Were you born in the early 80s or at least early 90s? If yes. Then you might have had a feel and might have witnessed the glorious days of the Ghana premier league.
The days when the Ghana league was so attractive and had immense patronage, great players to watch and hot rivalry between the local clubs,all these exist now except for immense patronage and attractiveness because the various club owners are focusing on player sales as a prime source of revenue to run their clubs due to inadequate funds from the spectators,TV coverage and the league itself.
The rivalry between the clubs aren’t intense like before, poor pitches, low quality of football which can be linked to the poor pitches and low incentives for the players.
When Kotoko had more rivals aside Hearts of Oak because Alaji Grusah’s men (King Faisal) were always on their neck for the Kumasi kingship, Hearts of Oak didn’t have a slide with the likes of Accra Great Olympics and the fantastic soccer lads (Liberty Professionals), our stadiums got a decent number of spectators even when the smaller clubs play.
I recall vividly the Ghana league under the sponsorship of ABC and Kinapharma. I was able to name the full squad of all the teams in the league although the internet and phones weren’t that common, plus I was very young.
But somehow these things just vanished. I thought I just lost interest but that wasn’t the case. The Ghana league took a journey on a very rough road, losing its attractiveness and everything that made it special. Probably due to the absence of proper long term plan. My football thirst couldn’t be quenched anymore by the Ghanaian league.
European football provided me with an option which any football fanatic couldn’t possibly neglect.
What went wrong with the Ghanaian league? It’s not rocket science. I can bet that the EPL (England), LA LIGA (Spain), LIGUE ONE (France), BUNDESLIGA(Germany) AND SERIE A (Italy), have a 10 year plan lying somewhere which future administrations are oblige to implement. What we lacked was planning and from the look of things, we still do.
The above leagues are the top five leagues in Europe and they are amazingly attractive and it’s no surprise that they have so many investors and sponsors.
I strongly believe we can reach that standard if we come together as a people. From the government to the very last citizen of the country. Our system is becoming so uncomfortable to do anything at all though we possess the necessary resource.
We must develop a deliberate plan which every club owner and the GFA will be committed to implement and send us back to glorious days and even better. We recently sold our coverage rights to startimes, even though I have my disagreements with it, I will refrigerate it for another day. The good of it is, we have international coverage. We should develop and maintain quality pitches to enhance the quality of football we have in our league, international coverage, plus quality pitches will enhance good football in our league hence, would attract foreign and local investors.
Local and foreign investors will increase the revenue base of the league which affect the various clubs positively in their bank accounts and enable them increase the wages of the players.
We can therefore introduce a policy which disallows or prevent our players to join foreign clubs except they have played five seasons or more in our league and that can only be achieved if the players are treated well here at home.
This policy will reduce the premature sale of our players to foreign clubs because of kwacha(cash), it may compel our players abroad who are not enjoying enough playing time at their various clubs to come home and add spice to our league.
We will then get the chance to enjoy our talents enough before we release them to foreign clubs and set the pace to chase these foreign leagues, even if we never catch them, we would be far better than we are now.