For many football leagues all over the world, sponsorship is a very lucrative source of income. This is especially true in other parts of the world and in Ghana as well.
The Ghana Premier League (GPL) has been in operation minus headline sponsor for years now. Teams have gone through four seasons without a cash sponsorship.
In the past, telecoms giants, Globacom agreed a five-year deal worth $15 million to bankroll the league that is in 2008. When that contract expired in 2013, First Capital Plus Bank came on board in January 2014, signing a $10 million five-year deal.
Unfortunately, the bank pulled out after a year due to internal issues. Three years afterwards, Zylofon Cash taking came to the rescue in and signed a five-year deal worth $10 million, but again, that deal didn’t see the light.
It hasn’t been easy for GFA and the clubs since 2018. Despite clubs being given money from broadcast right holders that according to team investors, things are still not economically sustainable.
Over the years, club owners have been crying about the extent to which the lack of headline sponsor has had to drain their investments made elsewhere.
Brilliant ideas have been put forward in time past as to what could be done to salvage the worrying situation. In some instances, clubs are told of the need to stand up for themselves by going the extra mile to secure bumper deal.
Relying on Ghana Football Association, to search every corner to attract sponsorship for clubs may not turn up in the soonest possible time. The integrity of our league has not been helped by constant charges and shames.
A typical example is the Anas’ expose in 2018, which dragged 14 GFA officials and over 70 Ghanaian referees into various allegations of bribery harshly stained the uprightness of the league, and that harm has not been fully restored since then.
Another one is the Ashanti Gold - Inter Allies match-fixing and betting scandal which brought the name of the game into disrepute.
Football as most people say is the passion of the nation but when it attracts hooliganism at match venues, the passion becomes the killer of the beautiful game.
We’ve been met with various degrees of violence at match venues where hooligans are left scot-free. GFA must certainly need to put their house in order if they are to secure a long-term headline sponsorship deal. All is not lost and gone.
Current Ghana Premier League winners Kotoko have secured bumper deals during in the last two seasons. It clearly shows that businesses are still keen to put some cash into our local league.
Are GFA and other stakeholders ready to get its acts together and become more gorgeous to potential long-term sponsors? Scheduling and being consistent in the match date, kick and end dates of the league should well checked.
The likes of Sulley Muntari, Samuel Inkoom who are playing for Hearts of Oak are enough to get bumper headline sponsors but where are the spectators to watch our stars? Another question for the gods.
One major problem is, the Ghana Football Association is not involved in the process of finding sponsors but they are involved in negotiating the sponsorship fee.
All the money that is gained from sponsorship is invested back into the league but the Ghana Football Association still funds the league regardless of sponsorship.
Our league is still attractive, and it’s definitely good enough to get sponsors; but the managerial part of the equation that needs to be strengthened.
Source: Sarkodie Neba Sark