A case of the pot calling the kettle black

Screen Shot 2015-03-04 at 6.47.57 PMFROM THE BOARDROOM

A case of the pot calling the kettle black

From time to time when I write my piece for the Kotoko Express I title my piece as I have done today. The other day when I was on trek an elderly reader asked I the meaning of one of my titles. I explained. I apologise to those who don’t understand the meaning behind my titles. Today my title a case of the pot calling the kettle black refers to the hypocrisy of those who fail to see that they represent the very same they choose to criticise.

The Potters

This week it was reported to me that on one particular radio programme Ade Coker a member of the FA made negative references to Alhaji Jawula and the FA in general. I understand that he was quoted as saying that he may soon resign from the FA. The impression given for his decision was apparently due to his feeling about Alhaji Jawula’s incompetence. The programme has apparently been “taking on” Alhaji Jawula for the better part of two weeks. The presenter has apparently been concerned about a number of issues concerning the FA, which is chaired by Alhaji Jawula.

I also received a fax from Oheneba Charles fiercely criticising Alhaji Jawula and suggesting that any information about allegations about his bribery scandal with referee Wellington were leaked by Alhaji Jawula!

There have been a number of issues that have been recently bandied around and these include the following;

The scenario

1. The financial circumstances involved in the hiring and maintenance of Coach Dossena
2. The current use of Coach Ossam Duodu as the National Coach
3. The lack of adequate preparation for the National Teams for invitational tournaments
4. The inability of the FA to take full responsibility for the salary of “foreign coaches and the full maintenance of the National Teams.
5. Allowance of the Minister to interfere in the running of the local league and the running of the National Teams.
6. The accounting or lack of it for the US$450,000 given to the FA by CAF for CAN 2000
7. The endorsement of the FA Executive Council for the FA congress to be postponed until January 2001
8. The weaknesses and decision of the various committees of the FA
9. The weaknesses shown at the end of the season pertaining to decisions concerning matches played and not played at the top and the bottom of the league.
10. Inconsistency in local league programmes
11. Outstanding cases/appeals/reviews and yet the season has just about ended.

Credibility and Jawula’s team

These have and are all very valid concerns which one could spend weeks evaluating. My problem is that we have to be very careful about singling out Alhaji Jawula. Yes he is the Chairman of the FA in its entirety BUT he does not work alone.

Alhaji Jawula is the FA boss because he works with a team. In line with the need for continuity from the ”old days” the Minister of Youth and Sports chose Alhaji after some negotiations with Ghalca. The “strong men” in the team were not changed at the last election and have been highly influential during Alhaji’s term in office. The responsibility has to be collective! Alhaji has been strong or weak because of his team and because of the Minister!

It is somewhat ironic and very sad that Alhaji’s team is now deserting him at this point in time. Alhaji Jawula has defended his team publicly over the period of his tenure. This is something I have always been critical of. Members of his team have been directly implicated or accused of acts of moral and legal criminality and yet Alhaji has stood by them. It is interesting to note how disloyal they are at this time when he has stood by them. The most obvious incidents that I recall include;

a. The stadia probe in which the “Tagoe Commission” recognised that Ade Coker was implicated in bad business involving the supply of seats for the Accra and Kumasi Stadias.
b. The Gbadegbe probe on player transfers. This recommended that the same Ade Coker be asked to step down from his seat as Vice Chairman of the FA etc. etc!
c. In Oheneba Charles’ recent letter to me he indicated that Alhaji Jawula had a copy of the letter printed in the Express last Friday implicating him in a bribery scandal in the match between Kotoko and Kwaebibirum. If this is true (and we can only take Oheneba’s word) then clearly Alhaji has sought to defend him all this time to the detriment of Asante Kotoko!

Hypocrisy and Honour

The current furore surrounding the postponement of the FA congress is one that fascinates me. I say this because Asante Kotoko were not consulted in this matter. I do believe however that at the Executive Council level Alhaji’s new detractors were! The clique, which I believe has always been against Kotoko, was a part of a Council (no one has publicly denied being a part of this Council or being denied a right to attend their meetings!!!) that sat and made this decision to postpone congress. I am somewhat flabbergasted that they should be the ones to object to the postponement! People really must be prepared to stand up and be counted when it matters and not when directed by other more powerful (in terms of status and rank) parties at a later date!

I once said to Oheneba Charles (after my radio encounter with him) that is fundamentally and morally wrong to stay within an organisation and criticise the leader. You have the right to object and that should be done from within. It is somewhat infantile and defeatist to stay within an organisation and then seek to destabilise it by making statements in public. I think that that both Ade Coker and Oheneba Charles should resign and should stay out of the FA until the whole structure, which they have helped to build and condone, is changed. The weakness of the FA is because of the pillars of which they are a part and this is clear for all to see!

Alhaji and the Minister

Alhaji has his weaknesses and I have been very critical of most of them. It is clear that some of his team have been too weak and perhaps ill equipped to deal with what really needs to be dealt with in terms of football administration and the vision required to take Ghana to a totally different level! Alhaji has had to work with his boss. His boss is the Minister of Youth and Sports. During the period Alhaji has gone out of his way to debunk a number of damaging stories and incidents concerning the Minister. Some of these can be outlined as follows;

i. The incident that led to the suspension of the league involved the beating to Harry Zakkour and the plans for me. The Minister admitted to me and Harry (and others present) that he gave the order for us to be physically removed from the inner perimeter before the match even though neither of us had been given any notice. Alhaji met with Ghalca and with me and Harry individually to plead a case for the Minister.
ii. Ade Coker apologised for his role in the beating of Kwasi Acheampong (the Goldfields rep). It was also suggested that the directive to have Mr. Acheampong beaten was given by the Minister. Again Alhaji came and went out of his way to debunk this and plead for normalcy to continue
iii. The matter concerning Coach Dossena is another case. Alhaji hired him. Alhaji publicly stated that he would be stupid to let him go and that he would go before Dossena did. The Minister clearly did not want the Coach to remain and Alhaji publicly supported him.
iv. The performances of the National Teams in recent weeks and the choice of players have seriously dented the image of Ghana . These were as a direct result of the technical staff, which Alhaji has defended.
v. There have been rumours and suggestions that the use or misuse of the now controversial US$450,000 were as a result of permission and authorisation of the Minister of Youth and Sports. There are even wilder suggestions that the Minister had a direct influence in a “party” which was apparently awarded the contracts to supply cloth and food (the truth or otherwise has not been established). Alhaji again dealt with this.

