After successfully hosting the maiden edition of a virtual forum on the effects of COVID-19 on Ghana’s sports, Happy 98.9 FM, has held the second edition of the virtual forum with a focus on the effects of COVID-19 on football clubs in Ghana.
The virtual forum assembled key decision makers in the sports industry as they shared insights on COVID-19’s effects on football clubs and the way forward.
Key industry players like Nana Yaw Amponsah, Founder and President of Phar Rangers FC; George Amoako, Chief Executive Officer of Asante Kotoko; George Afriyie, Founder of Planners Athletic Club; Frederick Moore, Managing Director of Hearts of Oak; Wilfred Osei Kwaku Palmer, Founder of Tema Youth FC; and Hilary Boateng, Chairperson of the Ghana Women’s League Committee were present to discuss the issues and propose practical solutions to these issues.
Chief Executive Officer of Asante Kotoko Football Club, George Amoako, disclosed that in the wake of the Coronvirus pandemic, the football club has been in a dire financial situation because corporate bodies have withdrawn their support. “Corporate bodies have stopped paying monies because they are not getting the mileage they expect when the football season is on,” he noted.
Frederick Moore, who is the Managing Director of Hearts of Oak, expressed the same opinion as he revealed that most of the club’s sponsorships and partnerships have been suspended. “In terms of revenue, Hearts of Oak has lost about two-thirds or more of its revenue,” he added.
Founder of Phar Rangers FC, Nana Yaw Amponsah, encouraged that the sports industry must take advantage of the COVID-19 situation to change the negatives to positives. In relation to this, he called on the Ghana Football Association to improve our pitches before the league resumes. “If we are not careful, we will be complaining about COVID-19 and it will be business as usual,” he stated.
Hilary Boateng, Chairperson of the Ghana Women’s League Committee, made it known that the women’s clubs have been adversely affected by the Coronavirus pandemic. “The COVID-19 has had adverse effects on the Premier League and Division One League for the women team,” she disclosed.
George Afriyie, Founder of Planners Athletic Club, on his part, believed that the Coronavirus pandemic presented us with the opportunity to amend some statutes of the Football Association. “Prior to the elections, there were a lot of things that went wrong under the Normalization Committee in the new statutes which has to be corrected,” he added.
Founder of Tema Youth FC, Wilfred Osei Kwaku Palmer, advised that Ghana can learn from the example of the Germans as the Bundesliga has bounced back amid Coronavirus. He commented: “For all you may know, this could be the right thing that Ghana football can do to be able to resume, like the German Bundesliga has.”
Programmes Manager for Happy FM, Emmanuel Akrumah was positive that the second virtual forum, just like the first will achieve the desired results.
“We recently preached the ‘bring back the love’ campaign. However, the wake of the coronavirus seemed to have disrupted the message and the efforts to keep Ghana’s sports alive. This is why Happy FM has taken this initiative to address the issues and propose the way forward. I am confident that with this knowledge-sharing fora, people will be more inclined towards the revival and sustenance of the passion for sports,” he said.
The forum was seamlessly moderated by Happy FM’s Ohene Bampoe Brenya and Benjamin Willie Graham of GTV and carried live on Happy FM.