As a growing child, I witnessed my father being an avid supporter of Kumasi Asante Kotoko Sporting Club. Anytime Kotoko came down to Cape Coast to play Mysterious Dwarfs or Venomous Vipers, he’d put his folding chair in his boot as he went to the Siwdu Stadium (just in case he did not get a seat in the stadium). It therefore did not come as a surprise when I followed the club’s exploits even though I wasn’t naturally the avid football supporter type of person.
This however took another turn at about 2000 when Herbert Mensah had become the Executive Chairman of the Club, having been appointed a year earlier by Otumfuo Opoku Ware II.
Herbert Mensah exuded a certain type of confidence and aura and brought so much excitement to the Ghanaian Premier League and to Kotoko in particular. He embarked on a legendary membership drive which the likes of me enrolling as a card-bearing member and paying dues, even though I never followed the club to the stadium.
Somehow boardroom wranglings led to the eventual exit of Herbert and the glory did indeed depart. Since then that great club of Africa had struggled with ups and downs, managing some glamour once a while at home, while struggling to make any meaningful impact in Africa.
Somehow, the club had taken some good lead by the time the 2018 Premier League took an indefinite suspension. The management of the club then took a gamble to apply to represent Ghana in the CAF Confederation Cup. I still recollect how various sports journalists took the club to the cleaners wondering what audacity the club had in making that request and virtually warning the Normalisation Team not to acquiesce to the request lest Kotoko brings great disgrace to Ghana Football. The rest they say is history.
Today, Kotoko, for the first time in years, has gotten to the money zone of the competitions for appears poised for some good dollars in its kitty. My understanding is that this is the first time in eleven years that the club has reached that stage.
Now here comes my advice to the club’s management. We were here and indeed remember how Hearts of Oak upon winning the first Confederation Cup promised its fans that their Pobiman Park will be completed as a stadium, etc. Only God knows what they did with all the huge monies they got beyond acquiring their club secretariat at Asylum Down and their supporters haven’t forgiven themselves to date.
So to my dear Asante Kotoko management led by Dr. Kwame Kyei, is to concentrate on the games and ensure that everything is put in place to ensure that the club moves one step at a time towards the ultimate.
However while at it, if the club ever intended to increase its support base through membership enrolment, this is the time. If the club really means to fully complete the Adako Jachie training grounds as designed, this is the hour. If the club had ever intended to sign up a solid corporate sponsorship with all the appendages for kit, branding, etc, this is the fine opportunity. A modern professional football club that always has to fall back on moneybags in the club or club owner for refinancing isn’t worth its name, much more to say so of a club that almost has a cult following. This is the best opportunity to reinvigorate the zeal of the porcupine in the Kotoko millions of club supporters home and abroad.
The iron has been heated to its melting point and all that is required is some carefully calculated strategies to milk the situation. Afterall there’s no football currently in Ghana and all football-loving Ghanaians (include the phobians) are ‘forced’ by circumstances beyond their control to enjoy Kotoko. What an opportunity to ensure that it asserts itself and rebrands itself for sake of posterity…Dr. Kwame Kyei and your team should not allow it to slip. Utilize it to the fullest!
My dear friend,