Two sides to a story and then the truth!!
Of Transfers and Respect
It is funny how times change. When we seek to keep all informed about every aspect of transactions as we did last year when we were purchasing players we are misconstrued as being too known. When we keep silent we are then the subject of wild and often libellous accusations directed at the credibility or lack of it! I guess it is all in a days work…the hazards that come with the job. Even though I would prefer not to make comments on some transactions it is important to make some to ensure that the objective are not unduly influenced by the “against” factions of society.
The question of player transfers in the current FA set-up is very dicey. We have been a part of and witnessed the complexities that have surrounded the transfers of a number of players. Most notably over the last year or so has been the transfer of Stephen Oduro and Mark Fish to Kotoko as well as the movement of Charles Taylor from Olympics to Kotoko and then to Hearts! It is the stuff that some media houses thrive on and which test the resolve of the players and their families as well as the clubs involved. Although there is a need for the FA to look into the whole process as well as the way and manner in which players are bought and sold, at present we have to navigate the minefield with caution. It often comes as some thing of a surprise to Ernst Middendorp that the matter is so complicated. It is difficult to explain to those not experienced or directly involved in the buying and selling of players that simple transactions can often move onto matters that transcend money!
At present using a combination of etiquette and the FA guidelines there are several steps that are involved and which we at Kotoko follow in our approach and eventual purchase of players.
• We identify a player we feel may be of service to Kotoko
• We identify the Club which has title to the player’s card A
• We approach the player and the club to see if the club may be prepared to sell or loan the player
• We approach the player and see if he is prepared to move to Kotoko
• If the player is interested we start negotiating an enticement fee payment in favour of the player.
• Once we have concluded payment to the Club we then proceed to register the Card A with the FA
• The player must then sign both a T1/T2 form and the Kotoko contract.
• Where Kotoko uses a player of another team before the transaction is concluded Kotoko accepts to fully compensate the team in case of injury. This is always confirmed in writing if agreed.
• The player then has to conform to the terms of his contract.
We have meticulous in our dealings with other clubs and have only chosen to be silent and patient in this year’s negotiations. We were surprised and somewhat amused when Liberty issued and statement in a sports paper expressing indignation at the fact that Louis Quainoo was training and playing with Kotoko. This cheap publicity was totally unwarranted especially since our own Humphrey Amoah was also training with Liberty! Our two teams had exchanged some correspondence both written and verbally. As far as negotiations are concerned we were not prepared to accept their initial demand and were still in negotiations. As I write this article the two teams have sat down and finally agreed on a basis for moving forward on this transaction. There should have been no need for comment as the negotiations were not complete. I believe that for the 2001 season Louis Quainoo will be a Kotoko player and Humphrey Amoah will be a Liberty player!
Godfred Yeboah has been a player we have been chasing for some time now. I first heard of him when National Coach Dossena pointed out that he was a player with National potential. After a hectic period we were informed by B.A. United that the player, Godfred Yeboah had now confirmed his desire to play for Kotoko and Kotoko alone! The transition has taken some time but I am happy to confirm that Godfred has now signed for Kotoko. B.A. United have received part payment (full payment to follow shortly now that the player has committed himself to Kotoko). With guidance from Middendorp and the support of Kotoko supporters this young man can and will go far. Bakai’s decision to leave was indeed smart!
Osei Kwame’s transfer to Kotoko still goes on. Again with Osei’s voluntary movement to Kotoko and indications that he did not want to play anywhere else we proceeded to speak with J.Y. Appiah. Although we appreciate the importance of Osei to J.Y. Appaih we proceeded both in good faith and on a commercial basis as well! The fact of the matter is that we have a signed memorandum of understanding with Bofoakwa Tano singed by J.Y. Appiah and witnessed by Kwame Yeboah-Asuamah. On the Kotoko side it was signed by George Amoako and witnessed by Kwame Bosompem. The terms of the memorandum clearly state that Bofoakwa Tano agree to sell Osei Kwame for the sum of ¢70m! The fact of the matter is that I advanced considerable sums of monies (in excess of ¢45m!!!) to Bofoakwa to enable them pay bills and for operational expenses over several months. Now that the player has agreed to play for Kotoko we are simply waiting to conclude matters.
On Nana Frimpong we have always been very careful about what is said and what we have written. Alhaji Grusah is unique in so far as the level of respect I have afforded him is concerned.
• He is the only Chairman I have accompanied to Otumfuo as a sign of respect.
• He is the only Chairman I have publicly declared an intention to support and build bridges with.
• He is the only Chairman I have had a restaurant dinner with (Georgia).
• King Faisal is the only club I have asked our supporters to attend their matches to add to his revenue base.
• Kotoko asked and were granted permission to firstly borrow and then take their coach (Ouattara) after the supporters had hounded out Ebo Mends.
• King Faisal is the only team I have given free transfer of first team players (Ampiah and Tanko) to in order to build our relationship to higher levels!
