News of Medeama and Berekum Chelsea being up for sale didn’t come as a surprise to me, even though, I found it disappointing that, two good clubs that have been with us for some time, were about folding up, if not giving up the fight for lack of funds.
On a number of the Facebook Pages, where I read that news item – shared links – the comments by readers left me more disappointed. The sermons on how Ghana football was collapsing and how many more clubs would soon be sold by their owners dominated what I found to be stained, pessimistic view of Ghana football particularly by young people, who otherwise, should be positive, exuding optimism and critically examining the problem to offer solutions and not constant, caustic criticism that takes us nowhere.
I agree that a lot of things are wrong in Ghana. For instance, I have wondered why a lot of leaders in public service continue to fail at managing the smallest of things put in their care. So I admit that, not many things, including leadership are in a good state of affairs in our beloved country.
Football and sports in general are no exceptions. There continues to be confounding rows over money for national team players at before or after international matches. The various tiers of league football in Ghana are suffering. Clubs can’t pay their players and these same clubs have nothing specific in place to either measure their progress or ensure their survival.
I refuse to talk about the other sporting disciplines. Some of them are in sorrier state than that of football. Yet, in the midst of the dire situation, hopelessness or inconsolably describing the problems doesn’t provide any solution. The solution, in my view, lie in making managers of the game aware of the way out of the pit they have been trapped in.
From where I sit, Ghanaian football clubs are not suffering because there are no straws they can hold onto; they are struggling to survive due to structural deficiencies, lack of policy guidelines or direction, ill-planning, absence of ambition and sheer impatience.
In today’s organised business world, nothing happens by stroke of luck. Institutions in Ghana that are making it in our so-called unfavourable business setting, attribute their successes, no matter how small, to careful planning; absolute faith in their plans and the resolve to execute those plans irrespective of the prevailing economic challenges.
Most of our football clubs are not doing any of the above. I won’t mention names but I ask: How many Ghanaian football clubs in the various upper and lower tier leagues are properly structured? How many have clearly laid out plans – detailing their management structure; their business plan, what they seek to achieve, in what time space and with what personnel?
Elsewhere (and I’m not going to Europe but staying right in Africa), it’s very easy to point to these things often seen as abstract and irrelevant yet so important to the survival of football clubs in this modern era. We can for example, identify the successes of some African clubs on the administrative level, the same way one can finger-point their achievements on the pitch.
Is it the same situation in Ghana?
I believe, it’s so easy if not cheap to blame President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), Kwesi Nyantakyi and the organisation he heads, for not providing the required leadership to help our clubs. Assuming that blame is even legitimate, we may have to ask if the GFA, which Kwesi Nyantakyi heads, is a separate entity made up of people, different from those at our various football clubs. Whether or not these people are different; the question that begs an answer is: Season in, season out, do our clubs do anything to better their lot?
Your guess is as good as mine.
Credit: Jerome Octhere