Hearts and Kotoko need football leaders who have big eyes for tremendous global brand growing and not Vincent Sowah and Samuel Opoku Nti.
When Leicester City won the English Premier League last season the whole world marveled at the unanticipated success of the Foxes as they left perennial winners – Manchester United, Chelsea, Manchester City and Arsenal in their wakes.
In the words of Crystal Palace manager Alan Pardew he mentioned the historic triumphed embarrassed the Premier League’s big-guns.
Leicester’s title success was their first ever in the club’s 132-year history and Ranieri’s preferred starting 11 cost an estimated £22 million – that’s 10 times less than what is arguably big-spending Manchester City’s first-choice line-up.
But current Manchester United boss and a god Premier League coaching Jose Mourinho, introduced a different thinking when he commented on the feat achieved by the Foxes.
Mourinho, who is recognized as one of the best managers in the modern football industry, has chalked successes in Portugal, England, Italy and Spain with clubs like FC Porto, Chelsea, Inter Milan and Real Madrid.
From Mourinho’s perspective he enumerated the impossibility of a club in Spain, Italy, France, Germany and Portugal outside the traditional heavyweights to break their dominance.
He said: “This kind of will be the only country where everybody wants This kind of to happen, as well as the item’s the only country where the football structures allow This kind of to happen. In some other countries the powerful clubs don’t want This kind of to happen — they don’t want to share the money, the television rights.”
Around Europe you have people who when you listen to them the item looks like they are the Mother Teresa in football — however they aren’t.
“You go to many countries as well as clearly they are happy the way they are. the item’s not just about them being powerful, the item’s also going to the clubs in which can be direct competition for them as well as every season steal the best players.”
So the Portuguese gaffer lays the foundation to why Hearts and Kotoko would gradually loosen their stranglehold of Ghanaian football.
Hearts and Kotoko have won the Ghanaian title 44 times between them but the passage of the last decade has brought along new forces in Ghanaian football who are giving them a good run for their ‘little’ money. Hearts have not won the Ghanaian title since 2009 and were almost relegated from the top-flight two seasons ago. While Kotoko’s success is limited and measured within the last decade, they are losing key faculties of their power on the Ghanaian scene.
In 2004 Hearts and Kotoko underlined their status as one of the biggest forces on the African continent when they graced the final of the maiden CAF Confederation Cup. This was an awesome promise of a new era blooming for the bitter rivals.
However either clubs has perpetually dwelled in old-fashion and crude way of management and stuck with ‘this is how it is done here’ for seasons, leaving them miles away from their continental counterparts – TP Mazembe, Al Ahli, CS Sfaxien, Orlando Pirates and so on who are winning in all aspects of their endeavours.
In South Africa, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco where the football economy is blossoming, the big-guns have taken advantage to entrench their standards and widened their scopes across many streams, raking revenue and making their concepts sit with their fans.
South Africans support their clubs with passion while the clubs have grown to understand the fans are major revenue contributors.
In Manchester United’s 2014 club census, their global numbers had reached a staggering 600 million fans. This is a significant identifier of how the Old Trafford Red Devils have established themselves as a global force, competitively rivaling club’s like Barcelona and Real Madrid in terms of numbers, revenue and success in many areas.
Unfortunately Hearts and Kotoko bigwigs think they are doing a favour to their fans. There has been documented instances when fans are questioned about their relevance to the club by club leaders.
It is true that the relevance of Hearts and Kotoko to their fans rely importantly in their financial muscle on the transfer market and attractiveness to other top stars from the continent. Elsewhere while the big-guns kill off competition from emerging forces by expressing financial power on the transfer exchange by acquiring their best players, Hearts and Kotoko have failed to follow the example in recent years.
Berekum Chelsea, Medeama SC and Bechem United have been allowed to develop and grow their resistance to losing their top stars to Hearts and Kotoko. Aduana Stars have become a third force and have consistently resisted Hearts and Kotoko attempts to sign their players. And, are bid to become the Ghana Premier League’s Manchester City.
Hearts for instance have been told plainly by Medeama and Aduana they don’t have what it takes to sign their players while they have been unable to prove otherwise.
It remains a fact that Hearts and Kotoko command the numbers locally and even have massive fans among Ghanaians in the diaspora. However it is sadly the fact that they are losing them powers to springer clubs.
Both clubs are sick with branding deficiency and their entrepreneurial values are dead in dire need of resurrection. No serious corporate organisation in the modern market will associate with these ‘lost’ brands. Your social media numbers matter in a lot of factors but that is the least that matters to these clubs. Hearts’ website has been packed because of $99 hosting fee while Kotoko are yet to realize how Arsenal are using awesome Twitter interactions to draw more admirers world-wide.
Both clubs need to be awaken to the realities of the modern era and compete favourable. The clubs need new thinkers and visionary front-heads who are focused on expansion, commercial aggression and tradition targeted at not just success on the pitch but become the institutions they were formed to become.
Hearts, former winners of the CAF Champions League, CAF Confederation Cup and Super Cup don’t is without a club training not to talk of a stadium. Youth development and career expansion must be a priority for both clubs like it is done elsewhere in Europe and some African countries.
The hierarchy is deficient. Hearts and Kotoko are slowly losing it and modern-day Herbert Mensahs and Harry Zakkours must re-emerged to revive the dying giants.
Neither Opoku Nti nor Vincent Sowah has demonstrated they are the men to re-establish Hearts and Kotoko as new forces in Africa and beyond.
For Hearts and Kotoko to make themselves relevant again, they must learn to kill off competition from Aduana Stars, Medeama, Bechem United, Wa All Stars and the rising forces.
They must develop financial muscle to ward off treats, see beyond Ghana,target global success, think entrepreneurial, focus on growing their numbers, bring along their fans and become revenue driven.
By El Akyereko