Experienced sports administrator and bankroller of Division One League (DOL) side, Tema Youth, Wilfred Osei Kweku Palmer has advised Ghanaian clubs to involve retired players in their operations.
He indicated that the passion, experience, skill and knowledge of the retired legends were needed to steer the clubs in the right direction.
“We brag that we are doing modern football but a lot of the things we brag about were won by these retired footballers both at national and club levels.”
“Their achievements and feats are the marks of winners and therefore the clubs must incorporate them in the scheme of affairs if they are serious about building winning brands.”
Mr Palmer made the call on Tuesday when a nine-man delegation of Great Olympics and Hearts of Oak old stars paid a courtesy call on him to officially invite him for their inaugural Peace Cup match slated for November 8.
The delegation included George Alhassan, Nii Moi Maclean, John ‘Rubberman’ Naawu, Awuley Quaye Snr and Godwin Attram all of Olympics fame; Evans Aryeequaye, Tetteh Chandu who featured for Hearts as well as Thomas Otinkorang and Peter Lamptey who featured for both sides.
Palmer said clubs must treat their legends with respect and love by providing incentives such as free match day tickets, replica jerseys and paraphernalia to them, explaining that this would boost the club’s commercial and corporate image as well as honour the old stars for their years of service.
He applauded the idea by the two associations, labeling it laudable and monumental while promising to lend hefty financial support to the cause.
“The coming together of the two associations proved that there is no more rivalry in football; it only exists on the pitch. After the game we all come together to advance the course of the game.”
“I will hold discussions with my team and we would come out with a befitting financial package for the occasion,” he disclosed.
The 2019 Ghana Football Association (GFA) presidential aspirant shared his youthful excitement and joy watching the retired stars in action and how their sacrifices, talent and skill shaped the future of the game; ushering in the commercialization for the sport which he said was reaping financial rewards for the current generation.
The team also visited board member and lifelong Great Olympics stalwart, Mr Perry Doku who pledged the support of the board chairman, Mr Amarkai Amarteifio and the entire board to the inauguration of the old players association and the Peace Match, adding that an amount of GH¢10,000 had been tabled to assist them.
The retired players expressed gratitude to the two administrators and pledged to work together to organize the match that will seek to promote peace ahead of the December General Elections.
BY NANA BENTSI ODURO