• Kwabena Yeboah says the current management structure of his club is a joke
• He said, the team needs a strategic investor
• He reveals Kotoko Chairmen over the years have been supporting the teams with their own money
Veteran sports journalist, Kwabena Yeboah, has described the problems in Kumasi Asante Kotoko and the role the current management is playing in same as a “joke” and says the woes of the club did not start recently but has been festering for a very long time.
According to him, the management structure of the team is a major problem that needs to be dealt with if Kotoko wants to go back to its glory days.
He said, in the past, Ghana was not playing professional football, so football was more or less a recreational sport where people played just for the love of the game.
Explaining why Kotoko is having challenges today, the seasoned sports journalist told Nana Aba Anamoah on Starr Chat that, “so, I remember from 1977 to 1978 [when] F. D. Nsiah was in charge of the team, the team only played recreational football but Kotoko had all the [great] players because Ghana hadn’t been hit by the exodus back then and all the players were here.
“Kotoko was blessed to have the money back then, thus, the team had a B.K. Edusei, who was a businessman with a deep pocket as the bankroller, so they didn’t have problems with money and [Kotoko] was attractive to all the best players in the country. This was the reason they attracted Robert Mensah as far back as 1970 for GH¢1,000 [those days] with VW vehicle.”
Yeboah noted that every single top player in Ghana wanted to be a player of Kumasi Asante Kotoko “because of what B.K. Edusei was doing.”
“When B. K. Adusei passed to eternity, again the exodus hadn’t hit Kotoko and then came F.D. Nsiah, who struggled a bit and Simms Mensah took over. At that time from 1975 to 1977, Hearts of Oak had a ‘fearsome fivesome’ who were always beating Asante Kotoko but Simms brought a number of players into the Kotoko squad like Opoku Nti, Zito, Albert Asaase among others.
“All those periods were more recreational [football that the clubs were playing] although Kotoko was chalking success by success, the structures hadn’t been built, so it was all based on the pocket of just one man. As the years rolled by, the demands on the club has grown so intense.”
Kwabena Yeboah revealed that, most of the executive chairmen of Kumasi Asante Kotoko after their tenure went broke.
“So, H. E. J. A. Kufuor when he took over as the chairman of Asante Kotoko decided because most of the chairmen were getting broke after their tenure, indicated that it was important to introduce what is called the concept of a CA to ensure that people did not get broke after they exited. Kotoko brought in a gentleman called S.K. Awuah from GIMPA to become the first CA of the club…”
To Kwabena Yeboah, times have changed and the financial demands of Kotoko are so huge and “what has really troubled Kotoko over the years is the concept of having a board which is not bringing in so much money and the CEO.
“I personally believe that Kotoko is better off having an executive chairman who will appoint his executives to run the team but for me, Kotoko needs a paradigm shift from the way the club is run at the moment.
“If they want to compete with the likes of Al Ahly, Esperance, Etoile du Sahel, others, then they need a strategic investor. If you beat Berekum Chelsea, Aduana Stars, others to win the league, it is no achievement, that is not where Kotoko should be operating; Kotoko should be operating with the likes of Al Ahly, Esperance, T.P. Mazembe…,” Kwabena Yeboah stressed. “For me, it’s a joke; what is happening right now is a joke. Kotoko will go nowhere. If there is no major shift, Kotoko will continue to mark time and retrogress…”