The current brouhaha about Nana Frimpong is unfortunate and I believe has been stoked by the fact that the player is fitting in well into our structure. Given the fact that we have written for Nana to train and play for/with us we are mindful of the fact that Nana is a King Faisal player until Alhaji is prepared to release him. Officially Alhaji has indicated that when he is ready to negotiate he will call me. I have indicated to Alhaji that I am at his service! Last year we were able to do business with Ninja and I don’t see any reason why we cannot repeat some business this year with Nana Frimpong.
Graphics aside the Kotoko site starts as follows:
KUMASI ASANTE KOTOKO®™ FOOTBALL CLUB
PIONEERS AND PACESETTERS OF GHANA SOCCER
Summary of Club History
• Full Name: Kumasi Asante Kotoko®™ Football Club
• Short Form: Asante Kotoko®™ or Kotoko®™
• Year Founded: 1935
• Founding Patron: Otumfuo Nana Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh II (Asantehene, 1931-1970)
• Club Motto: “WO KUM APEM A, APEM BEBA” (Literally translated as: “you can kill a thousand, but tens of thousands more will emerge to overwhelm you”; this epitomizes the proverbial fighting spirit of the team, and the tenacity in achieving the highest goals.)
• Club Colors: Red (and/or White) or Gold and Black
• Club Symbol: The Porcupine
• Mail Nicknames: Porcupine Warriors, Fabulous Club
The history of Kumasi Asante Kotoko states that an Ashanti native from Nyankyerenease, near Kwadaso, a suburb of Kumasi, found his way to Accra in the early 1920’s only to become a chauffeur to a Colonel Ross, an English soldier, in those colonial days. His name was Kwasi Kumah Soccer historians give Kwasi Kumah credit for having returned from Accra to begin the formation of his first football club, which eventually evolved to the present day soccer success known as KUMASI ASATE KOTOKO FC. Asantehene Otumfuo Nana Sir Osei Agyemang Prempeh II who became its Founding Patron officially christened Kotoko FC in August 1935.
Certainly Fabulous Kumasi Asante Kotoko has done more to put Ghana’s name in the soccer records than any other Ghanaian club. Arguably, Kotoko has over the years been recognized as the peerless pioneers in contributions to the development and popularity of the game in Africa as a whole. For instance, during Kotoko’s first tour of Europe in the late
1960’s, the team helped immensely to introduce Ghanaian and African soccer to the rest of the world through the individual brilliance of the players, the quality of soccer and the excellent organization demonstrated by the club’s management. Thus, in the annals of soccer in Ghana and Africa, Fabulous Kumasi Asante Kotoko is indeed the true: “primus inter pares”. Indeed the African Football Confederation (CAF), the soccer governing body for Africa, has ranked Kumasi Asante Kotoko as the continent’s top club for the 20th Century (jointly with El Ahly of Egypt).
To see what the rest of the site can do and what information we have available
I am pleased to announce that our website is now up and running. It is undoubtedly the most sophisticated sports site in Ghana. I need to commend the efforts of the team that put this together. It has not been an easy road and we have been successful because of the commitment of management at all levels.
Ghana team American Team
Kobina Andoh (team leader) Dr. Billy Annan (team leader)
Isaac Johnson (Site Manager) Charles Mensah (Worlduserve CEO)
Our site has a number of features which allow ease of use. Kotoko supporters and interested parties can now access the spirit of the club through the web. The feedback we have been having has been very favourable and we intend to make further recommendations to improve it.
We will not be standing on our laurels. We intend to develop http://www.kotoko.com into a commercial vehicle for association with Kotoko.
• Our supporters anywhere in the World should be able to purchase club merchandising and memorablia via the site
• Our supporters anywhere in the World should be able to watch Kotoko matches on a pay per view basis
• Business and prospective business associates should be able to access Kotoko business and news through our site.
• Our marketing department will be able to sell and distribute important areas of our development.
On the advise from Billy we shall be altering our forum and I shall be speaking with about how to moderate the site when comments, questions, praises and criticisms are made!
The development of the Kotoko site certainly places in a different league. I believe that Kotoko is a truly great and large club that has a support base to rival virtually any in the World. We therefore have to position ourselves as such. Our internet site has to rival the best there is and we are moving in this direction.
It is always pleasing to get things right when we promise to do so! http://www.kotoko.com was on the agenda from March 1999!
Comparisons with Manchester United
As we get ourselves back into a really competitive unit I find it somewhat intriguing that we appear to be taking a course back to the top similar to Manchester United did some 15 years ago. Their dilemma was somewhat more serious than ours. They had not won the league title for 26years. The rebuilding programme was put together by Alex Ferguson and he has since won the league title on more than 7 occasions, the FA Cup on numerous occasions and the European Cup.
• They restructured their technical and administrative structure
• They developed a youth policy which made them self reliant on talent.
• The quality players that emerged included Ryan Giggs, Paul Scholes, Nicky Butt, the Neville brothers and David Beckam.
Although very brief the same could also be said of Kotoko!
Fabulous – the greatest