Sports News Sun, 19 Jan 2020

Some Council members had issues with StarTimes 10 years deal - Randy Abbey

Dr Randy Abbey, Executive Council member of the Ghana Football Association (GFA) has admitted that some of the Council members had issues with the StarTimes deal even before they took over.

According to him, it was unreasonable to give almost every products of the FA to the Chinese media company for a 10-year period when that kind of practice was not done anywhere in the world.

Speaking on JoyFM’s sports programme on Saturday, the CEO of Division One side, Kpando Heart of Lions said upon assumption of office it emerged that StarTimes wanted to abrogate their contract which fell in line with the thinking of some of the members.

“When we got to office we found out that StarTimes had indicated to the FA during the period of the Normalisation Committee that they were not interested in that 10-year deal anymore. They wanted an abrogation but that hadn’t been sorted out.

“The truth of the matter is that there were many of us who had come to the Council who even from outside the Council were not happy with that particular arrangement and so it was one of the things we were going to raise a critique” he noted.

He explained that the deal with StarTimes was bad because there was nowhere in the world where one media entity was handed virtually every media rights of all football competitions in the country.

“I'll tell you one thing, to give all the FA products to a particular....which media house in this world has the capacity to do that? Division One alone play 24 games every match week, Premier is going to play nine, Women's league Southern Zone and Northern Zone, we gave them including the Gala which we are not even playing including colts football.

“So if u really look at that kind of arrangement it looks like we were just interested in, perhaps taking the money. We gave all rights including radio commentary, we gave live streaming, and every single conceivable media right was given to one entity.

According to him, virtually giving all the rights to one entity would make it difficult for them to adequately concentrate on all each product as a result they may concentrate on a few while the others will suffer.

“No entity in the world including all the big broadcasting houses you can talk about has the capacity to do that. So what it meant was that most of the products about 90 per cent of them were going to suffer, they will not have the needed coverage and everything yet the FA is going to collect a certain amount of money every year but that’s not the point”, he said.

Dr Abbey was of the view that such attitude will not help market the league and add value to the competitions but not just someone who will only give out money and not given the competitions the needed mileage.

“The point in having a media partner is also to package your products and add value to them and brand them in such a way that you can also sell them and bring value to those particular competitions and products.

“It is not just to give it to somebody for that person to keep it in a box and be giving you something at the end of the day. And even the duration, we thought that it was unreasonable.

“So once that opportunity came that even the company itself has expressed its intention to terminate we said well then it appears that both sides are on the same page so let’s clear it so we can start things afresh.

“So we opened the opportunity to bid and then we had a closed date. At the close of the bid we did an evaluation of all the bids that we had received.

“When we looked at all of them there were some that you then decide to check on the company who is promising you maybe $20m a season and you check on the company and the company's name doesn’t even pop up, you can’t find who the people are. So those ones we realised were not serious bids”, Dr Abbey admitted.

Source: Graphic.com.gh
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