Gamba All Blacks chief executive, George Afriyie, has fired back at opposition forces threatening to wrest the club from his grips, as he insists that “Gamba All Blacks is not Swedru All Blacks”.
In a fierce rebuttal of claims that he has hijacked the club, Mr Afriyie said the Swedru All Blacks of old is different from the Gamba All Blacks of today that has maintained a place in the premiership in the last two seasons.
Wielding documents in support of his claim, Mr Afriyie contended that the power of authority granted him over All Blacks some four years ago was revoked through court documents, and he had since ceased to hold power over that club.
He said he consequently left Swedru All Blacks and purchased then Division One side, Bafana Bafana, from one George Phobia.
“I, therefore, left Swedru All Blacks in the second division because it was taken from me. I did not have control over the club from the day my power of authority was revoked,” Mr Afriyie said.
“It was the knowledge that I had lost control over the club that made me buy Bafana Bafana. That transaction cost me a fortune in property, including two new cars I had shipped from Japan into Ghana and awaiting clearance from the Tema port.
“I named the club I bought Gamba All Blacks because I wanted it to maintain the identity of the once buoyant side. Secondly, I maintained the name because since Swedru All Blacks were taken from me the club virtually ceased to exist because it was not in operation,” he said.
As of 2007, Mr Afriyie retained majority shares of 59 per cent, while his Japanese partner, Toshihiro Iwasa, had 40 per cent, with one per cent reserved for Nana Abena Gyimah, Mankralo of Agona Swedru and who had earlier put Swedru All Blacks in the trust of Mr Afriyie and who was made chef patron of Gamba All Blacks.
Mr Afriyie failed to confirm rumours of moves to move the club from Swedru in the wake of the confusion that has emerged over the ownership of he club except to say that “every decision will take the interest of all stakeholders into consideration”.
Story by Michael Quaye