The struggle continues
By struggle I am referring to our attempt to uplift the image, status, and financial integrity of Asante Kotoko. The Express will by popular demand be coming out twice a week. This will be on Tuesdays and Fridays. I continue to see my job (and it is a job) in the same light as directed by the Otumfuo Osei Tutu II. My job is to get Kotoko in shape financially and on the field in a manner where the fullest respect returns to the team.
Asante Kotoko is the greatest and yet the rot is deep. When I am down I take strength from The Otumfuo’s words when he said that the rebuilding of this great club could take up to four or five years. The President of ASEC also indicated that it had taken him 10 years to rebuild his team. The Kotoko programme is under way now. We have been in seat for 9 months two weeks. It seems like a lifetime. I believe that we are moving in the right direction. I hope that by the time that my time is up that Kotoko will be on a firm financial footing. This will allow the club to be run by the best management without a worry about the short to medium cashflow requirements. Kotoko needs continuity both on and off the field! I hope I can help create this before I step down from office!
The enormity of the task is made easier when there are positives to report on and where all parties are seen to be working together. The Kotoko family must move in the same direction without groups trying to destroy the Club. Kotoko is unlike all other clubs because our leader and the club owner, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II is not only a great man but also the most recognisable Royal in Africa! Everyone has to be driven by something or someone. I am driven by a sense of wanting to succeed… I am driven by the sense of a need to fulfil the responsibility given me by the Otumfuo… I am driven by the burning desire to take Kotoko back to it’s former glories… I am driven by the desire to create structures which will ensure for short term success and to ensure that Kotoko does not return to the “bad old days”… I am driven by a sense of responsibility to the teeming supporters and players of Asante Kotoko. The magnitude of the task is large. It is huge. I can only succeed with the honest participation of all lovers of this great Club. We are now embarking on a large recruitment drive, which requires large sums of money.
Kennedy Adjapong has now bitten the Kotoko drug. He was always a die-hard fan. Now he is addicted. I will also be recommending him for higher office. He has committed to giving Asante Kotoko ¢100m. When I was appointed Chairman I asked for Kotoko supporters with ¢100m to join me in running this great club.
Kennedy has committed to this. Asante Kotoko is not my Club! I am therefore hoping that there will be others who come forward in similar fashion to ensure that we can get through the off season and achieve what we are trying to for Kotoko. During December we are planning to have a fund raising dinner to emphasise the need for additional financial support for Kotoko. Before I leave I want to get Kotoko in shape financially! It will not be easy and I can only succeed with the help of all Kotoko supporters. Our Marketing guru, Rian Malan from South Africa has been a little concerned about the slow uptake of the various programmes that have been initiated. The scratch and win and the membership drive need to be stepped up if the dream of raising additional funding is to be realised.
Although I am not a historian I am a reader and respect History. In recognising this when I came to office I embarked on a programme of total disclosure to ensure that all those supporters and “important people” who I would not in the first season be able to meet with, would at least be able to see that my intentions for Kotoko were and are only honourable! Ignorance is what often fuels misinformation and mistrust. Luckily for me I have had the opportunity to meet some great people who have understood that given the enormity of the task it simply has not been possible to go visit and explain to all parties. Indeed no lesser person than Otumfuo Osei Tutu II representative on the Board Nana Mamponhene has had patience and understanding in the fact that this fire fighting year means that I cannot always stand on ceremony.
The creation of the Kotoko Express has allowed me to be as informative as possible to dignitaries and supporters alike.
What has surprised me though is people who claim to be lovers of Kotoko who still try to destroy the Club by making unnecessary and often libellous statements aimed at bringing confusion to the supporters of Asante Kotoko. I say unnecessary because I believe that one only need to resort to public outburst of washing ones linen in public if they have approached me and been denied audience or satisfaction. Beyond this lovers of Kotoko are aware that there are “other” people more senior than myself who they can see! People who by pass me and Nana Mamponhene to go the media clearly do not have the interest of Asante Kotoko at heart and are simply exposing themselves for what they are! They are the enemies within. To make assertions suggesting and insinuating that I have made false claims on finances, have no managerial structure, have suspended the constitution and have not inaugurated the board in the media smacks of mischief! The enemies within should be bold to come and talk with me rather than addressing the enemies on the outside. If they are one and the same then I am at fault for not realising this!
I believe that we are all tired of people who attempt to wash our dirty linen in public! The Express will continue to be the “official mouth piece ” of Asante Kotoko.
David Booth will be arriving in Kumasi today and I owe a big thanks to Nana Mamponhene and his Dear wife for assisting me in finding a “reasonably” priced accommodation for David to stay in. David will be settling in over the next couple of days and will be contributing to the Express on the Friday edition. David and I spent time talking about his plans for the future. We also jointly spoke with Baba Amando on Sunday. He claimed that his manager is no longer Abu Jones Alhassan. We will try and persevere with ways to get him back to Kotoko for next season.
The Cocoa Season is still in session and we have to be careful. All players are trying to come to Kotoko. We have to be careful that we are not fooled by some players wanting to come to Kotoko for huge monetary demands and little commitment. David has his own ideas for further recruitment, which he will unfold over a period. I believe even though the REBUILDING process is still continuing that the supporters of Asante Kotoko would like to see a very fit and totally committed group of players for the 2000 season.
Sunday was a very traumatic day. Our new team Captain, Prince Adu Poku had a car crash on his way back from Takoradi where he had attended a rally in support of the Takoradi Circles. Sadly the driver of the vehicle died on the spot. Thankfully Prince Adu Poku was only slightly injured! We have to be careful with our family. When we played Hasaacas in Takoradi some members of Circle 4 were injured when their vehicle was also involved in an accident. Kotoko supporters must be careful on the roads. The fault may not be yours but be careful and God will take care of the rest. I have been involved in a couple of lucky escapes recently. A few weeks ago when I was returning from Kumasi with colleagues I noticed that the car was becoming unbalanced. After driving slowly into Kibi and stopping at a petrol station we inspected the vehicle. One of my colleagues noticed that the wheel nuts on the left rear wheel were very loose with two wheel nuts missing! In Europe the vehicle I was driving with Kwabena Yeboah had a high-speed accident. The vehicle careered off the road. We were shaken but not stirred! We all have to be very careful!
My message for the week is simple. Our great leader Otumfuo Osei Tutu II owns Kotoko and Kotoko belongs to all genuine supporters. Kotoko needs you. Come join with me and let us conquer the world. Be mindful of the enemies from within.
Fabulous – The Best