While premier league clubs and fans still wait to know when the new domestic league will start, due to the ongoing court case between the Football Association and Accra Great Olympics, B&FT Sports takes a look at some of the well-run clubs in the country at present.
Admittedly, Ghanaian clubs are yet to fully reach their business potential. Nonetheless, here are nine teams that serve as models of ambition, financial stability and prudent management;
- Liberty professionals
While it is tempting to label the Dansoman-based side as a selling club, they continue to punch above their weight season, after season in the premier league.
The club was founded in 1996 and qualified to the GPL two years after and have never been relegated since. Though, yet to win the league title, Liberty has been one of the consistent teams in the domestic topflight.
They have a very professional structure which ensures stability, however, the death of the club owner Alhaji Sly Tetteh in September 2011, has threatened its continuous existence in the top division.
Over the past two seasons, the team has performed relatively below par, finishing 13th and 11th respectively in 2015/16 and 2016/17.
Financially, the team has also been struggling since the demise of the late Sly Tetteh.
When it comes to honing talented young players, Liberty remains number one in the country. The club’s academy is one of the best in the domestic scene, which helps in its sustainability.
The likes of Sulley Muntari, Asamoah Gyan, Kwadwo Asamoah, among many others, all came through the club’s youth setups.
It has its own Park/stadium in Dansoman, regardless of how small it may be.
- Medeama SC
Since changing name from Kessben FC to Medeama Sporting Club in 2010, the Yellow Mauves have come agonisingly close to winning the league title a couple of times over the past years.
The club is owned by Gold Fields which signifies a solid financial foundation, however, profit as a business is still something far from reality.
On a football aspect, Medeama have proved themselves as a Premier League side and are no longer the fragile ‘yo-yo’ club like many of their rivals from the Western Region.
They have done so well to remain a competitive premier league club, consistently finishing in the top half of the table.
They ended last season in 7th place with 42 points from 30 games. It must be added that, their disappointing performance last years, was partly due to their participation in the CAF Confederation Cup.
- Berekum Chelsea
Although often criticised for lacking an identity because of the name Chelsea, it will be unacceptable to write a list of Ghana’s best-run clubs and not include the Berekum-based side.
At one point, Chelsea looked like a team that could break the hoodoo facing Ghanaian clubs in African club competitions. They dazzled many soccer fans across the continent in the 2012 CAF Champions League, when they became the last Ghanaian team to reach the group stage of the competition. Emmanuel Clottey also ended up as the competition’s top goal scorer with 12 goals that year.
On the domestic scene, their best moment came during the 2010/2011 season when they won the premier league title. Since then, Chelsea have failed to replicate that same form but are always a constant top ten side in the top division.
The about 10,000 capacity Golden City Park is one of the most dreaded home grounds in the premier league. Their home support is also one of the best at the moment.
Ashanti Gold Sporting Club, popularly known as AshGold – a model club, both on and off the pitch, is one of the successful clubs in the country. They have four league titles – the latest being the 2014/2015 season, one FA Cup and finalist of the 1997 CAF Champions League.
The Miners growth has been steady; they have become one of the constant league contenders in the last decade, with the exception of last season where they escaped relegation by a whisker.
The Len Clay Stadium – the about 30,000 capacity facility, located in the mineral-rich Obuasi township, is one of the few standard stadiums in the country. AshGold are also one of the financially prudent teams in the country.
WAFA are embarking on just their third successive Premier League season, but the club’s strong foundation and roots in the now defunct Feyenoord Academy, means that in terms of structure, WAFA are better off than most teams in the country.
With focus on youth development and education, the Sogakope-based side runs one of the best academies in the country. Their telepathic and seamless style of play is a testament to their youth development.
They are one of the football playing teams in the league today and they displayed exactly last season, narrowly losing out on the league title to Aduana Stars by a 6-point margin.
They will one of the teams to watch out for when the new season begins.
At one type synonymous with the best football atmosphere in the country and an epitome of great competitiveness, Kumasi Asante Kotoko can boost of one of the best football histories in Africa.
Though the team might have taken too many steps backwards in the last few years, the all-time leading league champions with 24 titles is a perfect example of how a football club should be run, with the exception of some of its boardroom decisions.
The last few years have been topsy-turvy and Kotoko will look to bounce back when the new season kicks off. But potential-wise, Kumasi Asante Kotoko’s viability as a business goldmine or a great footballing club has never been in doubt. The one problem is the constant upheavals within its management.
Its annual revenue, though still greatly below par, is one of the highest in the league.
- Dreams FC
Dreams FC’s story is fairy tale. They made their debut in the top flight in the 2015/2016 season and finished 11th on the 16-team table, but got relegated after losing a legal case against Tema Youth.
Founded in 2009, the team which is based in Dawu in the Eastern Region, is ran in a very professional manner, with focus on youth development and is increasingly becoming a big force in Ghana football.
Few months ago, they defeated Accra Hearts to lift the 2017 MTN FA Cup trophy – the second biggest competition aside the premier league.
Basically running a groom and sell model, the club’s youth ranks boost of some best footballing talents in the country. It currently operates a first team and a feeder youth system, which ensures constant flow of talent.
Sales of the club’s home-grown talents, including the likes of Baba Rahman, in recent years, have earned them millions of dollars.
Wa All Stars
Some years ago, seeing Wa All Stars in the bottom half of the league was a custom, but that has changed now. The team from Wa defied all odds to win the league two seasons ago. They also became the first club from the Northern part of the country to lift the GPL title.
Founded as recently as 2006 by Ghana’s FA boss Kwesi Nyantakyi, the club is an example of prudent management.
They have firmly established themselves as a regular Premier League side and ended last season in 6th place. They can only look to do even better in the years ahead.
- Aduana Stars
This is probably one of football’s most interesting stories. Aduana Stars joined the then Ghana Glo Premier League in the 2009/10 season and went on to cause a major upset by they lifting the league title that season with 15 clean sheets from all 15 home matches.
In that season, Aduana under the stewardship of the late Coach Hebert Addo, also played some of the most boring football ever seen in the premier league.
As if that’s not enough, they currently holds the world’s record of least goals scored by league champions with 19 in 30 matches — an average of 0.6333 goals per match during the season that they won their maiden title.
Away from history, the Dormaa Ahenkro-based side has been one of the most consistent performers since joining the elite division.
They are currently the reigning league champions, having clinched a second title last season. Aduana remains the country’s only representatives in Africa, following Kotoko’s elimination from the preliminary stage of the CAF Confederation Cup last month.
When the new season eventually begins, they will be one of the fanciful sides to watch, as they attempt to retain the league crown.