The Chief of Staff at the Manhyia Palace, Mr Kofi Badu, has inaugurated a nine-member board for the Asante Kotoko Sporting Club in Kumasi with a directive to ensure that no new player is recruited into the senior team for a year.
The decision by the Life Patron of the club, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II, is to help the club to focus on youth development.
Otumfuo has directed that for the next one year no new player should be recruited into the senior team while it focuses on its youth development.
Otumfuo named the new board a fortnight ago to rebuild the Kotoko brand, both in terms of performance on the pitch and making it a viable self-sustaining economic entity ultimately to reclaim their pre-eminent position among the elite clubs in Africa.
The board is chaired by the former Executive Chairman, Mr Kwame Kyei. It has Mr Jude Arthur of the Ghana Commercial Bank as vice chairman, Kwadwo Boateng Genfi, Board chairman of Ghana Exim Bank; Kwasi Osei Ofori, Erdmark Group and CEO of Rockshure Mining company; Alhaji Lamin, a businessman; Kwamena Mensah, a corporate lawyer, and Joseph Yaw Addo, former head of the Sports Directorate of the Kwame Nkrumah University of Science and Technology (KNUST).
The rest are Miss Evelyn Nsiah Asare, acting head of sports, Sunyani Technical University, and Baffour Kwame Kusi, Otumfuo’s Ankobeahene.
Reading a message from Otumfuo, Mr Badu said Kotoko was an integral part of Asanteman and greatly cherished by the Manhyia Palace and the Asantehene and it was an honour to serve the palace at the pleasure of the King.
“Kotoko, as a club, is beyond equal in Ghana,” he said.
He said Kotoko’s revenue generation and economic impact were unmeasurable.
Mr Badu also noted that Kotoko’s stature was a viable economic investment destination in the world but said previous handlers had not been able to position the club in that light.
Touting Kotoko’s prowess on the continent, the former MD of the Graphic Communication Group Limited said the club was the leader in sub-Saharan Africa and only rivalled clubs in North African.
He shared Otumfuo’s vision and expectation with the board, saying, “you are starting from ground zero.”
Key among their responsibilities is to transform the Adako Jachie project as a model in the sub-region.
Also on the table is for them to focus on Kotoko’s youth academy and develop its own brand of football which used to be the toast of other clubs on the continent.
He urged the board to develop an executive arm to implement its policies to help to ensure that it worked with all the laws of CAF, FIFA and other bodies governing football.
He called for commitment from all stakeholders to guarantee the club’s success.
Mr Badu said there was the need for cultural understanding of the club and the need to be guided by it.
He commended the media for their unmeasurable publicity for the club but called for circumspection and good judgement.
Mr Badu said members of the board were well-established people in the society and “His Majesty did not bring them here to face unnecessary criticism and ridicule.”