Jerome Otchere writes: The Ogum confusion and more

Published on: 24 July 2022

I make concessions. I’m not shy to do that. On hindsight, my tweets right after news of Asante Kotoko coach, Prosper Narteh Ogum’s purported resignation was ill-timed.

Fans were shocked and upset. They needed something soothing, something reassuring, not opinions projecting the undercurrents leading to the confusion. I’m very sorry.

This is the admittance I make to those pointing to me that, I could’ve been circumspect. Ill-mannered folks bent on denigrating me must be ignored. Criticisms that, I didn’t have to provoke supporters just when the coach’s so-called exit was announced are fair.

We should be sober then, discerning minds must calmly watch developments in the club; it wouldn’t be difficult to understand the import of my wrongly-timed tweet, which essentially said, beneath the shine of Nana Yaw Amponsah (NYA)’s undisputed fine Kotoko works, is an unpleasant situation that that needs attention.

This view I shared, admittedly at a mistaken time, arises out of my resolution to dispassionately look at issues. It’s not NYA hate. We’ve to be open-minded. I’ve applauded NYA publicly on his transformational work, for example, the conscious attempt to place Kotoko on sound financial footing thorough sponsorship.

He’s repositioning the club on the minds of supporters, through exceptional social media interaction, stellar team performance this season, arduous fan mobilisation for funds and so on. But, certain things beneath these would undermine NYA’s fantastic work.

We’ve to think to see. We shouldn’t be deceived. Underneath NYA’s glittering work, are matters that have always hurt Kotoko and if not addressed, would hurt more in no time. Disaffection within Board-Management, and the technical team, as seen in Ogum’s case this week have all been there. Is this why some fans think I want NYA to fail? No.

What happened this week, sounds warning bells for the club’s leadership to act. The Board must be united and firm. In Manhyia Palace’s notice, heralding their appointment, the buck stops with them. In fact, in corporate governance practices, which the Palace insisted on, this week’s developments are unhealthy for progress.

The tension has been building up to this week. We must douse it properly. Now, whether or not Ogum resigned is immaterial. Whether elements within us rushed to broadcast his departure also doesn’t matter. If the Board’s latest posture amounts to a behindhand public relations step, so be it! Calm is necessary. So are peace and unity.

Management must know that criticism isn’t hatred. NYA must know that for some of us it’s simply the passion for Kotoko – not the ridiculous hate-agenda being bandied. I’ve no time for that. I may hold views which could be wrong but it’s not hate. My heart has productive things to consume in these depressive times of the world.

To me, Ogum’s return seems unrealistic. The under-tides that birthed this week’s confusion and how we handled it, calls for deeper assessment and forward-looking decisions, not schemes to make Ogum, Management or the Board look nice. It’s Kotoko that must be made to look good all the time.

We should’ve been planning by now; the Africa campaign, GPL title defence and so on. But, here we’ve a self-inflicted pain, resulting from bottled matters but which must now be confronted and addressed behind the outside niceties. Firm, united leadership is needed now to deal with the things that matter to spare fans more anguish.