Coronavirus has hit us so hard: Hearts of Oak CEO outlines its impact on the club and Ghana football

CEO of Accra Hearts of Oak Frederick Moore has outlined the impact of the Coronavirus pandemic on the club and Ghana football in general.

Hearts of Oak

Moore in an interview with BBC said that people started developing interest in the Ghana Premier League after the Number 12 expose’, but the domestic football has been dealt with another blow following the suspension of the league due to the Coronavirus pandemic in march.

He has outlined the difficulties that have been created due to the suspension of the league and the uncertainty over the time it will bounce back.

"Last year we had a competition but it was a third of what we would have actually experienced in a proper football season," Frederick Moore told the BBC.

"The impact of that is that it lost some glitter in the minds of people about football. Also more importantly, the funding - the sponsorship - almost dried up for most of the clubs and it meant club owners had to dig deep into their own pockets.

"So when 2019/2020 came in, with the launch of the season and everything that went on, it was really encouraging to see football coming back."

"In March, the whole of football was shut down again which is really, really disappointing in terms of the structure, the financing, and the love of football," he said.

"It took some time before people actually started coming back to the stadiums, and my concern is whether we can regain that very quickly."

Moore says the economic ramifications of this latest disruption to football will be felt by club owners and described how it would affect Hearts of Oak.

"Very dramatically and very significantly in terms of the financial impact on the club. European clubs have only had 2019/2020 season disrupted. Accra Hearts of Oak and Ghanaian football has had three years of disruption. So the impact on us is three times the impact on other countries.

"One of the things we're doing is looking at our business plan to see what we can do because when football started, we were beginning to get a lot of sponsors interested. And because now nobody is working, even our gate proceeds have gone totally to zero, our sponsorship companies are not working - so they can't give us any money. So it's basically left to the bare bones, the major shareholders and the owners of the club."

As a club, Hearts of Oak have continued to pay their staff, despite the challenges.

"We employ a lot of people. We've got three levels of football. We've got a senior team, we've got the youth team and then we've got the under 17s.

"So we've got a lot more people to feed and provide money for whereas some of the smaller clubs will just have the first team. We in the last year, kept the whole of our workforce and paid them for the whole year. A lot of them allowed a majority of their workforce to go and then recruited them when the football season started again."

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