Financial challenges loom for FC Samartex, Nsoatreman FC
As MTN FA Cup winners, Nsoatreman FC face bigger challenges participating in the upcoming continental competition

CAF competitions: Financial challenges loom for FC Samartex, Nsoatreman FC

Last Sunday, Nsoatreman FC etched their name into Ghanaian football history by clinching the MTN FA Cup with a dramatic 5-4 penalty shootout victory over Bofoakwa Tano at the University of Ghana Stadium, Legon. 


This triumph marks the club’s most significant achievement since their 2021 promotion to the Ghana Premier League. Beyond the glory and regional pride, the victory also secures them a spot in the CAF Confederation Cup, alongside Ghana Premier League champions FC Samartex 1996, who will compete in the CAF Champions League.

However, the excitement of these historic wins comes with a hefty financial burden. Ghanaian clubs have long struggled with the substantial costs associated with participating in CAF competitions, a challenge that both FC Samartex and Nsoatreman FC are now preparing to face.

The financial hurdles ahead

Winning the FA Cup brought Nsoatreman FC a prize of GHc180,000, but the cost of competing on the continental stage far exceeds this amount. 

The club’s Executive Chairman, Ignatius Baffour Awuah, is aware of the financial strain that lies ahead. Transitioning to continental football demands significant investments in squad upgrades, travel, and stadium improvements to meet CAF standards.Similarly, FC Samartex, fresh from their Ghana Premier League triumph, are preparing for the higher demands of the CAF Champions League. 

Despite receiving a winner’s cheque of GHc500,000, club president Dr. Richard Duah Nsenkyire acknowledges the financial challenges ahead. 

The club plans to launch a sponsorship drive to secure corporate support, emphasizing the necessity of such backing for their continental ambitions.

“You can never do anything without money. So for sure, it is a big concern. One of the things that we are going to do is really embark on a strong sponsorship drive to get other corporate bodies around this vicinity to support us. Otherwise, we cannot do it alone. It’s impossible,” stated Dr. Nsenkyire.

Cost of campaigns

The financial requirements for CAF competitions are substantial. Clubs must cover extensive travel costs across the continent, often resorting to expensive chartered flights due to the complexities of commercial air travel in Africa. 

Additionally, they must invest in squad improvements to compete against Africa’s top teams and upgrade their home venues to meet CAF’s stringent requirements. 

Failure to meet these standards could necessitate moving home games to alternative venues, potentially diminishing home support and increasing costs.Nsoatreman FC faces the task of upgrading Nana Konamansah Park to CAF standards, a challenge that looms large given their current resources. 

As the Minister of Employment and Labour Relations, Mr.Baffour Awuah might be able to leverage his connections within corporate Ghana and secure additional governmental support. 

In recent years, President Nana Addo Dankwa Akufo-Addo has provided financial assistance of GHc1 million to clubs such as Asante Kotoko, Hearts of Oak, Dreams FC, and Medeama SC for their continental campaigns, and similar support could be crucial for FC Samartex and Nsoatreman FC.

Financial realities, wider implications

Even with potential government support, the financial strain remains significant. Air travel costs for away fixtures in North or Southern Africa alone can quickly deplete the funds provided by the government. 

Clubs often resort to chartered flights, which, while reducing travel fatigue, come at a high cost.FC Samartex and Nsoatreman Fl;C can learn from the recent experiences of other Ghanaian clubs. 

Medeama SC’s participation in the Champions League and Dreams FC’s run in the Confederation Cup illustrates the dual nature of these campaigns: both financially draining and potentially rewarding. Medeama SC’s Board Secretary, Larbi Amoah, emphasised the need for a new financing model for such campaigns to be worthwhile."It needs a lot of money and planning, but is it worth it? I'll say yes and no," admits Amoah. 

"Playing in Africa lets you know your level of club football, our ability to compete with the rest of Africa, and other valuable lessons we can learn.

"Ghanaian clubs have struggled to compete with their counterparts from North Africa, East Africa, and South Africa due to financial limitations. 

Clubs like Al Ahly and Zamalek boast superior resources, enabling them to recruit and retain top talent, which translates into consistent success in CAF competitions. 

The prize money for reaching the group stage or beyond in these competitions offers some financial respite, but the initial costs can be prohibitive.


For instance, while reaching the group stage of the CAF Champions League guarantees $700,000, this amount is often offset by the substantial expenses incurred during the campaign. 

Moreover, CAF deductions for penalties and fines further reduce the net payout to clubs.

Medeama SC’s recent campaign highlighted the need for a reassessment of the financial strategies employed by Ghanaian clubs. Despite the increase in prize money, the challenges of sustaining a successful continental campaign remain daunting. 

The relatively lower standard of the Ghanaian league has also hindered the clubs’ abilities to compete effectively on the continental stage.Looking AheadAs FC Samartex and Nsoatreman FC prepare for their continental ventures, they must navigate these financial challenges carefully. Strategic sponsorship drives, government support, and prudent financial planning will be essential. 


The experiences of other Ghanaian clubs serve as a valuable guide, underscoring the importance of preparation and resource management.

Reflecting on the broader impact, Amoah highlights the need for a comprehensive approach to improve the quality and financial stability of Ghanaian football. 

"The quality of our players is not up to the African standard. Our players are not well paid, so they lack the quality, consistency, and commitment we see with players from Al Ahly, Zamalek, and others who continue to dominate such competitions," he notes.

As Ghanaian football grapples with these realities, the success of FC Samartex and Nsoatreman FC on the continental stage could serve as a catalyst for broader changes within the sport. 


Ensuring that the net benefit to Ghanaian football is positive requires a concerted effort from all stakeholders to address the financial, structural, and competitive challenges facing the clubs.

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