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17.04.2004 Football News

Kick-Start Premier League In August - Crentsil

By Michael Quaye
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Mr Fred Crentsil, Chairman of Division One side, St. Mirren, has advocated a national footbal league calendar that will synchronise with the calendar of European leagues.

Accordingly, he has suggested that this year's league be delayed till August to harmonise Ghana's football season with that of Europe.Before the start, he said, time should be spent to solve the many problems facing Ghana soccer in recent times, namely the legal case with Crystal TV and the issue of unqualified players.

In an interview with the Graphic Sports, Mr Crentsil said none of the planned formats being discussed for adoption at Congress for this year's league provides a reliable solution to problems facing the league at present.

The Premier League clubs, through the Ghana League Clubs Association (GHALCA), are pushing for a novelty system for this year in view of the tight international schedule for the national teams and clubs playing in Africa, all worsened by the late start to the season.

Among these are a one-round league and a zonal system that will split the competition into two sections of eight teams each, one in the northern half and the other in the southern part.The latter appears more attractive to the clubs, but Mr Crentsil said it has the potential of placing stronger teams in one zone.

He said the mode of grouping, which is based on geographical proximity, is flawed since it does not necessarily give a fair distribution of teams based on their strengths.“If it were a 16-team competition, the last three teams could come from either the north or the south, but with the zonal system clubs not necessarily weak could be forced into relegation,” he pointed out.

With such a defect, and what he called obvious problems facing the one round league, Mr Crentsil said “no other system should be entertained”.“It is better to delay the league and run it well than to rush through it and encounter many problems, including the emergence of a champion not worth the name.”

He said clubs participating in Africa this year should be presented as Ghana's candidates for next year's competitions since representatives would not have emerged by then.By his suggestion, champions and other represenatives for continental competitions would be declared as early as April or May, but the St. Mirren Chairman insisted that those clubs would be afforded the chance to remain competitive in the league which would then start in August to prepare them for the following year's CAF competitions.