Accra Hearts of Oak on Tuesday, August 11, 2020 took to the club’s official Twitter account to announce that their first choice goalkeeper Richard Atta, has extended his contract with the club to 2023, leaving fans of the club highly excited.
The news, though pleasing to the Phobian fans, ghanasportspage.com believes something is missing, following our findings regarding the former Elmina Sharks goalkeeper’s marriage with the Oak tree family.
For the records, on December 1, 2019, via the club’s twitter account, Accra Hearts of Oak announced the signing of Richard Atta from Elmina Sharks ahead of the commencement of the 2019/2020 league season. In the said announcement, the Phobians were not specific on the number of seasons Atta had signed with the club, but rather described the deal as “a long term deal with the club”. It was not clear as to how long was the “long term” referring to, either two seasons, three seasons, five seasons or even more. For clarification sake, see the tweet from Hearts of Oak announcing the signing of goalkeeper Richard Atta below:
Despite the vague announcement by the club, ghanasportspage.com can reliably report, that Atta signed a three-year deal with the Phobians, which should ideally run out by the end of the 2021/2022 football season.
Now, seven months on since the club announced the signing of Richard Atta, having described the deal as “a long term deal”, they have today announced that the talented goalkeeper has extended his contract till 2023, with no mention of the number of seasons added to the previous contract, neither did they state when his previous deal was to end.
The concern here is, how does a player who signed “a long term deal” with a club, just after seven months, agrees to another contract extension with approximately just a season into the previous deal? Well, that appears normal comparing to what happens in Europe where big clubs seek to tie “young talents” to a long term deal and even loan them out to mature and return.
However, ghanasportspage.com has made an interesting observation; the pictures Hearts of Oak used to announce the two different contracts. Comparing the two pictures, it can be seen that Richard Atta is wearing the same jersey colour in the December 2019 post same as that of the August 2020. That aside, the player’s hair style and looks such as the shape of his beard are also of same or similar looks. This gives an understanding that the picture used for the current publication is probably not a shot of the player signing the new deal, suggesting that the picture used is an old one. Moreover, unlike that of December 2019 which shows the player putting pen to paper to sign the deal, that of 2020 only shows the player holding a football with a pen, looking like about to sign on the ball. So, where is the current picture of Atta putting pen to paper for the contract extension?
The observation led ghanasportspage.com into digging deeper into the uncertainty around the supposed new deal. A reliable source close to the player disclosed to this ever reliable website, that the player is unaware of any such contract extension with the club and has not been called to sign any new deal.
“It’s just now that I saw it on Twitter and facebook but I don’t want to comment on it”, the source told ghanasportspage.com. “Maybe there’s something that I don’t know of but am not aware of any new deal”, the source stated.
Digging deeper, we asked why would the player sign another deal just after seven months into what the club described as “a long term deal” in the earlier announcement, and the source responded, saying, “oh okay, if you have understood it like that then you will know that I’m not lying”.
This response interestingly, seems to underpin the question ghanasportspage.com is asking, whether the player really sat down with the club to actually sign an extension of his contract with the club as fans are being made to believe. Did Richard Atta really put pen to paper to sign a contract extension with Hearts of Oak? Well, your guess is as good as ours.