The Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, has bailed out cash-strapped Kumasi Asante Kotoko with a personal donation of GH˘450,000 to enable the club meet some of its financial obligations, including the settlement of debts owed players and the signing of new players.
In a 40-minute, no-holds-barred speech when he inaugurated the new board of directors of Kotoko at the Manhyia Palace last Wednesday, Otumfuo said it was unacceptable that the last few club administrators had accumulated a debt that had hit a staggering GH˘2.8 million.
He, therefore, charged them to end the mismanagement and the wanton dissipation of funds that had resulted in the club swimming in a sea of debt.
To ensure that the club never returns to the bad old ways of managing its finances, the Asantehene empowered the board to sack the next Chief Executive Officer (CEO) if the person misapplied the club’s funds.
The 10-member board is chaired by Paul Adu-Gyamfi, a private legal practitioner, who was a member of the immediate past board headed by Dr Kofi Kodua Sarpong.
Other board members include former Ghana international and Bayern Munich star, Samuel Osei Kuffour, Jude Kofi Arthur, Frank Appiagyei, Nana Ekuoba Kwadwo Gyasi, Nana Kwame Kusi II, Kofi Dua Adonten, Kabral Blay-Amihere, Joe Gyekye (rep of old players) and Bernard Xiel (rep of supporters).
Otumfuo, whose address touched on virtually every facet of the club, pointed out that of all the legacies handed over to him, it was only Kotoko that had been giving him headache.
He expressed disappointment about the under-declaration of player transfer fees and other managerial malpractices that had combined to sink the club financially, and also questioned the prudence of having over 50 players on its pay roll, when a number of them were not actively playing.
On the appointment of a new CEO, he noted that even though Opoku Nti, who is presently the head of a three-man Interim Management Committee, had done well so far, the onus lay on the board to either confirm him or appoint another CEO.
Otumfuo did not hide his disappointment with the manner Dr Sarpong resigned as executive chairman of the club, saying a day before he went public with his resignation the former Kotoko boss was at the Manhyia Palace but did not give the slightest hint about his intention to quit.
Turning on Kuffour, the Asantehene urged him to let his experience and clout as a former international footballer of repute have a bearing on the management of Kotoko.
By Kwame Asare Boadu/Graphic Sports/Ghana
Source: Graphic Sports
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