Thursday, September 24, 2009

Hearts NCC don't want a foreign coach + Commey says it ain't true.

As the attention in soccer mad Africa stays on the just-started Fifa Under 20 World Cup, Ghana's two big clubs scratch their heads over the issue of choosing substantive coaches.

I was in town and I met the Chairman of the National Chapters' Committee of the Club. Now, Alhaji Amadu Brimah said he and his people were not too happy about the fact that the management want a foreign coach.

Now, I have to say here and now that this is only an allegation they are making because what they have is bits of 'snippety' evidence. Nothing concrete. But the NCC think that their management have even SIGNED an Egyptian coach - Ayman El Yamani - already.

"Hearts of Oak's financial situation is nothing to write home about so we do not see the wisdon in going for a foreign coach."

That is certainly true and cannot be denied. I am told that the club is in debt of just about 2 million Ghana cedis (20 billion old cedis; $133, 300).

Alhaji Brimah continues:

"There are a lot of good local coaches around. Some people like Paa Kwasi Fabian, E.K. Afranie and others are all excellent materials for the club."
Well said, but as it is, Paa Kwasi Fabian looks like he is on a one-way street to Kumasi Asante Kotoko, if this ghanasoccernet story is to be believed. E.K Afranie does not look like a man in position to handle Hearts at the moment, I think.

Back to the issue. As Alhaji Brimah said these things, I ambled over to Hearts' PRO Albert Commey to ask him if indeed the management had signed a foreign coach [Egyptian or otherwise]

"I have not spoken about this issue to anyone because I was not sure about management's position but I can tell you that the management are even yet to decide on the best person to handle the team."

However, he admitted to me that, indeed, four coaches have been shortlisted. He did not mention names. He added:

"I'd like to let the supporters know that the management has heard their concerns but at the end of the day, we have to take our time to choose the coach. They must also know that we choose a coach based on short, medium and long term plans. We are not happy about the situation that our last two coaches have lasted only for a short while and we spent that huge sum on them."

Yes, indeed. Kosta Papic was at Hearts for 11 months and cost the club in excess of $120,000. The breakdown of that amount is:

Sign on fee = $30,000; salary = $55,000; hotel bills = $33,000; flight costs = $3,000.

Eyal Lachman, the Israeli who preceeded Papic, took away $99,000 in costs:

Sign on fee = $40,000; salary = $35,000; hotel bills = $21,000; flight costs = $3,000.

I wonder how much Nii Noi Thompson - the guy who was put in place as a stop-gap measure when Papic left - earned in the few months he was in the post? After all he handed them the league title as you can see in this photo.

In that regard, I say that the NCC has a point, but then again they should lessen their interferences in the managerial issues of the team. At the end of the day, the NCC is not the Board and isn't responsible for the day to day running of affairs of the club.

That's the duty of Albert Commey and his bosses.