BUDU’S CORNER: 4 Things Ghanaian Clubs Must Do To Compete At The Highest Level Featured
08 Nov

BUDU’S CORNER: 4 Things Ghanaian Clubs Must Do To Compete At The Highest Level

The Ghanaian football fraternity till today cannot fathom the downward spiralling of the hitherto vibrant sport and still finds itself stagnated in a dilemma in their effort to delving deep into the root cause of the problem. This has resulted largely in academic discourses by professionals and lovers of the game as well.

In our strenuous strides to redeem the image of our game and to regain its glorious past will call for the adoption of a serrated edged approach. I have observed four strategies which, when considered by the stakeholders can help restore the lost glory of the sport.
1. The clubs must build a business plan
It is an undeniable fact that, footballing boardrooms and backroom staff are often full of familiar faces who have been knocking around for decades. Well, this might be the time to brush away those cobwebs: the modern club should be more of a dragons’ den than a dad’s army. The boardroom and backroom staff should be filled with successful businessmen and experts who can help project the image of the club and rake in enticing sponsorship packages for the club.
These people should not stay too far from the club’s roots. They must know the history and philosophy of the club. In 2012, FC Barcelona signed a €150 million deal with Qatar Sports investment. It is was then the World’s second richest club in terms of revenue, with an annual turnover of €613 million , and was the most valuable team on the globe worth €2.6 billion. Hebert Mensah is still remembered in the Ghanaian circles for bringing professional management into the footballing environment. Under his tenure, the club secured a lot of sponsorships including South African telecom giants VODACOM.
2. The need to hire competent coaches
Coaches as we all know, play a pivotal role towards the success of a club. The likes of Jose Mourinho, Pep Guardiola, and Jurgen Klopp and until recently Arsene Wenger are all household names in the sport. Ghanaian clubs tend not to hire the services of the right gaffers to steer the affairs of the club and even when they do, they expect the coach to deliver within the shortest possible time. Alex Ferguson would not have been a great coach if Manchester United had lost faith in him and not supported him in his difficult and tumultuous times because his first few years at the club were a total failure. But due to the faith and confidence and faith reposed in him by his superiors, he thrived in the face of all adversities that befell him and went on to win an avalanche of laurels with the club. Jurgen Klopp and Liverpool?
Domestically, Sir Cecil Jones Attuquayefio’s triumph with Hearts of Oak aptly corroborates this assertion. In choosing a coach, a long connection with the club is not essential but clubs must avoid appointing a coach who has been slugging off for years. More so, clubs should not be swayed by the playing career of coaches because not all great footballers become great coaches. Diego Maradona? And if a club finds a chap the fans fall in love with (Mourinho and Chelsea fans, Klopp and Liverpool fans), try not to fall out with him (Hearts and David Duncan and Kenichi Yatshuashi). Clubs should take time and stay patient during the lumpy bits and repose a huge amount of trust and support in the hired coach. Changing managers puts clubs in financial trouble as the new coach would want to bring their players in. Consistency has huge bearing on success.
3. Getting Fans involved
Keeping the fans on one side could also be carefully looked at. Fans and football clubs are frosty bedfellows, but as with long term relationships, good communication is key. 
Asante Kotoko can boast of about 8-9 million supporters but are still struggling to utilise their large following. The clubs must be active in their community of operation, get the fans involved and get them excited (winning matches).
In 1980, when Barcelona’s Camp Nou was redesigned to meet the criteria of UEFA, the club raised money by offering supporters the opportunity to inscribe their names on the bricks for a small fee. The clubs could take a cue from this. When this is done, the supporters would be buoyed to contribute their quota towards the success of the club. 
4. Engaging in Economic activities
The clubs should also engage in economic activities to bolster their finances. They should diversify their revenue generating fronts. Engaging in profitable economic ventures can help the Ghanaian clubs earn colossal sums of money. Solely depending on sponsorship and gate proceeds cannot provide an escape route. Selling of replica jerseys, establishing a museum, operating a hotel business, operating commercial farms and teaming up with telecommunication services to serve as a bridge of communication to reach their fans through subscriptions to given codes are all means by which clubs can gain financial benefits from their support.
The unpreparedness of most supporters to contribute financially to their clubs could largely be blamed on the lack of adherence to the tenets of accountability by helmsmen. In instances where they do so, it’s either they do so by falsifying documents, inflating figures or introduce globally unconventional elements like “WAYS AND MEANS.”
The biggest clubs in the Maghreb can cobble together yearly budgets upwards of 10 million dollars. In 2018, Wydad Casablanca set a club record by generating $12 million. Esperance de Tunis announced a budget of $8.5 million during the 2015\16 season. Cairo giants Al Ahly and Zamalek generate even larger sums than those. Why won’t the North African sides dominate the football landscape on the continent?
In a nutshell, should the aforementioned strategies be considered by the clubs and the people occupying the upper echelons of football in the country, we will begin to experience fully packed stadia, churn out the best of talents, experience a decrease in player exodus and give our clubs the financial muscle to compete at the highest level.
God bless our homeland Ghana!
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