Saddick Adams Writes;
The best and only way to revolutionize Ghana football, and I mean domestic football, is through government’s financial intervention.
It is not rocket science.
In fact records are there to show that, A-listed leagues on every continent, like Brazilian Championship, EPL in England, South Africa leagues, the MLS in USA etc revived not only by clubs and FA doing their jobs well. That cannot and will never be enough.
It did because the governments, via the economy, market and media helped to improve the business of football by increasing the value of the sport in their countries and generating revenues thereby.
It is a fact that football clubs belong to individuals, ie, private businesses, and this is generally so in most parts of the world.
But it is also a fact that football, as a sport, both national championships and national teams, do not belong to these private but consumed by the nation at large.
Unless of course we still see the game as a recreation, like it used to be, in 1950.
FOOTBALL is a big business now, and one of the biggest economies in the world, presently.
In 2019, a research by CIES listed Ghana number in Africa and top 10 in the World, in terms of player transfers.
This means that, despite our population compared to the likes of Nigeria, Egypt, South Africa, DR Congo etc, there are more talented and skillful players from this land, attracting worldwide interest each day.
Despite having this comparative advantage in the sport, I daresay, we have failed to capitalize on this in a way that will in turn benefit the football industry, and the national economy at large.
Brazil still leads this, and not surprising that the government there invested over 2billion US Dollars in DOMESTIC football, and this they hope to recoup in over 2 years.
This, they did, through the Caixa Federal (Brazilian Central Bank), which generates over 100 million dollars annually to support the local Championships.
The Brazilian government by this investment, subtly regulate football in the country in a way, including receiving percentage on player transfers. How much has Neymar’s series of transfers alone generated for Brazil? Aside the free global PR, which they would have paid millions to do?
Why are the likes of Qatar and Saudi Arabia investing billions in football, despite not having the talent to be successful?
Why is the Chinese government taking a frontal-assault on soccer, by investing a staggering $740 billion into the industry between now and 2025.
Why has President Xi Jinping’s government enacted a document known as the No. 46, making football part of China’s economic plan? And this the Chinese envisage to use top businessmen and state-controlled companies, to build a league that can compete with the grandest in size and wealth while producing a national team able to contend for a World Cup.
And this is a country with little or no soccer pedigree.
So the question is, what do they see with football that we do not see.
Like with our rich soil, which we have underutilised, our oil which we have sold, football is suppose to be one of Ghana’s biggest natural resources and top export earner.
Building stadia alone is not enough when the actual players are not well developed from the basics and when the national championship is weak.
Like I said the other time, if Egypt can transfer one player from their Premier League to Europe for 20 million dollars, Ghana should be transferring at least 15 of such in a year.
The magnitude of global PR Mohammed Salah has done for Egypt, no PR firm will ever have the capacity to achieve even with billions.
And that’s just a minute benefit of the power of football.
When Rwanda’s Paul Kagame injected over 20 million dollars in domestic and national football, aside the investment in sporting facilities, it was for an economic reason. This culminated in their hosting of the 2009 U-20 African Cup, which Ghana won, and the CHAN 2016.
In these tournaments, the host country, Rwanda, failed to even impress.
Nonetheless, Kagame has invested $45 million dollars in football, through their ‘Visit Rwanda’ sponsorship with Arsenal FC in England.
The Rwandan Business Insider say they estimate to recoup over $200million in 3 years, in tourism, through that deal.
They do this because they have never had any global star or club in football to use for this.
Imagine if Kagame had Black Stars, or even Hearts of Oak, or Kotoko, or Michael Essien, or Partey, Dede Ayew etc?
Even their national team itself needs publicity to become popular, and this what we have for free.
Not surprising, that Kwame Nkrumah’s biggest political tool was the Black Stars, which he used essentially to fight imperialism and inferiority complex.
Perhaps he saw 50 years ago, what kagame sees now.
We have top clubs, top football stars, global icons, and country with a great reputation in the sport as such.
And I have not even touched on the economic impact of a booming domestic league, with tens of thousands visiting the various stadia across the country every Saturday and Sunday.
We failed at some point, we took the game for granted and milked it for personal interests.
But we have another opportunity to revive it, which I say, should be the interest of any government.
I’ll support any government that has a grand plan to revolutionise football and booster the sports economy.
We used to be the Premier in Africa and we can be again, this time, as a big business industry.
Do not leave football in the hands of a few individuals and then turn to say football is the passion of the nation and what unites us.
Beyond that, it can even strengthen our economy in various ways.
Government’s massive financial injection in sports and especially football should be a MUST.