Information, learning, understanding, the truth and hope !!

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 6.47.57 PMFROM THE BOARDROOM
(Information, learning, understanding,  the truth and hope !!)

information and understanding
Kotoko  1  Kwaebibirim  0

On September 24th Kotoko were 65 years old. Although we announced at the beginning of the season that we would use the whole year to celebrate our 65th birthday, last Sunday’s victory over Kwaebibirim was important. They came as the sacrificial lamb for the slaughter and they were slaughtered. The match was completely one sided and had it not been for the awful Tema Park and the numerous missed opportunities the score could have been much higher. Without an array of players, which included Alex Djane, Kweku Duah, Michael Osei, Adu Poku, Osei Boateng, Atsou Frank, Felix Yeboah, Humphrey Amoah and Cambou Clovis, Kotoko found great difficulty in scoring. As a birthday present our supporters went home happy. Our programme is still on course. We are perhaps a little ahead of schedule. In terms of our on the field efforts we stated at the beginning of the season that we expected Hearts, Goldfields, Dwarfs and Olympics to be the leading contenders. By inference I then looked at RTU and Okwahu as being the teams we would be battling with as we embarked on our rebuilding programme. As it turns out Olympics and Dwarfs have not faired as well as predicted and it is rather King Faisal and Ghapoha who have done particularly well. As at now Kotoko is in third place. Not bad for a side rebuilding!

I was asked after the match whether we would be going to Africa. I answered negative. We have a five-year plan. This includes the development of the playing and technical bodies, establishment of a proper youth programme and to make Kotoko commercially viable through the reorganisation of the supporters groups. We also intend to make information on Kotoko more accessible to all the teeming supporters through the establishment of the Kotoko Express and other TV and radio mediums. At present Kotoko is good enough to fair well in Africa. The financial commitment required to go to Africa exceeds the benefits at present! I was hoping that this year Goldfields and King Faisal could join Hearts in Africa. We will be ready by the year after. At that time we shall conquer as have done in the past!  Alhaji Grunsah has done a special job at and with King Faisal. He has shown a unique ability to bring the best out of his team and entry into an African tournament would be the reward that Alhaji deserves!  I wish him the very best!

Our supporters are the greatest! The different organs of the FA headed by EZE and SYLVESTER MENSAH have done their worst (or to them their best) to try and frustrate Kotoko. Their latest effort of placing Kotoko in Tema for a home match is testimony to this! Our supporters came in numbers in excess of what ANY other team can draw when playing at home or away! Our supporters are the greatest. They were well behaved as usual! I am only glad that our supporters were rewarded with a victory at this difficult park. It is my first victory at Tema Park since assuming the role of Chairman!

Circle 12. They performed as they did when we played Ghapoha. They took care of the team’s hotel and feeding expenses. They also provided useful assistance at the stadium on match day. After the match they provided food and refreshments at the Al Paso club for the team and officials. They were and are truly fantastic! We are still waiting for individual circles in other parts of the country to match this!

Accra Circles. They combined and provided the red boxes outside of Tema Park. They managed to raise ¢3.6m! Their efforts following on the ¢6.5m that was collected against Dwarfs was greatly appreciated. They provided great assistance at the Park too. They have just started to get involved to this extent and I am sure it will continue into the future! Your efforts are really appreciated.  We now have to work closer together in the interests of Kotoko.

On the question of money!

With Kotoko being banned from Oseikrom for this match against Kwaebibirim on the instruction and direction of the FA (disciplinary committee and the PLB) I have taken the opportunity to make a brief comparison of the revenue stream (or lack of it) emanating from the match at this location.

The FA has the obligation of running soccer in  Ghana and is funded to some extent from and by the Clubs and their supporters. Although the various organs of the FA often operate as though we owe them this is simply not the case. The bottom line is that without the clubs there would not be any FA!

