Story: Kwame Asare Boadu, Kumasi
KUMASI Asante Kotoko are in dire financial straits, putting their impending campaign in the CAF Champions League in danger.
Kotoko who are billed to travel to Senegal in February for the first leg preliminary Champions League match need about $40,000 for the return trip but their current financial situation cannot meet the huge demand.
The management has consequently sent out SOS to some individuals and organisations, seeking financial support to enable them make the journey to Senegal.
But the question of whether the request would receive positive responses remain unanswered
Among individuals they sent out letters to were Mr P.V. Obeng, Mr Kojo Bonsu, Mr Herbert Mensah and Mr Kwabena Kesse who are considered thoroughbred Kotoko men.
Mr Obeng is a former board chairman; Mr Mensah is a former CEO; Mr Kesse is a former management member while Mr Bonsu once contested for the Kotoko CEO position.
The SOS delivered last week was specific that the amount needed was to support the club’s African campaign, which is barely a month away.
Most of the individuals from whom management is seeking support left the club for various reasons, and it would be difficult to tell whether they still have the club at heart.
That notwithstanding, Mr Mensah was heard on radio last week saying he would see what to do when he received the management’s letter for support.
Asante Kotoko was the only Ghanaian club among four qualifiers for Africa this year that decided to participate in the competition.
The three others, Hearts of Oak, who qualified alongside Kotoko for the prestigious Champions League, as well as King Faisal and Heart of Lions who qualified for the CAF Confederation Cup, pulled out due to financial reasons.
A number of Hearts of Oak supporters did not take kindly to their management’s decision to back out of Africa, but following explanations given by management, the supporters came to reason with it.
Kotoko should have considered the financial obligations in the competition before resolving to participate in the champions league.
Even though Kotoko have sponsorship from TiGo, they depend largely on gate proceeds to finance a number of their activities.
It is, therefore, not surprising that management is looking for external financial support to enable the club’s campaign in Africa as patronage of Kotoko matches in Kumasi these days has not been encouraging.