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06.03.2007 League Report

No Money, No League • Clubs threaten PLB

Premier League clubs in the country have threatened to boycott the Onetouch Premier League if they do not get the rest of the sponsorship money before the competition resumes on March 24.

At a meeting held with the executive of the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA) last Friday, the clubs resolved not to continue the competition which has only five matches to go unless issues with regard to the Onetouch sponsorship package were resolved.

In a resolution passed and served the Ghana Football Association (GFA) and the Premier League Board (PLB), the clubs were demanding that the remainder of the sponsorship package out of which only ¢115million was paid in two installments of ¢80million and ¢35million, be paid to them.

Furthermore, they demanded that the details of the contract between the GFA and the sponsors be made available to them to enable them know exactly how much they were entitled to.

They also asked the GHALCA executive as a matter of urgency to retrieve an amount of ¢700million owed the clubs by GTV, the national television network by way of media rights for last season.

At the meeting which also had the President of the GFA and the Vice President of GHALCA in attendance, members reprimanded the GHALCA executive, chaired by J.Y. Appiah for their lukewarm attitude in seeking the interest of the clubs, especially with regard to the Onetouch deal, tasking them to take the issue up urgently to find a workable solution before the league resumes on March 24.

The clubs, however, charged the executive to immediately take legal action against GTV if the national television station failed to pay the amount.

According to the clubs, most of which had their chairmen and administrators attending that meeting, they were compelled to take this decision because their financial situation was worsening and were not sure if the money would be paid before the remaining five matches were played.

It was also to register their protest against how they had been kept in the dark about the details of the contract.

Reacting to the clubs' decision, Mr Welbeck Abra Appiah, Chairman of the PLB, said he was unaware of such a decision.

He said it was unfortunate for the clubs to take such a stance when they could have used a more acceptable way to express their concerns.

He questioned the motive behind the clubs intended action as it was unfair for them to issue threats when the bulk of the sponsorship money had been paid.

“What I would want to ask the clubs are whether they are playing the league because of the money or because it is part of the football programme to enable the FA's yearly programme to go through?

“In all fairness, the clubs could have asked that the sponsors' name be taken off the competition if they were not honouring their part of the deal, rather than this threat.

And for the clubs who are complaining that they need the money as they had drawn their budgets with that in mind, what will happen if the sponsors withdrew their support as it had happened in the past?” Mr Abra Appiah quizzed.

He could not say whether the money had been paid nor when it would be paid as the PLB neither signed cheques nor the contract.

The GFA President and the General Secretary, Kofi Nsiah, sign the cheques and they signed the contract on behalf of the association and clubs.

A spokesperson of the sponsors revealed that the last tranch of ¢1billion was paid to the GFA last Friday.

That rounded up the sponsorship figure of ¢4.5 billion out of which each club was entitled to ¢160million in addition to ¢40million each from the media rights sold.

The sponsors said it was unfortunate that the clubs had threatened to take such a stance since every transaction had been transparent and especially when there was an open door policy to deal with issues, and when more than two-thirds of the money had been paid.

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