You are here: HomeWallOpinionsArticles2005 04 13Article 79215

Sports Features of Wednesday, 13 April 2005

Source: ennin, stephen

Ashantigold Sporting Club Limited

THE FIRST TWENTY-FIVE YEARS: 1978 ? 2003

Ashantigold Sporting Club (ASCL) is based at Obuasi, a mining town of 100,000 inhabitants in the Ashanti Region of Ghana. Obuasi is 315 kilometers from Accra, the capital of Ghana, and forty minutes drive from Kumasi, the Regional (Ashanti) capital. The club is wholly owned by Ashanti Goldfields Company Limited (AGC). AGC runs the Obuasi goldmine, which is Ghana?s biggest foreign exchange earner and is one of the world?s largest producers of Gold. The Obuasi goldmine is one of several mines run by AGC throughout Africa.

Club Directors

The Club is currently managed by a Board of Directors comprising:

Chief Patron : Dr. Sam Jonah, Chief Executive of Ashanti Goldfields Company Limited.

Chairman : Daniel Owiredu (Managing Director, AGC Obuasi)

Deputy Chairman : Jojo Fosu

Chief Executive : Andrew Sam

Member : Kwesi Acheampong Owuahene

Member : Kwesi Crentsil, Chairman Workers Shaft

Member : Ernest Buanya-Mensah, National Chairman Supporters Union

Secretary : John Owusu

CLUB HISTORY AND ACHIEVEMENTS

ASCL, popularly known as ?The Miners?, was founded in 1978 as Goldfields Sporting Club of Obuasi and gained promotion to the Second Division League in the 1979-1980 season. ASCL became the first Division Two club to play in the finals of the FA Cup in the 1983-84 season and gained promotion to the First Division in 1985.

During this period 1985 and 1990; The Miners won the 37 Military Cup, the Asanteman Cup and hosted the legendary Sir Bobby Charlton whose Football Foundation assisted the club to set up appropriate technical and Ashantigold?s administrative structures.

Full of ambition, ASCL built its own ultra-modern stadium at the cost of USD 1 million in 1991. The 20,000 capacity stadium stands as a memorable to the late Leonard Clay, a Consultant Engineer, who was actively involved in its design and construction. The Len Clay Stadium posses the best playing surface in Ghana and boasts a Grandstand of 3,000 seats, 6 spacious and air-conditioned Executive Boxes, 2 squash Courts with bar and a function room, a fully-equipped gymnasium, an electronic scoreboard and a very huge car park.

In 1993, Ashantigold won its first major trophy, the FA Cup and became the first club to win the inaugural professional league championship in 1994 (the first year of professional football in Ghana). Ashantigold also won the Sports Writers Association of Ghana (SWAG) Cup in 1994.

A Football Academy was built within the confines of the Len Clay Stadium in 1994 and named it after the late Sam Okyere, a former Chief Executive of the Club. The Sam Okyere Academy has a hall of residence, a common room and dining room and is the home of young footballers between the ages of 12 and 17 who have been recruited from various parts of the country. The Academy players enjoy free meals, free medical attention, full accident insurance cover, free academic education, technical skills and life skills training. The Academy seeks to create the ideal professional footballer replete with football skills, good manners and appropriate life skills.

The Miners enjoy a purple patch of successes between 1994 and 1997. They retained the premier League Championship in 1995 and 1996; thus winning it 3 years in a row. In 1995, in addition to the championship, The Miners won: the first ever 5- aside competition, the Champion of Champions Cup, and the SWAG Cup. In 1995 and 1996, they participated in Africa Champions Cup (the forerunner of the Africa Champions League) but were eliminated at the quarter-final stage in both years. However, in 1997, the Miners reached the final of the inaugural Champions League only to lose to Raja Casablanca of Morocco after two rounds of penalty shoot-outs.

On June 18, 1999, Ashantigold signed a joint venture agreement with AFC Ajax of Amsterdam whereby the club will be jointly owned by AFC Ajax (51%) and Ashanti Goldfields Company Limited (49%). The agreement necessitated a change of name to Ashanti Goldfields Sporting Club Limited. The joint venture agreement was abrogated by the two parties on December 31, 2002 and replaced by a technical partnership agreement thus enabling AFC Ajax to continue their relationship with Ashantigold.

In February 2001, an ultra-modern Football Academy was commissioned at the Ofori Stadium, Obuasi at a cost of USD 360,000. The Ofori Stadium, which is not far from the Len Clay Stadium and is the club?s second stadium, boasts improved facilities for the education and training of potential professional footballers.

The Directors who have guided the meteoric rise of Ashgold to fame include: Dr. Sam Jonah, Mr. Kofi Badu, Mr. Luigi Balduzzi Mr. Gus Kessie, Mr. J.A. Ackon, Mr. Tony Wood, Nana Adu Ampoti-Dwaa II, Mr. Kwasi Amoah, the late Mr. Kojo Nunoo, the late Mr. Amoah-Larbi

Our beloved club has come a long way and has come of age. There are many who have contributed in many ways to its success as a force in Ghana football by breaking the domination of the Hearts and Kotoko.

WE SAY THANK YOU TO ALL WHO HAVE CONTRIBUTED TO OUR SUCCESS!!

THE FUTURE

But must not rest on our laurels for to stand is to retrogress. We must embark on another period of success that will build upon what has already been achieved. We must combine exceptional with resolute action in order to change our world and context significantly. I therefore invite all players, supporters, management, staff, well-wishers etc. to join me in building the new Ashantigold. This time round our success will be judged not only on our achievements on the field but also in exceptional business performance with a view to assuring long-term financial sustainability. Please refer to the inside of the back page for a summary of our future vision, mission and objectives.

Andrew Sam

Chief Executive Officer October 2003.

THE NEXT 25 YEARS : 2003 TO 2028

THEME : BUILDING ON SUCCESS

VISION

To be the most successful and commercially viable sporting (football) club in Ghana and one of the best in Africa. Ashgold will be run professionally with emphasis on success in all areas of football club management.

MISSION

To use sports (football) as a means to :

a. Provide entertainment and encourage participation of AGC workers in ultra-curricular activities as part of stress management.

b. Provide young footballers with opportunities to fulfill their potential.

c. Provide young footballers with appropriate life skills to make a difference to their lives and those of their families and communities as dependable role models.

d. Assist with the development so sports in Ghana through the availability of appropriate infrastructure and assistance.

OBJECTIVES

a. Play in Championship League annually; Win Africa Champions League more than once. b. Be profitable; Be self-financing; Create more commercial opportunities.

c. Develop and diversify portfolio of sponsorship to comprise cash and/or Gifts-in-Kind.

d. Extend scouting/recruitment nationwide and across West Africa

e. Enhance/develop appropriate infrastructure to support above objectives. The infrastructure should cover : technical (football facilities, coaching, intelligence gathering, scouting); commercial; strategic partnerships (locally and overseas); internet communications.

f. Improve branding and merchandising to maximize revenues. g. Grow supporters membership significantly.

h. Develop staff and create good working environment.

i. Support Community; assist national sports development