The Premier League Board (PLB) has described as unfortunate negative comments attributed to the Minister of Youth and Sports, Nii Lantey Vanderpuye over the competitiveness of the Ghana Premier League (GPL).
The Minister was reported to have said on an Accra-based Asempa FM that the nation’s elite league was unattractive, citing that to be the reason for the absence of a sponsor for the competition.
The PLB said in a statement that the comments were the Minister’s opinion which is not supported by the facts on the ground.
”The PLB finds it unfortunate that the sector Minister would ridicule the attractiveness of the Ghana Premier League (GPL) without giving any evidence to buttress his claim and also proceed to unjustifiably link the absence of a headline sponsor to his wrong claims of unattractiveness of the country’s top-flight league,” it stated further.
On the contrary it said, any enthusiastic follower of the Ghana Premier League will firmly disagree with the Minister’s claim that the league is unappealing.
The PLB said the GPL is the most attractive sporting product in the country, in terms of organisation, quality, and patronage and media coverage and wondered how the Minister could describe a product which trends positively on both traditional and new media every match day as unattractive.
The season, according to the statement, has recorded the highest ever gate revenue of Gh¢453,095 for a sporting activity in the history of the country when Hearts played Kotoko in Accra on a Monday.
“The PLB is proud to assert that a chunk of the revenue from the matches goes directly to the Sports Ministry via the National Sports Authority (NSA) to help maintain the stadium and to fund their activities and part of the revenue also from matches of the league goes directly to government through the payment of VAT and NHIS from our gate takings.
It disclosed that over GH¢200, 000 have been paid by the GPL to the state through VAT/NHIS taxes so far this season.
“The PLB wishes to state that the Minister is utterly wrong that the GPL is without a sponsor. Indeed the GPL currently has international broadcaster SuperSport as its proud broadcast sponsor. In addition to this, a good number of Premier League clubs have also secured their private sponsorships through their own efforts,” it stressed.
While the Minister is clearly wrong on the absence of a sponsor for the league, it also stated that the absence of a sponsor for a league anywhere in the world is not the best measure of the quality or attractiveness of a competition.
“At a time that we are all putting in all efforts to secure a headline sponsor for the league, such unfortunate and unfair comments go a long way in damaging the brand of the GPL thus hurting our chances of getting corporate bodies to support the league,” it stated.
It explained that, the Sports Ministry benefits directly when the league thrives so it expects the sector Minister to be the torchbearer of the GPL as the successes are directly linked to the successes of the ministry.
By Times Sports Reporter