Monday, December 10, 2007


By Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi

IT looks like Kumasi King Faisal are in for a difficult season in the premiership, but club officials say the club will bounce back to stage a claim to this year’s national championship.
Team manager Alhaji Ahmed Kamel believes all the corrections to the rather poor start to the season has been effected and a rejuvenated Faisal is ready to take the league by storm.
“We have the wherewithal to hit back strongly and we are definitely going to do that in the coming matches,” Kamel told Graphic Nsempa in Kumasi.
After receiving one of their heaviest defeats ever in association football, going down 0-4 against Liberty professional in the opening game of the premier league in Accra, no one needs to remind the club that this could be perhaps the toughest season since joining the elite division.
For Kamel, it was surprising that Faisal lost the match heavily after playing very well against Liberty.
Club president and bankroller Alhaji Karim Gruzah should now be thinking of what to do to get his technical team to work in order to restore the team to its fearsome days.
For a club that struggled to escape relegation in the last season, many would have thought that they would quickly go to the drawing board to correct the lapses but if the heavy defeat by Liberty is anything to go by, then the picture looks gloomy for them.
Consistently over the past few years, Faisal had sold some of their most trusted players to local and foreign sides.
Abubakar Yahuza was transferred to an Israeli side some two seasons ago while his strike partner, Eric Gawu, moved to Accra Hearts of Oak, and defender Shilla Illiasu joined Asante Kotoko.
This season Faisal lost hard running forward Sumaila Nyanya, while defender Iddrisu Yahaya and Bobie Ansah have also joined Kessben F/C.
However, the club could not make any meaningful recruitment as replacements, preferring to rely on young and unknown players whose ability to accommodate the pressure in the premiership is suspect.
Alhaji Kamel believes otherwise. He says new recruits, Abass Ibrahim, Enoch Efah, Nana Yaw Darlington, Malik Alhassan and Fuseini Abdul Rahman among others have showed signs through the off season that they could blend affectively with the old players to lift the flag of Faisal high.
It is true that Ghanaian clubs lack the financial power to manage themselves well. In fact, many of them have had to rely on gate proceeds to live, a situation which is not feasible and indeed very dangerous in the running of clubs today.
Even traditional giants, Accra Hearts of Oak and Kumasi Asante Kotoko, who command the biggest support in the country, have come to appreciate the fact that they can no more manage their affairs through gate proceeds alone.
The giants have for some time now struggled to honour their financial commitments, sometimes resulting in internal disorder.
Even if Kotoko and Hearts are finding it difficult to rely on gate proceeds, then one could imagine the situation Faisal, who have just a few supporters would find themselves in.
For now Alhaji Gruzah would have to continue to build his team with unknown players, only praying that the new players catch up in no time to move the club forward.
The situation clearly underlines the fact that football clubs need massive sponsorship to be able to catch up with the challenges of the time.

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