It’s now two months since six-time league champions Rayon Sport relocated back to Nyanza, Southern Province.
Many football followers in the country viewed this move as a good idea for the Blues, specifically on sporting grounds.
Rayon is one of the oldest clubs in the country and boosts of the biggest fan base than any other club in the local league. However, the large fan base has not prevented Rayon Sport from going through difficult times over the years.
Looking back at the club’s ups and downs, financial constraints and poor discipline among the players have been the main concern for whoever cares about the team and club in general.
It’s now over seven years since the club last won the national football league title. Certainly this is an indication of poor work progress off and on the pitch, it’s unacceptable for a club with that size.
The country’s most famous football club has frequently been hit with financial strains in the past and this has affected their push for success.
Although global financial crisis has been a worldwide concern, the crisis at Rayon has been mind boggling.
Over the years, they have been in situations where players would spend months without getting their monthly payments. This is a bizarre situation at any professional or semi-professional club.
Money is a major motivating factor in everything and players, who depend solely on football to earn a living, find it difficult to survive without regular monthly wages or bonuses at the worst.
In addition of such financial stress, the Blues have had a poor recruitment policy that mainly centered on imported players. They have a strong belief in foreign players, who command high figures not only in recruitment but also in salaries.
But now with Nyanza District taking over the management of the club, starting with this season, hope is that Rwanda’s most supported club will soon find their old winning touch, which has eluded them in the last seven seasons.
This partnership is meant to revive the image of Rayon Sport in various aspects. Nyanza District took over charges concerning payment of players’ salaries, coaching staff, feeding and accommodation for the team.
Administratively, it also implies that the club has been taken over from the hands of business men to partial government management. The district authorities will put Rayon’s budget in their annual budget, a move aimed at reducing the chronic financial stress.
Nyanza district has also promised to revamp the sporting policy of the club by promoting of home grown talents.
Another important factor expected to improve at Rayon is discipline amongst its players as the new environment in Nyanza won’t favour them to waste time in social interactions like has been the case when the team was based in Kigali.
Nyanza is far from Kigali city and there are very few places to hide out for alcohol intake, drugs, night clubs and overnight parties. These social events normally distract players’ performances and tend to override their football interests at times.
Formerly, most of Rayon players used to reside in Nyamirambo suburbs, one of the most vibrant places around Kigali where most of the health-social related hazards are quite common.
However, players now will be expected to concentrate more on performing.
Another issue to be resolved is the endless internal wrangles and intrigues that marred the club’s top management. Past administrators used to disagree on most important decision making issues which, in the end, affected the team on and off the field.