MTN FA CUP Committee Chairman Wilson Arthur has added his voice on the poor performance of Ghana Football and suggested great ideas to enable Ghana football restored for success.
Below is what he writes:
We have to agree on one fact, that Ghana Football is on its knees at this moment.
I feel obliged to contribute this paper to what must happen to turn our fortunes around. This is because I am in privilege position as Skyy Football Club Investor, a proper football person with over 25 years experience in the Ghana Football Industry. Currently, I serve as Chairman of MTN FA Cup Competition and Chairman of Western Region Sports Committee. I am a Media Entrepreneur and have served in Government as DCE of Wassa East District for 4yrs (2017-2021) also as Dean of MMDCEs in my region then. Currently, I still serve in Government as Commissioner with National Development Planning Commission – the apex planning institution working for Ghana. It is only in order that I spend some effort at addressing the Ghana Football development challenge.
I am asking myself the same questions you may have on your mind. How long would we be sacking Coaching staff after abysmal performances in International Competitions as if that is the panacea to our poor outcomes? How do we turn around the fortunes of our national teams?
How do we revamp our local competitions and restructure our clubs to ensure the huge talent pool spread across our communities progress through the ranks?
How do we enpower our clubs and invest in the right areas to raise standards, retain talents, and grow the game locally?
What kind of funding do we need to raise club football and sustain grassroots development?
It is important that we address how we got to this sorry state of Ghana Football?
Thirty-two years ago, the Ghana Government decided that Football Clubs in top two tier leagues must become registered business entities. This upgrade happened without clubs receiving human capital upgrade support nor financial means to afford paying club staff, coaches, and players.
The financial indebtedness burden that clubs suffered pushed most clubs to adopt premature sale of emerging soccer talents at any value to survive. This unregulated mass sale of raw young Talents has weakened Club Teams competitiveness and robbed local leagues of attractive stars who fans would pay to watch their magic week after week.
Clubs play in near empty parks, which demotivates both players and match officials, and advertisers and sponsors shy away from clubs and leagues. This has further made division one and premier league clubs financial health worse.
There is also widespread suspicion that selection and invitation of local players, and appointment of coaches for the national teams call up has become a preserve of elected Football leaders to satisfy interests other than national.
Rumor is rife that some club staff have resorted to betting and match fixing with connivance of Match Officials to open income streams for survival.
Touring Europe to entice Players of Ghanaian decent has evidently not worked as these Ghanaians without local league experience lack the passion, commitment, and desire to die for the flag.
The good efforts of GFA raising sponsorship to support clubs and improving match officiating conditions must be sustained.
The magic wand, if you ask me, is the establishment of Ghana Sports Development Fund immediately. This fund must be resourced by the National Lotteries Authority, Minerals Commission, and Petroleum Commission.
An annual Sports Development Fund Raising Awards Dinner event attended by the president and top traditional leaders in the land will entice Corporate Ghana to make generous donations into the fund.
The 18 Premier League Clubs and 48 Division One league Clubs would require injection of $400,000 and $200,000 per season each to be able to retain top grade talents by paying playersincomes and upgrade standards.
After 3/5 seasons of this investment injection, the clubs will become very competitive, and local league standards and attractions to fans, supporters, advertisers, and sponsors will be so high. Internal income streams will grow significantly, and local players now excelling in the national teams can be sold as mature players to attract millions of dollars.
A percentage can go straight into the Sports Fund, and by the tenth year, the fund can be self-sustaining.
The regional Sports Committees must be activated and tasked with Regional Ministers to negotiate with Corporate Institutions in their space to invest in Local Sports. This local arrangement will be a sustainable means of supporting colts teams, divisions 3 and 2, and other sporting disciplines at the community level.