Kenya Commercial Bank's recent transfer activities, which have seen the Kenya Volleyball Federation women's league runners up target top players from their rivals has left stakeholders with mixed feelings.
The bankers have already made two marquee signings, bringing in Kenya Prisons centre Edith Wisah and Kenya Pipeline sensation Sharon Chepchumba and are still in the market for more stars as they try to find their way back to the top after watching their rivals walk away with the league title in turns for the last decade.
"This is a very dangerous trend for the game in the country. Weak KPC and Prisons will result into zero competition to KCB," Kenya Pipeline team manager Kassuja Onyonyi said.
Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) women's coach Daniel Bor weighed in: "What KCB has done to players as a club is highly appreciated and should be emulated by other sponsors. I think the contentious issue here is using your position to lure players to join a specific club, to me this is conflict of interest. We need to have other clubs also grow, we are now shifting our goal to make one club dominant in the African Clubs championship at the expense of others."
"My question is, are we championing for a competitive national league or one club dominance? Most clubs are from government institutions whereby their pay or allowances are regulated by a legal body mandated to check this allowances."
"Prisons we have a pool of over 40 players at our disposal and we continue recruiting fresh blood yearly, so we don't have any problem surrendering players to coach (Paul) Bitok to achieve his short term goal. Our concern is only about the future of our players after they hang boots, and it's this strategy (of giving players permanent contracts) that Pipeline uses too and that's why they have been our rivals in the game but they have never try to do what KCB are trying to do," Nairobi Prison's Robinson Okoth noted.
"I believe the offer KCB gave the players is totally irresistible. It will improve the player's welfare. All along we have been complaining about players pay. To me, those who can pay players well it is quite encouraging and more should follow. However, no club should sign players with the intention of sabotaging another one. Let's embrace togetherness," referee Nicodemus Onsong said.
"Let other teams also give out good contracts terms and poach from other teams. The players are over 18 and they have the right to reject or accept the offer at KCB," former player Bilasio Kokonya said.
KCB team manager Moses Kimani laughed off the remarks from their critics, saying they have not signed any player who wasn't willing to join the club.
"We are trying to professionalise the club and that is it. We are not forcing any player to join our club," Kimani said.