Home team takes 55%?

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

Home team takes 55%?

I am always somewhat concerned when I hear the debate amongst some of my fellow soccer administrators. We all want our sides to win and to be the best but as the temporary custodians of the club we need to focused on the creation of financial atmosphere that will be conducive for the proper and effective running of the clubs. There are and will always be issues of current debate which our supporters will fuel and argue. Indeed in the current dispensation where FM stations and some other media can bring immediacy to the same supporters they have tended to deal with the topical issues of the day.

We the administrators need to not only work together but also try and set the agenda to ensure that we protect our joint interests and ourselves as far as soccer is concerned. The issues that affect our bottom line are rarely debated through these mediums. They get a mention on a couple of programmes but it is imperative that we take the matter further!

It is my belief that those of us who are responsible for the bottom line need to be better listened to. The fact of the matter is that when the commencement of the league is delayed, when VAT is introduced without consultation with clubs, where we are not invited or allowed to register for VAT and where we have not been able to debate the levels of punitive deductions made against us, it is the clubs and the custodians of the bottom line who suffer.

In fighting for “home team takes all” some of us did so in the hope that it would serve as a platform to enable us to market our matches and ensure that we could and would benefit from the fruits of our labour! There was also the issue of avoiding the almost inevitable perception of cheating when gate proceeds are shared with opposing teams.

We claim to have a professional league in Ghana and yet there are so many areas of our operation, which are certainly not professional. Given the fact that our governing body has been unable to support clubs with effective sponsorship deals etc there is a need for us to look very carefully at our weekly operations to ensure that we at least find a solution to our dire financial positions.

Most clubs only have “gate receipts” and the meagre and hopelessly inadequate contributions (@¢45m) made from the FA’s sponsor, Ghana
Breweries. We therefore tend to and have to concentrate on the contributions made by our supporters!

One only has to look at the yearly turnover and budgetary figures for most clubs to realize that we are fighting an uphill battle. Some teams may be bigger than others but as in life the bigger the outfit the bigger the costs!

Our first home match against Goldfields showed that even though the “home team takes all” motion was passed at the last congress we in fact realized only 55% of the amount! Considering the fact we are not allowed to register for VAT, we can therefore not operate as a professional outfit. We end up losing significantly! I can best outline this as follows;

PLB                             5% (of the gross)
VAT                         12.5% (of the gross)
Share due to GFA/PLB            12.5% (of the net)
Hiring of playing field            10.0% (of the net)
Share due to GHALCA              2.5% (of the net)
CCC payments                  7.3%*
Kotoko share                balance

The picture is not good and we have to focus on how we do the following;

•    Reduce the deductions to more acceptable levels
•    FA to petition Government to allow clubs to register for VAT

I believe that we need to look at the way we want to position the professional league. It is no good and rather defeatist to say the league is professional in name only. We the administrators have to move things on. The big men at the FA can make the changes required immediately. They can consider new structures and employ the kinds of people who can take matters to another level!

We at Kotoko have put a number of structures in place to help us maximize the revenues on all matches. Our marketing, PR and publicity skills have been yielding very positive dividends. We have also been reasonably successful with kit and club sponsorship deals.

For the equation to work we need to close the gap between expenditure and revenues. I still believe that we are heading in the right direction. We have now made substantial investments in players who will form the platform for the future. I do not believe that after this year’s expenditure on players we will have to go through this programme again. They are our investment for the future.

For the 2001 season we have so far spent some ¢644,000,000 (six hundred and forty four million cedis) on 22 new players. We are still committed to some ¢176,000,000 (one hundred and seventy six million cedis) to complete our purchases for the season. All the senior players’ enticement fees have been paid and the figure of 22 players includes some junior players as well.

When one considers some of these figures the need for the administrators to review matters becomes all the more important!

Our FA

In waiting for the appointments of a Minister for Youth and Sports and FA boss one cannot help but be aware of the rumours that are circulating. The latest is that the Government has approached Professor Kumado for Sports and that he wants to bring his own team. An interesting rumour indeed!

On the football side the rumours continue. Unfortunately it appears that Abedi Pele’s name is still on the mind of the Vice President or so rumour has it! I say unfortunate because if this is the case there will definitely be conflict between Club Chairman such as myself and the FA. I can only imagine that this is just a rumour. I say this for the following reasons;

•    It would be perceived that the appointing authority is totally insensitive to the wishes of the people.
•    His record as a player is exemplary BUT as a national captain it was an absolute disaster!
•    It would bring the Vice-President’s office into conflict with administrators and financiers of football in Ghana.
•    It would signal a lack of interest by the Vice-President’s office in the development of the game.

The Black Stars

I received some mail enquiring about our players and the national teams. We at Kotoko are proud to have Kotoko players play for the nation. I am a little disappointed that Osam Duodu did not stick to his word and call Ernst Middendorp as promised.

He had indicated before watching our match with Goldfields that he would call Ernst to discuss the players he wanted etc. He never did! Our players will report to national camp on Monday morning!

Many have taken it for granted that once players are invited to the national team the clubs must acquiesce. Our training regime is strict and we expected Osam Duodu to go by his promise and speak to Ernst Middendorp before going public on players he intends inviting. It is high time we gave the issue of national camping a professional touch instead of running to the press to complain that Kotoko has not released her players.

Kotoko will continue to have problems with the national coaches if they choose not to do the right thing and call club coaches to discuss invitation to the national sides. We are proud when our players don the national jersey, but nevertheless we believe that it would do us all good if we learn to appreciate that the players are the bona fide property of the clubs and hence some decent communication has to take place.

I understand that Cecil Jones has threatened to sue the FA over his dismissal. I hope this is untrue as it will not be productive. I believe that Cecil Jones has a role to play in Ghana football outside of his club (not as Black Stars coach). Taking on his employees will undoubtedly have a negative impact.

I think it is also interesting to note that those responsible for paying his fees were left out of both the criticisms and the threat of legal action.

Given the problems involved in the Cecil Jones “appointment” it becomes all the more important for the new FA to put plans together to ensure future autonomy from Government. It is important that he who hires, pays and fires! E.T. Mensah hired Cecil and payment was to be made by the Ministry and not the FA!

Special Thanks

I repeat we still welcome all and any donations. In addition to these efforts I am happy to say that keen supporters who want to help in the building process continue to make small but significant donations to our cause! The Bank details once again are as follows;

ACCOUNT NO. 213556045

In the meantime…

The FA has slapped a three-match home ban on RTU. I had thought that the ban was going to be even more severe.

Joseph Hendricks, Osei Boateng and Joe Sam have been fined ¢500,000 each for insubordination during the RTU match. This is a tough decision and we have taken note. Middendorp has spoken with his players for the future.

News has it that FIFA may be banning the use of Accra Sports Stadium following further problems with supporters during the Ghana-Nigeria match!

The shocking record set by Hearts of Oak in their 1 – 5 defeat by Etoile du Congo has left Ghana without any representatives at the highest order. I hope that the powers that be will recognize the need for Ghana to achieve something. Maybe Goldfields can achieve something in the CAF Cup!

The season has barely started and we are getting short notice changes to the league match schedules. The PLB are responsible for all of this. I would hope that they could give us a fixed fixture list from which we can plan.

Fabulous – the greatest

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