The Board of Directors of Accra Hearts of Oak are making frantic efforts to defuse growing agitation among the club’s supporters front after the National Chapters Committee (NCC), the umbrella body of Phobian supporters, gave the board chairman and majority shareholder, Togbe Afede XIV, a seven-day ultimatum to convene an emergency stakeholders meeting to arrest the failing fortunes of the club.
The NCC also threatened to, among other things, boycott the Ghana @ 60 return leg encounter against Asante Kotoko on Christmas eve if their requests were not adhered to.
In a letter to the board chairman of Hearts jointly signed by the NCC chairman, Eric Barima Atuahene; chairman of Greater Accra RCC; J.J. Kojo Effangon, the chairperson of Hearts Ladies Vicentia Deku, and the chairman of AHOOPA, they believe an emergency meeting is the only way “to calm the frustration and rising tension among the teeming supporters” of the club.
However, a director of Hearts, Dr Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe, has urged the supporters’ ranks to maintain cools heads and come to the negotiating table because the board is ready to meet and iron out any differences.
Addressing the supporters concerns in an interview with the Graphic Sports last Wednesday, Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe refuted rumours that the board had snubbed meeting them but stated that they were ready to meet and discuss issues bothering the club with any stakeholder.
Rather, he said many of the claims raised by the NCC were inaccurate, citing the issue of poor player contracts and welfare issues as misplaced because players of Hearts were adequately taken care of. He dismissed also the notion that salaries of Hearts players were unduly delayed.
The NCC, whose ultimatum expired last Wednesday, was disappointed by the club’s inability to win trophies, stating that: “The fortunes of the club have deteriorated drastically over the years, especially its failure to win any trophy in the last league and FA Cup competition.”
Other issues raised were poor player contracts and welfare, top players’ refusal to renew contracts, absence of a substantive managing director (MD) and management team, inadequate financial resources, lack of sponsorship, delayed salaries and bonuses, poor infrastructure, among others.
However, Dr Nyaho-Tamakloe disclosed that many people, including foreigners, had applied for the Hearts MD’s position hence claims that the club were without a substantive manager was unfortunate.
He also said plans were underway towards the purchase of a new bus, making the NCC’s claim of a lack of infrastructure invalid.
The former GFA chairman stated that the club would have been in a worse financial distress if the current board was not in place and expressed surprise at Atuahene’s stance, especially where he (Atuahene) represented the supporters on the board and was very much aware of the steps the board was taking to resolve the challenges.