ALL is certainly not well within the top management of struggling club Kumasi Asante Kotoko as board member, Alhaji Ahmed Bandoh, aka Alhaji Bahmed, has resigned following a face-off with Executive Chairman, Dr K.K. Sarpong.
Alhaji Bahmed told the Graphic Sports yesterday that he could never be part of the board because of the “baseless allegations” the Executive Chairman had made against him.
On Wednesday, Dr Sarpong took a swipe at Alhaji Bahmed over comments he made, citing interference in his work as board member in charge of operations.
Dr Sarpong swore to “cut him to size” because his activities were counter-productive to the club.
Dr Sarpong called on the club’s supporters to be on the look out for “saboteurs like Alhaji Bahmed”.
His fiery comments were in reaction to an interview Alhaji Bahmed granted to a Kumasi-based radio station, Angel FM, where he alleged that a certain management member was usurping his (Bahmed’s) role as a board member in charge of operations.
He further stated that it appeared the financial support he was giving to the club was not being appreciated and threatened to resign if things did not change in Kotoko.
But in a swift and apparently furious reaction, Mr Sarpong said it was dishonest on the part of the board member to portray himself as a financier of the club.
He called his bluff to resign from the board. “He should go now and the club will not lose anything.”
Dr Sarpong maintained that Alhaji Bahmed was a board member and it would be wrong for him to assume the role of a management member.
No one, he said, had assigned any operations role to him, and if he wants to become a management member, he should descend from the board.
“And even then, can he be trusted?” the Executive Chairman queried.
He accused the board member of allowing former coach, Ebo Mends, to go on radio to “talk loose” about the club.
Dr Sarpong indicated that he (Sarpong) was spending his time, energy and resources to help bring Kotoko back to shape and would not allow people who had milked the club by inflating contract fees of players in the past to have their way again.
He fell short of naming such persons and said, “they bought a player for GH¢20,000 but collected GH¢40,000.”
He emphasised that some people wanted to frustrate him to resign his position as Executive Chairman but said that would never happen.
“I have resolved to help bring Kotoko back to winning ways and I will ensure that I succeed,” he said.
He said, “the signings that we are making will help us in the second round of the Premier League.”
But speaking to this paper yesterday, Alhaji Bahmed said he had never been part of any negotiations for the purchase of players.
According to him negotiations were done by Dr Sarpong, Wilberforce Mfum and Owusu Ansah, “so I am surprised that I am being accused of inflating contract sums.”
He challenged Dr Sarpong to prove the allegations against him “else I would go out to expose him for the negative things he is doing to bring Kotoko down.”
He said since he became a board member, he had been paying $200 to the best Kotoko player in any match the team played.
“I am doing all this to help motivate players, and I’m shocked that people do not appreciate them but rather give me a bad name,” he said.
Alhaji Bahmed described himself as a self-made man and “not one of those people who have never worked for themselves but only depended on government work to boast that they have money.”
In a separate interview with Graphic Sports’ Daniel Kenu in Accra yesterday, Alhaji Bahmed accused Dr Sarpong of stifling the progress of the team, while alleging that the chairman had hijacked Kotoko together with his special aide, Kwame Baah-Nuakoh.
Cataloguing a tall list of allegations, Alhaji Bahmed, as the travel and tour magnate is popularly known, said his views were not respected as a board member and therefore felt slighted and stabbed at the back.
Alhaji Bahmed had earlier contemplated on resigning from the club but put it on hold to enable him to discuss it with the spiritual head of the club, the Asantehene, Otumfuo Osei Tutu II.
“Now, I think I need to call it quits and focus on my business,” he said.
He claimed, for instance, that Dr Sarpong and Baah-Nuakoh unilaterally hired the new coach, Bogdan Korak, without recourse to the rest of the board members.
He alleged that as a result of the board chairman’s naivety in football, he had surrounded himself with people who ill-advise him against the progress of the club.