Sports Features Fri, 16 Sep 2011

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The top 8 decision is too early

It is true that Ghana football has developed a professional touch with hitherto giant clubs like Asante Kotoko and Hearts of Oak no longer enjoying the duopoly they used to enjoy in the past but that should not be a yardstick for the Alhaji Njie led GHALCA to take any rush decision concerning their tournaments.

The GHALCA Top 4 have been in a existence for years so its modification needs time and planning so I don't understand why people like Kofi Manu AKA Blue Boy are criticising Hearts and Kotoko for withdrawing from the competition. Let me tell you, Hearts and Kotoko might not be as they were in terms of performance but no club surpass them in support base, unless GHALCA can tell me that they are only playing the games of the purported Glo G8 behind closed doors.

Let me also remind you that the now erstwhile GHALCA Top4 sold itself to stardom because of the commitment of Kotoko and Hearts in participation.

GHALCA should know that, the Top 4 is a tournament for the best four teams in the league and any team that qualifies to play in it does so on merit which made our league more competitive but what are we seeing now? We are going to play Top 8 where the qualification for it won’t be tough for the clubs as so competitively unlike the Top 4 where the clubs had to fight hard to earn a place. Clearly, the Top 8 qualification is going to be attained on silver platter by some of the clubs as we’ve already seen.

Also, financially the tournament is going to be disabled because the bargaining power of GHALCA to woo the sponsors to pay big shall collapse because no company in Ghana will pay for empty stadium. I said empty stadium because the crowd pullers Kotoko and Hearts are not playing. Had GHALCA decided to play Top 4 this year, I think the sponsorship money was going to be big for the four clubs to make the tournament the best ever but with the Top8, you ask yourself ‘how much are they going to earn?’

I heard Kofi Manu on Hot FM saying South Africa always play their league matches without enough supporters but still their league is best so without Kotoko and Hearts, the Top 8 will be successful. How can he compare Ghana to South Africa in terms of big companies sponsoring an event, I ask.

If we are emulating South Africa, they started from Super 8 and have since not changed it. Each and every club in the South Africa Professional Soccer League (PSL) have their own sponsorship and their tournament Super 8 is so huge in terms of the sponsors involved that even without big clubs in that country like Kaiser Chiefs ,Orlando Pirates and their supporters, the tournaments still goes on.

Even at times, clubs from the English Premier League like Manchester United, Tottenham Hotspurs do take part so there is no way Kofi Manu should compare ours to South Africa.

Well the tourney is already on but I advise that GHALCA rescind their decision next year because I don't think Ghanaians will patronise this Top 8 and as far as Ghana football is concerned, without enough supporters at the stadium the event becomes boring.

And what makes this Top 8 looks a failure is I don't see any maiden edition of a club tournament in this country without Kotoko and Hearts becoming successful.

A word to the wise is-------------------

*Credit: Raymond Yeboah*

Source: Raymond Yeboah

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