The football clubs are viewed as a source of income to both the FA and the government, which in it’s current format is wrong. How both the government  and the GFA hope that Ghana football will reach the heights attained by countries like Cameroons, Nigeria and South Africa with no investment in the game baffles me! Even the farmer in the village knows that you must first acquire the land. This land must be prepared before the right healthy seeds can be sown. Once done then the hard work starts with the nurturing. Once this has been completed (over time) then the product can be harvested and marketed for maximum gains. There is a market for all products. The farmer has to mindful of how to produce and package his product depending on whether it is for local consumption or for export etc! In Ghana we say that we now have a professional league without fully understanding what that means. Most unfortunately it is the Ministry who must take the blame for our current status. The Minister has sat and presided over the current farce and the most unfortunate point is that he appears to know no better! The rest of the system is simply waiting for him to either change or to leave office!

Currently the vultures involved in living off the clubs investments  can be listed as follows (I have made a comparison between our matches against Dwarfs and the one we played against Kwaebibirim. We were banned to play in Accra and in Tema for both matches)

Dwarfs match      Kwaebibirim
VAT (12.5% of gross proceeds)                 8,430,444.00        2,500,000
PLB A/C (5% gross proceeds)                3,793,700.00          1,000,000
Share taken by N.C.S. (10% of net proceeds)    5,514,335.60           807,000
Share taken GHALCA (2.5% of net proceeds)     1,378,583.90           298,250
Share taken by G.F.A. (12.5% of net proceeds)    6,892,919.50        1,008,750

I find it somewhat ironic that the principle stakeholders Ghalca should only take 2.5% of the net proceeds. As the stakeholders we are the ones with most to lose from the activities of the Ministry and the FA. I find it even sadder that those mentioned often invariably behave with little respect for the stakeholders.

I also find it both immoral and illegal that clubs have to pay VAT gross when they have NO CURRENT RIGHT TO CLAIMING BACK EXPENSES. VAT in football is therefore a punitive tax rather than a value-added tax!

I believe that if some of the people who head up the Sports and the FA really had a vested interest (their monies rather than their mouths and pens) in the development and running of soccer in Ghana they would be more mindful of the decisions they take. I say this because their decisions are often not taken on the basis which inspire any confidence or credibility. The principals of my assertions remain;

E. T. Mensah    –    Minister of Youth and Sports        Hearts
Agra            –    General Secretary  FA            Hearts
Sylvester Mensah –     PLB Chairman                  Hearts
R.O.Laryea        –    Referees appointment Committee    Hearts
Dr. Ofori Atta    –    Disciplinary Committee            Hearts
Ade Coker        –    FA member                    Olympics
Eze            –    Disciplinary Committee            Olympics

With respect to the PLB I/we need an explanation for their printing some 18,000 tickets for our match at Tema. Given that Tema Park cannot take that number of spectators and given the fact that the PLB made the decision to relocate Kotoko to Tema several weeks ago why would they print 18,000 tickets. Given that the cost of printing 18,000 is in excess of ¢3m and we used and paid for ¢1,125,000 how are the PLB going to account for the balance. They earned only ¢1m out of Kotoko at Tema as opposed to ¢3,793,700.00 when we played in Accra. The gentleman responsible for releasing the tickets for the match claimed that Kotoko was being punished and that was the reason for the excess printing! When I heard about the excess tickets I tried calling Sylvester Mensah. He never returned my call!

At the end of the season I shall be asking for and inspecting the accounts of the various bodies to see how all our monies have been spent. I believe as a stakeholder in soccer I have the right to do so and then to equate the decisions and actions of the FA and its assigns against their money spend.

The Function statement            Excerpts of last weeks Dwarfs
Kotoko vrs. Kwaebibirim        function statement in Accra

Gross Gate Proceeds –        ¢20,000,000    Gross Gate Proceeds 75,874,000.00

MATCH EXPENSES
Printing of tickets –                1,125,000    Printing of tickets    3,150,000.00
PLB’s 5% –                            1,000,000     PLB A/C 5%        3,793,700.00
VAT –                                    2,500,000     VAT                 8,430,444.00
Share due to N.C.S.                  807,000    Share due to N.C.S    5,514,335.60
Share due to GFA               1,008,750    Share due to GFA    6,892,919.50
Share due to Ghalca                     298,250    Share due to Ghalca    1,378,583.90
Police and security                   911,000     Police/Security    1,845,000.00
Ticket Sellers –                         175,000    Tickets Sellers,    2,689,000.00
Checkers (Kotoko) –                104,000    checkers etc
CCC Supervisors –                   640,000
Chairs/canopies/lime –              485,000
Red Cross –                                56,000     Medical Bills             45,000.00
Ball Boys –                                 36,000
Transport of tickets –                  20,000
NSC Transport –                        30,000
Curtain raiser –                          100,000
Referees hotel/T&T –                668,000
Field Supervisor –                     120,000
Bench hire –                              100,000

