare United (Nairobi)
- 2009 : Sofapaka (Nairobi)
- 2010 : Ulinzi Stars (Nakuru)
- 2011 : Tusker (Nairobi)
- 2012 : Tusker (Nairobi)
- 2013 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
- 2014 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
- 2015 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
- 2016 : Tusker (Nairobi)
- 2017 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
- 2018 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
- 2019 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
- 2020 : Gor Mahia (Nairobi)
Source: RSSSF – Kenya – List of champions
Total titles won
||1968, 1974, 1976, 1979, 1983, 1984, 1985, 1987, 1990, 1991, 1993, 1995, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2017, 2018, 2018–19, 2019–20
||1966, 1967, 1970, 1973, 1980, 1981, 1982, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1992, 1998
||1972, 1977, 1978, 1994, 1996, 1999, 2000, 2007, 2011, 2012, 2016
||2003, 2004, 2005, 2010
Top scorers in recent seasons
“This man was a like a lion my friend, he had no mercy with goalkeepers. Most of them used to run away from goal when they see him because he would kill you with the shots. There was no joke. He was on fire. Leave the kids of nowadays alone; you score only 12 goals and you’re top scorer? Our days were tough.”
– Joe Kadenge speaking in October 2010 on his days as a player with Maurice Ochieng.
The league record for most goals scored in one season is currently held by Maurice Ochieng, who completed the 1976 season with 26 goals for Gor Mahia. His former teammate, Joe Kadenge, praised him as a lethal striker in front of goal.
|| John Baraza
|| Jacob Keli
||Kenya Commercial Bank
|| Dan Sserunkuma
|| Jesse Were
|| John Mark Makwatta
|| Masoud Juma
|| Erick Kapaito
Kenyan Premier League Contacts
Kenyan Premier League Limited
Brookside Grove, Westlands
P.O. Box 5350 00506
Tel: +254700313331, +254 739222000
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