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03.05.2005 Football News

Tommy Okine Back For 4 Months

By Michael Quaye for Graphic

IN a dramatic U-turn to the status quo, Thomas Okine has returned to Hearts of Oak as Chief Executive.

But the man who quit as the head of management of the Champion Club barely 14 days ago may not stay on the job beyond four months.

A meeting of the board of directors and other stakeholders in Hearts last Saturday asked Mr Okine to stay on till the club returns to congress within the next four months.

During this period, Mr Okine is expected to work to improve his relationship with the supporters, the biggest constituency in the club, if he should complete the four-month term.

This was upon the acknowledgment of the fact that Mr Okine had found little co-operation from the supporters' front.

Consequently, Messrs Neil Armstrong-Mortagbe, the head of the supporters and colleague management members, Frank Nelson and Ato Lindsay, have been appointed to repair the chief executive's relationship with the supporters.

Sources at last Saturdays' meeting told the Graphic Sports that the board was concerned about the unhealthy relationship existing between Mr Okine and the supporters.

Mr Okine's resignation was precipitated by agitations by supporters of the club.

He quit the job in the middle of April, on the eve of the start of the new season, in a move that appeared to heed calls for his resignation by the supporters.

Even on the day of the start of the new season, when Hearts lost 3-2 to Dwarfs in Accra, the suppoters repeated the action that heralded the club's uninspiring campaign in the Coca-Cola Top 4 tournment in February, in obviuosly unaware of Mr Okine's resignation two days earlier.

His return, irrespective of how it is received in Hearts circles, concided with the club's classic act in Sunyani where they beat Bofoakwa 2-0 in the GT Premeirship.

But the board is looking to reform the structures of Hearts at the next congress.

Various programmes, including the endorsement of new appointees to the board and a policy on the future of the club, will dominate the agenda of the general meeting of stakeholders when they converge later in the year to take stock of their performance over the years.

Before they do that, however, nature might cause a dramatic change in the club, following the general discontent prevailing among the rank and file.

In spite of acheiving a continental title and two league trophies, Mr Okine never found favour in the eyes of the Hearts supporters, particularly in the last two of his initial three-year term as head of an interim management committee.

But while accepting to resume duty at the helm of the club, Mr Okine, according to the sources, called for support from the entire fraternity to work in Hearts' favour.

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