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Sports News of Tuesday, 14 April 2020

Source: goal.com

Hearts of Oak chief laments financial impact of league suspension

Hearts of Oak chief executive officer (CEO) Fredrick Moore reveals the suspension of the domestic league due to the coronavirus pandemic is taking the club through a heavy financial distress.

Covid-19 is posing a major threat to lives, forcing the world into a standstill. Many major sports competitions around the globe, including the Ghana Premier League, have ground to a halt, a situation greatly affecting the finances of many establishments.

"[The effect is] very dramatically and very significantly [huge] in terms of the financial impact on the club," Moore told the BBC.

"European clubs have only had the 2019/2020 season disrupted. Accra Hearts of Oak and Ghanaian football has had three years of disruption. So the impact on us is three times the impact on other countries.

"One of the things we're doing is looking at our business plan to see what we can do because when football started, we were beginning to get a lot of sponsors interested.

"And because now nobody is working, even our gate proceeds have gone totally to zero, our sponsorship companies are not working - so they can't give us any money. So it's basically left to the bare bones, the major shareholders and the owners of the club."

The Ghana Premier League has been suspended for a month, but with the nation's number of coronavirus cases increasing by each day, it is unclear when football will be returning.

"We employ a lot of people. We've got three levels of football. We've got a senior team, we've got the youth team and then we've got the U17s," Moore added.

"So we've got a lot more people to feed and provide money for whereas some of the smaller clubs will just have the first team. We in the last year, kept the whole of our workforce and paid them for the whole year.

"A lot of them [other clubs] allowed a majority of their workforce to go and then recruited them when the football season started again."

With no clear pathway for the league in sight, some clubs are calling for the complete cancellation of the championship.

The coronavirus disease has so far claimed over 1,888,976 lives worldwide, infecting over 117,586 persons.

In Ghana, 566 cases have been recorded involving eight deaths.

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