Alhaji’s Replacement?

I am perhaps baffled by what all the fuss is all about. Alhaji has not told anyone that he would like to re elected. I have long asked him whether he would stand again and have not received an answer. The current running of the FA dictates that the Minister will be the one to choose Alhaji’s successor. There is clearly a great deal of mistrust between all parties. I believe that all parties have to be mindful of who is chosen as Alhaji’s successor. Apart from the need for professional competency there is an overriding need for the person to have a clean bill of health (no alleged criminality related to soccer). It is important that he has the integrity and not be linked to any self-serving group or individual with Club or political affiliations. We need to clean up our game and with the re elections somewhat imminent it is important that we START LEARNING TO WORK TOGETHER for the betterment of the game and for Ghana! We do not want any soccer skeletons coming to the fore. We do not want any Johnfia, Tagoe, Gbadegbe probes or allegations of club loyalties taking precedence over what is right for everybody! The public demands it and the public deserves no less! The “players” in this horrible game know who they are. We the clubs want a level playing field to use as a platform to develop all aspects of our game both on and off the field. As a Ghanaian I want the echoes of being the first black nation to gain independence to permeate into the manner in which we conduct ourselves administratively in football (the rest will follow). Ghanaians have always been leaders and yet we are now following the rest of the continent. This makes me so very sad!

Our Business

In line with the direction we will be taking for next year I am in the process of reorganising the management structure of Asante Kotoko. We started a few weeks ago with the creation of the player transfer committee. This has been operating with such professionalism that I am now encouraged to set up a few more working committees to help the executive management team of Asante Kotoko to be more efficient. The interaction in terms of objections and functionality of the player transfer committee and Kotoko has been very satisfactory.

During November I will be putting forth a list of names for Otumfuo’s consideration. If approved these people who hopefully will be representative of Kotoko’s interests both nationally and in terms of contribution to Kotoko. If not one must look at this as a new beginning for this management and bear with us. The key for me has been to adopt and adapt structures which will not only relevant for Kotoko but which will work. Having looked at the past history the formation of committees and Board structures have not usually worked. Even the very eminent Mr. Awuah’s committees had a lot of difficulties due primarily to several clashes of personality.

The beginning of the business for me was very clear. Last year there was a need for a proper assessment of the situation. I level criticism at no one when I say there simply was no semblance of any form of professional management structures at Kotoko when I took over. I toyed with the idea of simply announcing populist positions. I realised that this may be counter productive though. It was of paramount importance that whatever was done was done with the knowledge of the fact that previous structures had not necessarily helped Kotoko. What was clear for me was the following;

1. We had failed to raise a team to play the first match of the season against Dwarfs
2. The Board, The Management and the Circles had collectively failed to honour payments to the playing body
3. There were no records of the previous financial status of the Clubs
4. Kotoko had not mad any significant new player signings since 199
5. Kotoko had not won the league title since 1993
6. Kotoko was seriously indebted

Last year’s assessment also allowed me the opportunity to assess those wishing to get involved with the management of the team. Everyone loves Kotoko but not everyone is necessarily equipped to manage Kotoko.

We have reorganised the basic administrative structures of Kotoko at all centres of business. The personnel required to man the centres were all a little younger and fully e-mail and Internet compliant. This is so important for all forms of communication. From a Directorial view point it has meant that it is possible to instantaneously communicate meetings, plans diagrams etc. to Kumasi, Accra, South Africa (when we were dealing with Rian etc.), America (Billy Annan) etc!

Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, Herbert Mensah, Larry Otoo, George Amoako, Eric Coffie, Adwoa Egyir, Patrick Madjitey, Kobina Andoh, David Tagoe, Mohammed Harruna, Kojo Nyarko, Ernst Middendorp, Kwame Boafo, Edwin Addo, Joe Owusu Ansah and Billy Annan are all e-mail compliant. This means that they receive relevant information when they need to!

The excellent job being done by the player transfer committee has now encouraged me to establish working committees for next season. They will work under the executive management board of the club and will meet with me on a monthly basis (during the season). I hope that subject to Otumfuo’s approval they come into force during November.

The committees will include the following;

a. Disciplinary b. League Organising c. Finance
d. Special projects e. PR and Marketing f. Supporter recruitment
g. Legal h. Player Resource Development

The terms of reference will be very specific so that areas of operation are very specific. The success of the working groups will depend on the professionalism and dedication of the committee members. There will be no financial rewards for the committee members.

This is just the beginning. The management will evolve with the formation of the Board and the creation of both Directors and Alternate Directors. I will keep you all informed of these changes with time!

Kotoko training facilities

I am happy to announce that we intend starting work on our new training facilities during the next ten days. We have decided to work closely with our current Landlords to prepare the land and re plant grass. We will be eventually be building changing and medical (for massage) facilities at the ground. It is anticipated that the exercise will take some 4 months before the players can train on the park!

Fabulous – the greatest

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