Paul Anyaba Writes; Why the fuss about the GFA’s Approved Remuneration Package is unjustified

After the 26th Ordinary Congress of the GFA at Prampram, of all the issues that were dealt with, it’s the compensation/reward package to the Executive Council (Exco) that took center stage, to my utmost surprise. As usual, everything was reduced to the supposed gargantuan allowances approved by Congress to be given to the Exco, paving the way for people to attack the FA and show the world how corrupt or perhaps profligate the Association is in spending its meagre revenue.

In an attempt to criticise the move, some have questioned the intelligence of club owners and administrators and have gone ahead to cite ridiculous reasons to support their argument, chief of which is, clubs cannot pay their players so why should the President and the Exco be paid such monies.

Ghanaian club owners/administrators are not zombies, neither are they without brains to reason and take decisions that will take the Association forward. As an administrator, I have no issues with the reward systems going to the Exco, my only issue is for them to move the association forward and make it one of the best so the members, in the near future can benefit. But for the poor state in which the association is in currently, I will have argued that the reward package is way low.

One will recall that when FIFA constituted the Normalisation Committee in accordance with Article
8(2) of the FIFA statutes in 2018 to replace the Ex-Co then, the world governing body was paying the members in excess of four thousand dollars ($4,000.00) each. This move by FIFA, I believe was not made in vacuum. FIFA might have studied the standard and come out with the conclusion that to get good brains and competent people to work as Ex-Co members, that amount is something that should be paid. By this, FIFA was indirectly communicating to us that if we were remunerating our Ex-Co members something below that amount then we were under rewarding them for their services. It’s for this reason I sat on Skyy Power 93.5 FM to predict that we might see a hike in reward packages for future Ex-Co members, even though the current package is way below what I anticipated. The Ghana FA is not an island on its own so to be able to do proper, balanced and fair analysis, you need to compare the reward packages as approved by Congress to what other Ex-Co members of FA’s in the sub region and in the the continent as a whole to see if the GFA was actually giving way more to its Ex-Co or not. A quick check indicates Ghana FA’s own is within the average and comes no where near the likes of Nigeria, South Africa, et al.

Again, not long ago, there was a crusade by the Ghanaian media and the public that football clubs and the GFA must get competent people with requisite knowledge on various fields to help run the clubs and the affairs of the GFA. Let me hasten to add that I was part of the crusaders. If this Crusade will see the light of day, then clubs/GFA should be ready to compete with other corporate entities in Ghana for the best brains available. How do we attract competent and knowledgeable people if our compensation packages, compared to other corporate bodies is a chicken feed?

I’m looking forward to the day clubs in Ghana and also the GFA can go to MTN, Bank of Ghana, et al, to poach someone to come and work for the them. It’s a usual phenomenon for clubs in England to price brilliant and intelligent people from other corporate and well paid companies to come and work for them. Fifa is able to get Fatima Samoura from UN to come and work as General Secretary because the reward package is good. CAF is able to secure the services of highly skilled people from well paid jobs to come and work for it because it pays well.

The clubs/GFA can achieve this only by paying the same or even better than what other corporate bodies are paying. Yes, the association isn’t in good financial standing. But do we continue to hide behind inadequate funds to run a mediocre association? How then are we going to attract the right people to help the association grow? How do we expect the people to work diligently to position the association at an enviable position?

It’s interesting that people have no qualms with CEOs of clubs taking $11,000 but are up in arms against the person occupying the highest seat in Ghana football getting a monthly fixed allowance of GHS12, 000. Nana Yaw Amponsah is currently the CEO of Kotoko. Let’s assume he earns 15k a month. He is eyeing the GFA seat. In four years time, if he becomes the GFA president, it becomes abomination for him to be rewarded 12k a month? It’s time members start to think of paying duty bearers realistic allowances/salaries in order to demand performance and accountability from them.

That’s why I have been shocked to the marrow that discussions have not centered on what the Association stand to benefit from the leadership of this Ex-Co after they getting these reward but rather how huge the reward package is.

The notion that players aren’t well remunerated and so the Exco can’t be paid those monies is illogical, and only a calculated populist propaganda aimed at giving the association a bad name. We should be asking ourselves whether or not the President, with the kind of duties entrusted in him deserves that pay, same as the Exco members who now double as Emergency Committee members (Emco). In the first place, it’s not the FA that pays players, it’s the clubs. Per that logic, management members of clubs shouldn’t take more than players. I’m therefore, surprised that the public who support clubs that have management members taking way more than their players and have never raised issues are having issues with the Exco. Nana Yaw and Frederick Moore will negotiate their salaries based on their qualifications, experience and what they’re bringing to Kotoko and Hearts respectively. As administrators, they shall be comparing their qualifications and experience with their peers in other sectors and negotiate their reward packages and that will likely earn them high value. Kotoko and Hearts will then expect that they work hard, employ their competences and connections to create wealth for the clubs which will then trickle down to the playing body. Until we get to a time where there’ll be wealth in our game where players can begin to negotiate based on what their exploits bring to the clubs, we are going to witness the phenomenon of administrators taking more than players. I will rather we channel much of our strength demanding results from the administrators so their output will march what they earn.

Others have raised issues about timing of the decision. The argument is that we are in Covid-19 and so there’s the need for austerity measures to mitigate the impact of the pandemic. This, I identify myself with, to some extent, however, we need to understand that this package is a statutes demand. Article 42(2) of the GFA statutes demands that a committee is formed to determine how the Exco is remunerated after which Congress approval should be sought. Again, this package is for the entire period the Exco will be in office. It was therefore, not possible to have approved a compensation package during Covid-19 period and another one when Covid-19 is gone. I will suggest, on grounds of magnanimity and human face, that the Exco, during this pandemic period cut their approved allowances by a certain percentage like the South Africa Football Association (SAFA) Exco did in April following the outbreak of the pandemic.

I’ve seen an attempt to compare what Nyantakyi and the Exco at the time was taking with what Kurt and the current Exco are taking with the conclusion that the latter is more corrupt/ than the former. This is completely disingenuous. First of all, the problems the past Exco encountered had nothing to do with what they were being paid. It had to do with allegations of misappropriation of funds and corrupt deals, which of course, are yet to be proven by any competent court of our land. Assuming without admitting that the past Exco engaged in corrupt activities, does it not make even more sense that we pay the current Exco realistic allowances to ward off the temptation of illegally siphoning the funds of the Association?

We need men of valour, competence and skills to either work or lead the FA to glory. We must as well be prepared to pay huge sums of money for their services. Let’s task them to deliver and the association will be better of. We cannot continue to run a mediocre association on the alter of mediocrity and expect the fortunes of the association to change for the better.

Congress has approved the packages. The Exco now know what they will get by way of financial rewards to them in their 4 year tenure. It’s time for us to know what the Association stands to benefit from them after giving them these packages. This, for me should be the direction of our discourse relative to the compensation packages

Paul Kwasi Anyaba
(Administrative Manager, Skyy FC, and Pundit on Silver 98.3 FM)

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