Clubs bemoan financial challenges of league’s suspension

Author: Kwame Larweh
Worried: Oloboi Commodore CEO of Great Olympics
Worried: Oloboi Commodore CEO of Great Olympics

As the deadly coronavirus pandemic takes its toll on world sports, Ghanaian football administrators are counting the cost of the suspension of football competitions in the country and the uncertainty about the return of the leagues when normalcy is restored.

For some administrators, apart from the disruption in the momentum of the leagues, the suspension of competitions comes at a huge financial cost as they have to maintain their players and other staff without any inflows from gate proceeds.

While they concede that the COVID-19 pandemic makes the suspension of football logical and appropriate because of the human factor, clubs will be keeping their fingers crossed in the hope of an early return of competitions.

According to Elloeny Amande, the CEO of Anyinase-based Karela FC, the four-week break would provide a great breather for his struggling side, currently 17th on the league log. He contended that the Ghana Football Association (GFA) had been running the league at a break-neck speed much to the detriment of his club.

“We have been forced to play 15 games in nine weeks... there is no break, matches are staged continuously on Sundays and Wednesdays with no rest opportunity. This break is good for us,” Mr Amande admitted to the Graphic Sports last Friday.

He was not perturbed about the financial drain the break might bring to his club, saying Karela FC needed this suspension very much. “I think it is  a good breather, it will give us some rest.”

His Ashgold counterpart, Fred Acheampong, maintains that no amount of money can compensate for human lives, hence the postponement of the league is perfect.
“I believe it is a good idea that the league has been postponed due to this virus, no amount of the money can compensate for human life,” he stated.
Mr Acheampong, who is a member of the GFA’s decision-making Executive Council, maintained that the health of players and officials was of utmost importance, hence the decision by President Nana Dankwa Akufo-Addo to order a suspension of football events, among other social gatherings, was appropriate.

However, for the CEO of Great Olympics, Oloboi Commodore, the postponement of the Premier League came at a huge cost and would affect the club’s financial fortunes.

He lamented that the club would lose greatly in gate proceeds and other endorsements that in turn would affect the payment of his players’ salaries and other entitlements.

“It will affect us financially, and this four-week break will be hard for the players and the club’s finances,” he lamented in a telephone interview.