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Sports News of Monday, 1 June 2020

Source: www.ghanaweb.com

Stop living on past glories – Esme Mends tells Hearts & Kotoko

Former Hearts of Oak midfielder Esme Papa Mends has taken a swipe at the two most glamorous Ghanian clubs, Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko for celebrating mediocrity.

Accra Hearts of Oak SC with three continental trophies ( CAF Champions League, Super Cup, and Confederation cup) and Asante Kotoko with two CAF Champions Cup trophies continue to pride themselves with their past achievements though they have not achieved anything continentally in the past 14 years.

For Asante Kotoko who last had any meaningful impact on the African stage after last winning the CAF Champions League in 1983 they keep throwing up their Africa Club of the Century tag which was given to them by International Football Federation of History and Statistics (IFFHS).

Speaking about the current situation of the two Ghanaian giants in an interview with ghanasportspage, the ex-midfielder believed that the problem of Hearts and Kotoko is their over-reliance on their past glories.

“There is a problem with Hearts and Kotoko and the problem is, our Hearts of Oak and Kotoko live on past glories,”

“In Ghana, it might work for you but when you travel outside and play against the TP Mezembes you can’t.

“You can’t compete because now football is money (investment), when you don’t pump money into it, when you don’t buy the right players into your club, no, you’ll fail, you can’t compete with them.

Esme Mends also advised the management of the two clubs to set up a good marketing structure that will help them to attract lucrative sponsorship.

“TP Mezembe came to poach about five boys from Ghana; the Gladson Awakos et al you name them to win [CAF] Champions League year in year out with them.

“We are in Ghana and we can’t even poach Ivorian players or even Nigerian players. We depend on our local boys who we can’t even feed, you understand. We are not ready to expand, we don’t invest money into the team”, he said.

“Sometimes Hearts and Kotoko win the league and complain they don’t have money to play Africa, no, find money, there is money here in Ghana, find it because TP Mezembe and the likes they don’t take grants from Europe or depend….they run the club to make money.

“Until Hearts and Kotoko stop this we won the Champions League in the year 2000, we’ve won Confederation Cup (referring to Hearts of Oak), Kotoko has won this and that, no, it’s the same reason why even our Black Stars has not been able to win a cup since 1982 because while other countries are improving because they are trying to compete with the Europeans, we are here and living on past glories.

“Now Hearts of Oak can’t even compete with teams in say Tanzania that play Africa year in year out and it shouldn’t be so. They should invest in it and buy quality materials”, he advised.

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