Keeping RTU in the premiership, beyond

Football Club33 Prince Zita is the author of this piece

Tue, 5 Apr 2022 Source: Prince Siita Sofo

RTU is the pride of the people of Northern Ghana. Real Tamale United, often abbreviated as RTU, is a football club based in Tamale, Northern Region of Ghana.

RTU is currently living on past glories and on the sweat of selfless individuals who sacrificed everything to see the club hold the flag of northern Ghana high.

They did not do it to make money but did it to prove a point that sent shivers down the spines of any club in Ghana including Hearts of Oak, Asante Kotoko among others outside the country.

Last year saw RTU make it to premiership after eight years (8) in Division One League. This milestone brought hope and light to the people of Northern Ghana but it seems the success will be short –lived since the problem that took the club to relegation has not being addressed.

I am moved as concerned Northerner, who has served as an Interim Management Committee (IMC) member of the club to write, per chance we might salvage our dear club. I was first called upon, to help with my experience in starting and managing businesses in the northern Ghana, to assist the ailing club regain its lost glory.

At first I thought it was a business entity where we could use business strategies to run it but it was not so. So In 2018, as the Marketing and Business Development Manager, I was part of the team that drafted a strategic plan to return RTU to the premier league (dubbed: RTU Tagibu! RTU, Change).

I have served with the current Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Club, Mr. Kassim Perez, Coach Tanko Shaibu, Mr. Mutawakilu Iddrisu and others all under the tenure of Alhaji A. Karim Mahama Sani (Starboy) before he also resigned.

We have gone to meet the current Vice President of Ghana, H.E. Dr. Mahamudu Bawumia, the former president of Ghana, H.E. John Dramani Mahama, and so many other most reputable northerners to solicit for support for the club. We have been to Northern Regional Coordinating Council (RCC) for support since they are the current patron of the club. I am mentioning all these to make two (2) points clear.

1. The club is being run on the benevolence of people.

2. Those who are helping the club are not those who own the club.

Therefore, our club is facing severe financial challenges because it is not treated like a business entity. There is a strategic plan for modern day clubs which includes the business development plan. This business development plan is part of the global best practices in football management, which has not been acted upon by the board. The only thing done is asking for donations and gate fees to run the club, and this is not sustainable in the long run.

I keep saying that if you cannot create anything new, copy from the successful ones. If RTU’s Board or should I say owners, do not know how to run the Club why don’t they copy from Ashanti Kotoko Football club? They have a patron, but is being run like an independent organization with shareholders. Like a legal entity, a business where people can buy shares and invest in it. They can invest and expect returns from it.

So I am not going to propose any new thing, I just want to appeal that RTU’s shares are being floated and investors put their money and run it to make more money back. Only that way can we see efficiency and effectiveness in the club.

From reliable sources, the players have not been paid their salaries let alone winning bonuses, the management have not received their salaries and allowances since the beginning of the year either. So which soldier matches on an empty stomach?

If RTU is to be diagnosed and treated, we will want to know who are the owners of the current club? How much are they investing in the club now? How much shares can they float? Who are the supporters union, what are their contribution to the club?

Moreover, I have also heard supporters asking for accountability. But I am just suggesting that before you ask for your right, ask if you have accomplished your responsibility.

I have a mantra that you put something on the table before you table your concerns. Most of those asking management to come and tell them what they got, how much have they actually contributed to it?

So those supporters who have contributed money to club, can come out and join me push for reforms for RTU. RTU cannot be survived by just words and blame game. What it needs now is Money, not free money but investors’ money. It should be looked at as a vibrant commercial entity to be able to hold the flag of northern Ghana high and restore its lost dignity.

RTU is a unifier and brand we cannot afford to let go waste. Let’s build the northern pride and regain our lost glory. So many Northerners got their livelihood out of RTU and more can get jobs and carve the future for our unborn generation. Football is now a big business across the globe and comes with it so many opportunities. RTU is a gold mine and we cannot joke with serious business like this.

Our issue is like the fate of a brilliant northern student, who has passed her exams but her celebration is short-lived because she cannot pursue her dream course at her dream institution due to financial constraint. When RTU won, I saw many northerners jubilating but my fear was how to stay and win the premiership tittle. I saw an elephant in the room, and if not dealt with, RTU would no doubt be a white elephant!

As I end my short write-up, I would want to make special mention of some of the pioneers who actually sacrificed for this great club and say a prayer for them wherever they may be.

They include Col. Robert Kunta Zumah (the then Commissioner for Northern Region), M.D Alhaji Gbadamoshie, Alhaji Adam Harruna (Progress), Alhaji B.A Fuseini, Alhaji Alhassan Bawa Alolo, Jimoh Ashiru, Alhaji Sherrif Savannah, Alhaji Aliu Mahama, Alhaji Aminu Amadu, Alhaji M.N.D Jawula, Alhaji Mahadi, Alhaji Lawyer Mohammed Mumini and Alhaji Malik Alhassan.

Columnist: Prince Siita Sofo
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