A number of football clubs globally have been faced with no option but to forcefully cut down cost by offloading playing and non playing staff. This exercises have been engendered by the deadly rise and effect of the strange disease called “Corona Virus.” The pandemic has hit the globe so hard that, every institution has had its financial coffers heavily and painfully pinched and Ghana football clubs are no exception. Football clubs pay huge sums to playing and non playing staff in salaries and allowances either every forth night or monthly. Clubs have now been forced to cut cost as they are not making profit with others struggling to break-even.
Therefore, these clubs mapped up strategies to offload high earning players, less performing players and staff, introducing wage cuts and sometimes laying off staff who are not multi-tasked. One club that readily comes into mind is England club, Arsenal which laid off 55 non playing staff following the harsh effect of COVID-19. It was however contrasting then because just as the non playing staff were laid off, negotiations to keep high earning Gabon striker, Pierre Emerick Aubameyang was on the table. Moreover, Spanish giants, Real Madrid and Barcelona introduced player wage cuts on first team players to help reduce the financial pangs on the clubs.
The above introduction leads us to the the club we want to put the spotlight on and that is 2020/21 Ghana Premier League champions, Accra Hearts of Oak. The millennium champions annexed their 21st and their first ever league title in 11-years. They defied the “doubting-Thomases” to finish the league above arch rivals, Asante Kotoko, Medeama, AshantiGold, Aduana Stars, Karela United and Great Olympics. Hearts of Oak finished the season with 61 points, four better than Kotoko in second to earn an automatic CAF Champions League slot for the 2021/22 season. The Phobians are returning to the competition they once won in 2000 where they went unbeaten in the entire campaign.
Hearts of Oak’s squad under coach Samuel Boadu looked a rejuvenated side following their sterling performance in the lead up to their league triumph. The club went 13-games unbeaten before succumbing 1-0 to WAFA in their final fixture of the league despite having already won the title. Talking about the squad, we cannot single out a few players for playing important roles in the club’s success story but attribute their glory to a collective effort. However, a number of the players struggled to break into the substitute bench let alone earn some game minutes. The best for some of those players were a few minutes of FA Cup games.
Hearts of Oak will represent Ghana in the 2021/22 CAF Champions League and they need to offload some non performing players to make room for highly quality ones for the continental campaign. A couple of names have come up for the exit. Experienced central defender, Nuru Sulley has popped up as one set to be shown the exit door. Sulley lost his position to Robert Addo Sowah who has since formed a solid central partnership with former WAFA man, Mohammed Alhassan. The arrival of former WAFA and Aduana Stars utility player, Caleb Amankwah has further thrown Nuru Sulley down the perking order. Another player who is rumoured to be headed for the exit door is striker, Abednego Tetteh who has struggled for game time since joining the Phobians as a free agent.
Reports from the camp of the 2001 CAF Super Cup winners indicate that, the two players are some of the highest earners at the club but since their service has been limited under coach Samuel Boadu, the club deems it fit to do away with them. The fact that they are high earners is a catalyst for their exit as clubs are feeling the financial pain and want to reduce spending. The report further states that, their exit will pave way for Samuel Boadu to rope in more quality players for the Africa campaign. To the Phobians, should these two players be shown the door or you believe, their experience will come in handy for the 2004 CAF Confederation winners?