The former Porcupine Warriors defender shares his opinion on the player exodus phenomenon on the local scene
Former Asante Kotoko centre-back Gabriel Issah Ahmed believes Ghana Premier League clubs have a responsibility to up their game to improve the patronage of the championship.
The common belief on the local scene is that match attendance numbers have significantly dropped in recent times, a phenomenon partly attributed to the exodus of players abroad each season.
With matchday revenue the most viable traditional source of income in Ghana, clubs have been left ruing the decline in match proceeds.
“It will be very hard for me to advise any player right now, I wouldn’t ask any player to stick to a [Ghanaian] club when he gets a chance to move outside,” Ahmed told GTV Sports Plus.
“I am not talking about Kotoko, I am talking about a general issue. If we want our league to be much better and pull out crowds like we did from the ’90s to the 2000’s, then players need to be paid better and then they must be kept for a long time in the country.
“That is where supporters will have belief in them [players] to come to the stadium and watch them.
“If you look at our days, Hearts of Oak supporters coming to the stadium knew they had somebody like Adjah Tetteh, Don Bortey, they had a whole lot of players.
“Same thing as Kotoko. A fan coming to the stadium knew he was coming to watch Yusif Chibsah, he knew he was going to watch Charles Taylor, Issah Ahmed, Stephen Oduro. The names go on and on and that was what we had during our time.”
The financial woes of clubs have been undoubtedly heightened by the coronavirus pandemic which has resulted in a temporary suspension of the Premier League since March.
The competition was at the Matchweek 15 stage when it grounded to a halt.
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The Ghana Football Association (GFA) and the Ghana League Clubs Association (Ghalca) resorted to the Government of Ghana for support but mission proved futile.
Issah Ahmed, 38, was a member of Ghana’s squad at the 2006 World Cup in Germany.
After the tournament, he left Kotoko for Danish side Renders.