Ways to ensure new season lives up to expectations

Pulse Sports writer Thomas Freeman Yeboah takes you through some of the ways that would help generate interest in the GPL.

For any competition to get to top levels all the various stakeholders should play their roles to promote the success of the competition.

Over the years the GPL has come under massive criticisms for losing its shine. Factors such as the inability to keep quality players in the league and strong competition from the various European leagues, especially the English Premier League have been stressed on.


However, in our own ways there are measures we can put in place to generate much interest in the league. There have been instances some local games have caught the attention of football loving fans and we can continue from there.

Exciting play from clubs: It is clear that a lot of quality players leave the shores of Ghana to seek greener pastures overseas every year, but per what we all witnessed during the Ghalca 6 tournament it is a clear indication that the Ghana Premier League is still abound in talent. All the six clubs produced some excitement to thrill football fans who had the opportunity to watch the games on TV or at the Essipong Sports Stadium. I believe clubs can replicate the performance they produced in the G6 in the League. In addition clubs like Ashgold, Medeama, Asante Kotoko, Hearts of Oak, Aduana Stars, etc were very busy in the transfer market and they should make it reflect on the field. I think there are a number of football fans who would like to spend their Saturday and Sunday evenings in the stadium, if guaranteed of good football.

Good refereeing: Referees are one of the main characters that decide the outcome of games. Most soccer fans have a negative mentality about referees in the Ghana, because of certain poor decisions they have made in the past. Although refereeing is a human institution and is subject to human errors, when their mistakes become plenty, people tend to accuse referees of being influenced. The Vice Chairman of the Referees Association of Ghana during the pre-season urged referees to help report club administrators who attempt to bribe them to the Ghana Football Association (GFA) for them to be rewarded. It is a big challenge for them, but it is my wish that they stand the test of time. Some fans don’t go to the stadium, because they don’t want their day spoilt by some match officials who put the score lines of matches in their pocket.

Responsible club administrators:  The management committees of clubs should position their clubs well to attract the necessary sponsorship to cushion them during this trying moment that the league is commencing without a headline sponsor. Clubs should get marketers to market their brands to corporate bodies to attract the needed sponsorship. The clubs are sometimes their own enemies, as some administrators in their quest to win certain matches by fair or foul means try to influence match officials. This is evident from the comments of the Vice Chairman of RAG, Joe Debrah that no referee demands money from teams, it is rather the club administrators who pursue referees with money, so they should report issues of bribery to the GFA for a reward package. Sometimes because a team official managed to influence a referee in the past, he thinks any time the same referee is in the middle of a game, he might have been bribed by the opposing team and this at the long run taints the image of the league, so as we move forward club administrators should refrain from bribery. Also they should have the interest of their players at heart by refraining from allowing several months to go without settling their salaries and bonuses. For instance Hasaacas players boycotted training on Tuesday over unpaid salaries and bonuses for 8 and 5 months respectively. This doesn't speak well of the club and it would affect the image and progress of the league at the long run because players want give off their best.

Playing competitively: It is an open secret that certain matches are predetermined especially getting to the tail end of the league. This takes a lot of shine from the league. It serves as a deterrent to investment and club administrators are the ones who are mostly involved and players have no other option than to comply in order to ensure their continued stay in the team. People feel reluctant to invest in such a product, so to make our league viable and attractive, the clubs should be fair throughout the season. The branding and marketing of the league is affected due to issues of match fixing, because sponsors don’t want to associate themselves with such products. The clubs need to help so that we can get true presentation in the Ghana Premier League when determining relegation.


Fans should refrain from hooliganism: Some of the league venues are very intimidating for away clubs. Supporters molest referees, away team players and their fans. As a result of this most of the clubs don’t take supporters to away games to avoid retaliation. This in a way reduces turn up for league games and this won’t be the case if away supporters are to travel more often for games. Refereeing at such venues is very difficult and the knights of the whistle for want of their life take decisions to favour the home sides. The most challenging aspect of this is that some clubs instigate their fans to intimate referees, away fans and players to instill fear in them.

Good reportage from journalist: Sports journalist and writers should be actively involved in promoting the league. Journalist need to follow the games and the players. Exciting players should be commended for their efforts and this would also give supporters an idea of whom to watch when they go to the various stadia. Commentators should have be knowledgeable about the players with regards to their numbers for the season such as goals scored, appearances, assists, yellow and red cards. All these will help market the Ghana Premier League as a brand. Journalist should be constructive in their criticisms, but not destructive because they all have a role to play in helping the development of the Ghana Premier League. Some journalists cant even mention 11 players in the league yet still they call themselves sports journalists and all that they look for is for something negative to happen at league centres, so that they can dwell on them. Meanwhile they overlook the positives, such as excellent display from a player.

Ghana Football Association should empower its sub committees: The Premier League Board (PLB), which is the organizer of the league in conjunction with the GFA, should put in place an enabling environment to promote the GPL.  The GFA needs to ensure the various sub committees that have a role to play in the organisation of the league play their roles effectively. For instance one of the major challenges facing the league has to do with the adjudication bodies of the Ghana FA. They either delay judgment or misapply the status of the association. Also some of the clauses in the status of the GFA and the rules and regulations overlap on one another making judgment very difficult, so there is the need to address all these issues to reduce protest and counter protest in the course of the upcoming season. The GFA also needs to urge its Ethics Committee to investigate allegation of match fixing and come out with the appropriate rulings.


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