We are all familiar with the old adage “Saturday is a rugby day,” you have probably used it on several occasions, well it is about time that we realised that it is not the only rugby day.
The 2019/20 season is in its third week, with up to 45 fixtures, in nine leagues being played in the space of four hours, on any given Saturday. We have a tonne of quality fixtures on any given game week, why bump all these into that Saturday, four hour window?
To put it into context let’s look a typical rugby Saturday in Nairobi which hosts 38 of the 78 teams in the country; Seven in the Kenya Cup, Seven in the ESS, Four in the Championship and 20 in the Nationwide. An ordinary Saturday sees up to 21 matches hosted in the capital.
On match day four for example, Nairobi will host four Kenya cup fixtures, four ESS fixtures, one in the Championship and ten in the Nationwide, all within those four hours. Now imagine if these fixtures were spread across the weekend, from Friday evening?
What that does is increase the game’s value proposition, it opens up the matches to more fans, we no longer have to flip a coin to decide the one fixture to watch during that four hour window. Which in turn translates to more revenue for the clubs and more opportunities for sponsors, TV maybe? The KPL realised this a while back and spread their fixtures across the week, let alone the weekend.
The biggest league in the world, is played from Friday, through to Monday, why do we want to re invent the wheel?
Every time I raise this issue, I am usually met with, ‘But our players work on Friday and Monday and hence need Sunday to rest.” Which seems like a valid concern, but is neither here nor there. The same players work through out the week and train at the same time, we are simply afraid of change.
The few clubs that have been brave enough to try hosting matches on Sunday or Friday can attest to their success.
This move might be what unlocks the next level for our league, as more fans attend games and make the sport even more attractive to sponsors.
Let us take it a step further, why not have double headers featuring Championship and Kenya Cup matches? Or Super match days where fans can enjoy up to four matches across the leagues, at the same venue, on the same day?
So this is a challenge to the Kenya Cup, let us invade the other days of the week, Friday is rugby day, Sunday too..let us make weekends a rugby affair.
With those few thoughts, let me get back to making the tough decision of which fixture I will attend this afternoon.
KWISHA… Nimeruka Nje!!!
P.S Have you nominated your 2019 player and fan of the year? Do so HERE