Kotoko’s 70% share               8,351,000     Kotoko’s 70% –           39,543,049.20
Kwaebibirim’s 5% share      596,500    Dwarfs 5%          1,814,467.80

The Olympics

I have been really enjoying the Olympics courtesy of MultiChoice Ghana. There have been sports, which are not my favourite but in this uniquely competitively, situation I have watch with great pleasure. Watching Aziz Zakari reach the Olympic final brought me greatest pleasure! I hope the young man can find the funds to develop him to greater heights for the future. Cathy Freemans victory in the ladies 400m finals at least ensured that the Olympic script was not spoilt. I have watched young Nigerian ladies excel in weight lighting and others in Beach Volleyball. Even the synchronised swimming and diving has been a source of fascination for me. Watching Maurice Green and Marion Jones confirm that they are world’s greatest sprinters was simply exhilarating! Michael Johnson is for me the greatest athlete. I believe that the great Sotomayer was deprived of a Gold medal by the heavy rainfall. Jan Zelezny confirmed that he is the greatest Javelin thrower of all time when he won Gold for the third consecutive Olympics with an Olympic record in excess of 90 meters! Steve Redgrave of Britain confirmed that he is the greatest rower in history with his 5th Olympic Gold medal!  Denise Williams also proved her supremacy as the winning  the ladies Heptathlon. It was sad to see 40 year old Merlene Ottey fail to win a medal in the 100 meters final after having done so well to get to the final. I expected more from the Nigerians in this year’s Olympics after their success at Atlanta. Their humiliating exit in the soccer (4-1) to Chile was an anticlimax following their Gold at the last Olympics. The Cameroonian victory over Brazil was a joy to watch. For me Cameroun is currently the best team in Africa. After CAN 2000 I was not totally convinced but I am now. Against Brazil they played with nine men and yet showed courage and skill in over coming the odds to record this remarkable victory! Virtually their entire team is now playing first class football in Europe and next month they have been invited to play France the World Champions in France!

I only hope that in four years time someone will run the Ministry with greater sensitivity and understanding of the needs of the Youth. We have our economic limitations but that is no excuse for having no direction. We need someone with understanding that can plan for the future. Our pathetic appearance at the Olympics is inexcusable! It is my wish to see our Youth participating in many more events in future. Some do not require huge funding and I believe Ghanaians can do as well as many other nationals in many disciplines given the chance!

Gossip

At a meeting in Kumasi last Thursday George Amoako happened to meet George Adusei Poku (alias Georgido). He claimed that he had hired people, given them phones and telephones to call into programmes to destroy this current administration. He also claimed that the Minister of Youth and Sports had advised him to appeal the Gbadegbe decision on his alleged indebtedness to Kotoko. If these statements are true then it is unfortunate. Goergido must face the reality of his situation and understand that Kotoko is owned by Otumfuo. If he takes any action against Kotoko then he is taking it against the entire family of Kotoko. His fight is not with this management. His fight must be with himself and what he is being accused of.

Management has not taken any action against his indebtedness to date. I shall be appointing a committee this week to sit on the allegations and conclusions of the Gbadegbe report. I shall ask them to submit their findings and recommendations to me in the shortest possible space of time for me to forward to Otumfuo for ratification! After this everyone including Georgido must move on with their lives!

At Tema I sat next to Fawouz of Hearts. Harry and Alhaji Hearts have shown that off the field we have common interests. Fawouz was welcome.

I had to mediate between two friends who were having a furious argument over who was the greatest club as far as Ghana football was concerned……..very easy to do!!

Fabulous the greatest

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