I have spent the last few weeks looking after Kotoko’s interests at the FA. It has been fascinating to see what role the FA appears to believe it has in our current game. I have watched them attempt to implement laws and rules and then appoint themselves (club officials with club interests) to act as God over other clubs and supporters (all in the same league!!)
I have tried to understand why the FA and the people who run it and have been running it for such a long time have not attempted to at least create the perception of fairness! I was always taught in business/law to ensure that practices such as these should be handled at arms length. Being a club official and then presuming to give judgement or TO CHOOSE THOSE WHO GIVE JUDGEMENT OVER OTHERS WITH THE SAME VESTED INTERESTS in the game is IMMORAL and WRONG. Even genuine mistakes will be PERCEIVED as biased or tainted. It is therefore not surprising that the outside world has such little regard for us!
I always emphasise that “Lawyer” E.A. Owusu Ansah stepped down from the management of Kumasi Asante Kotoko so that he could take up a senior position within the FA. When I first came into Kotoko I could not understand how morally or ethically, clubs could be represented within the FA to and at a level by people with strong club affiliations. Time has not changed my view. It has made it stronger! The challenge is for all the “others” to follow suit and either remove their officials from the FA or ask them to stand down from active participation in their clubs! This is important because at present the FA in its current form is totally unacceptable. It apparently is one of the least satisfactory FA’s of recent times! This is not necessarily Alhaji Jawula’s fault. It is how the FA has been structured and the people who run it at the different levels!
Messrs, Kwesi Acheampong, Sylvester Mensah, E. Owusu Ansah, Abra Appiah, Felix Abayetie and Ampim Darko have ruled that Kotoko should play Dwarfs in Accra on Saturday week and against Kwabibrium at Dawu the following week! Interestingly Oheneba Charles thought Kotoko playing at Obuasi would inconvenience him! As a result we are now to play at Tema. The PLB having granted Dawu (who were banned recently) the right to play at Koforidua whilst Kotoko have to play at Tema. Yes clearly Nkawkaw was out but to humour Oheneba Charles makes no sense and only serves to reconfirm my sentiments about those running the FA!! One of the jobs of the FA has also to raise revenue. Playing Kotoko at a Park like Tema will not do that. Len Clay would have served the purpose of the ban as well as raising monies for the FA and the teams!
Oheneba Charles opinion in this matter is totally unimportant! It for reasons like this that I have stated that if Oheneba Charles were to take over from Alhaji Jawula one day…it would be unmitigated disaster for football in Ghana. Anybody who has access to the “other” FA decision-makers as Mr. Charles does should not be able to even have any communication with the PLB!
It is sad because most of those who disagree with my stance on the administrators of our game are people who have ceased to be able distinguish between right and wrong and for whom right is wrong and visa versa!
What about promoting the game – football
The one area that I didn’t hear anything about at the FA was how they were promoting the game! I did not hear about they could assist in ensuring the stadiums/parks were packed. The initial ABC sponsorship of some ¢25m is woefully inadequate so at present club owners have to resort to deriving incomes from supporters contributions at the gate! I say that the FA have and are letting us down in this regard because of some of the following points;
1. The PLB is totally incentive to the fact that different rates need to be charged depending on supply and demand!
2. The FA does not provide a marketing budget to encourage Clubs to work at promoting the game.
3. The clubs have several fixed hard currency costs, which have been affected as the exchange rate has devalued from ¢3600 to $1 to the now current rate of some ¢6700 to $1!
4. Even though on paper clubs receive 95% of home gate takings the reality is that clubs receive something like between 20% and 40% for home matches.
5. The FA has not encouraged the clubs to register for VAT. This is therefore another punitive tax rather than Value Added Tax that is crippling soccer and clubs in the Country!
6. Club expenses such as camping, transportation and winning bonuses are non-deductible from the gross received from gate takings!
7. The question of TV rights is also very sad! Not only do clubs not benefit from the TV companies airing our matches (often within an hour or so of the match being played) BUT clubs do not benefit financially from their presence!
8. There is not the equity in the choice of players for the national team!
9. Etc. etc. etc. etc. etc.
It would be great and very very important to see the FA starting to address the matters that really concern club owners and administrators! The question of money and integrity are key to the management and development of any sport!
Recurrent expenditure and the FA
B. A, United vrs. Kotoko
Cost of Printing 1,057,500
BNI (Security) 45,000
Medical Care 41,000
Ball Boys & Colts 50,000
Line & Chalk 102,000
Sellers & Checkers 130,000
T&T for Tickets 100,000
Task Force 100,000
Sub Total 4,652,110
Kotoko F/C 30% Share ¢1,003,467
On the question of Kaladan
The appeals body of the FA on disciplinary matters for whatever reason chose to change the bans on Kotoko and RTU from one match to two matches even though the original rulings of the FA on their one match ban had never been challenged. This meant that even though RTU had already served a one-match ban they would have to play their second match against Kotoko outside of Tamale.
Given the close relationship Abu Jones Alhassan has with not only Alhaji Jawula but other members of the FA (he is a member of the executive council) I was curious to see what would happen. I was keen to see whether on such a match they would do the right thing and listen to his objection and request for a stay of execution last week or indeed this last Tuesday or whether it would drag forcing Kotoko to Kaladan. The experts who are more familiar with the FA Mafia assured me that we would definitely go to Kaladan! We are going to Kaladan!!
Teams don’t win at Kaladan unless they are given an early season draw to go there as the first match of the season. Last year we lost by “two interesting penalty goals”. This is another year. This year everything we do is a part of a learning curve!
Circle 79:- Have kept their word and made their monthly contribution of ¢500,000 towards the gym. We need more Circle 79s! The gym is moving ahead rapidly and we need to thank Auntie Georgina Kusi (Georgia Hotel) for her co-operation. I understand that Billy Annan has now purchased a number of items for the gym, which we will be arranging to bring to Ghana. The gym should be ready for Kotoko’s use for next season!
Yaw Sarpong:- He has been concerned with the behaviour of several players and called to ask whether he had the permission to speak with Adu Poku! He understands that Adu’s outburst only sought to disgrace Kotoko and me but he asked to intervene for the good of Kotoko. Yaw has always supported Kotoko and has given this management great support over the last year. Thank you Yaw!
Klaus Arendz (Coach Middendorp):- Klaus quickly arranged for several key players to receive boots (we have to play for them) when he heard that we were having problems. He supplied Addidas Copa Mundials! They have jut arrived from Germany!
Fabulous – still the best