Alan Mugume: Work Cut Out For New Cricket CEO

 

Uganda Cricket Association has appointed Alan Mugume as the new Chief Executive Officer (CEO) for the next three years.

He replaces Martin Ondeko whose reign expired recently after his appointment in 2018.

Mugume, a business development consultant, was unveiled on Friday at the Copper Chimney in Lugogo in front of the press.

UCA Chairman Michael Nuwagaba described the selection process as ‘long and vigorous.’

The Association used an external recruiter for the process where they received about 80 applicants from all over the world before Mugume came out on top.

Mugume comes at a crucial and busy time at the Association – the Men’s side (Cricket Cranes) are set for third leg of the Challenge League B in Jersey and the World Cup T20 Qualifiers in Zinbabwe next week.

What Awaits Mugume?

It might prove to be hectic work for Mugume who joins the association without a Sports Background.

He comes in from the world of investment advisory and finance consultancy.

Mugume has worked in both Government and Private sector.

And the Association has opted for the commercial aspect, bringing in someone who can develop commercial plans and build partnerships.

Mugume says he has been silently following the Sport of Cricket in Uganda, and he will not be starting from scratch at least.

“We recently had the World Cup Challenge League B, we are top of the table, our next leg is in Jersey and that’s where we want to attain our ODI Status from,” Mugume smiled through in an interview with The-SportsNation.

L-R: Alan Mugume, Michael Nuwagaba and Martin Ondeko

He worked at the Ministry of Finance as an Economist doing policy work, Police formulation and Analysis and budget related work.

While in the Private sector, he worked as an Investment Advisor where he headed the business development at Diaspo Capital, a financial advisory firm.

His new role as a CEO of a Sports association will come with new demands and challenges, but Mugume is confident that he has some clues and it will not be more of a challenge.

“The CEO role is quiet big, however, I believe the expertise I bring from my background will be sufficient together with already the team I find in place. There has been a strong team that has managed to put the Association at a higher level in terms of its recognition under the NCS. Its a big role but manageable,” Mugume explained.

“I don’t see it much of a challenge, because the organisation has to be run like any other corporate entity, it just happens to be Sport. The dynamics of Cricket and Sport in general, those can be run along the way.”

Mugume says that he is set to meeting various stakeholders within the sponsorship circles, the coaches, the Clubs and the Players and that will help him learn the dynamics of the game.

He joins a Sport that is still struggling to attract fans and attract sponsorship in relation to run-away leaders Football who have taken the lion’s share of everything.

And his strategic plan includes four key themes – Finance and Governance, Infrastructure and facility development, High Performance and Development, Marketing and Branding.

“My priorities are in those four areas because you cannot achieve the success with one theme in isolation, the other three have to be working hand in hand.”

He fills the big boots left by Ondeko who served the Association for about 14 years including as an Operations manager before he replaced Justin Ligyalingi as CEO.

But there is somewhere to begin for Mugume after an increment in the Sports Budget.

And Ondeko leaves behind a good platform in terms of governance, excellence of the National teams and a couple of partners including Plascon on board.

UCA Looking at Commercial Aspect

UCA Chairman Nuwagaba says that there is need to run the Association as an a business entity.

“Any entity, be it sports or outside, need to be run as a business at one point, yes Cricket will be played on the ground, kids will be training out there but we need the business sense of it,” Nuwagaba said in an interview with The-SportsNation.

“And where our game has moved, we need to build the structures and have strong processes in place to run the Association as a business.”

Nuwagaba explained that all the trips the National teams are having cost money and to have the resources in place, they need to have a business person who will open doors for other partners.

He added:

“Technically, we have set the ground running which Martin (Ondeko) has done very well, so if we add in the business arm which we expect Allan to bring on board, we should be having a better mix.”

“Funding to Cricket is going to increase, the timing is good, this year we have close to ten engagements to the National team. The support from Government and the little we have coming through from ICC, and getting on someone who is more of the business side of it, I think it gives us the impetus to move further and wil allow us to go through that period.”

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