By Kwame Okoampa-Ahoofe, Jr., Ph.D.
Garden City, New York
When Mr. Kwasi Appiah was named coach of Ghana’s senior national soccer team, the Black Stars, the former player of Kumasi Asante-Kotoko, affectionately dubbed “The Porcupine Warriors,” had his salary publicly disclosed, if memory serves me accurately. And so it comes off as very strange for Mr. Frederick Crentsil, Vice-President of the Ghana Football Association (GFA), to be frantically kicking against the need for the disclosure of the salary package and perks offered Mr. Avram Grant, the former English League coach (See “Ghana FA Can’t Make Avram Grant Salary Public – Crentsil” MyJoyOnline.com 12/4/14).
This, of course, is bad precedent because the Black Stars team and organization are publicly owned by the Ghanaian people; and so is the GFA. But even more significant, it is inexcusably absurd for Mr. Crentsil to riposte to the inalienable right of the Ghanaian taxpayer to know how much the coach of our national soccer team is being paid with the following rather infantile answer: “I don’t think you will [sic] be willing to mention the salaries you receive at your places of work, so it will [sic] not be fair to mention his in public.”
Well, the fact of the matter is that even the salaries of the President of Ghana and our parliamentarians and ministers of state are known to the general public, as are also the salaries of teachers, doctors and all the other categories of public and civil servants. To be certain, in every well-functioning democratic political culture, taxpayers reserve the right to be in on how their hard-earned money is being spent.
Besides, if Ghanaians have absolutely no inkling as to how much our national coach is being paid, both monthly and annually, then there is no reasonable way of demanding our money’s worth from Coach Avram Grant, in which case it would just as well have been good if the post of Black Stars’ Coach had been left vacant, in the aftermath of the summary dismissal of Mr. Appiah. I hope that the rest of the membership on the managerial board of the GFA are not as rattle-brained as Mr. Crentsil, otherwise our national soccer team will not advance remarkably in the near future.
If, indeed, there is any confidentiality clause in the contractual agreement signed between Coach Grant and GFA President Kwasi Nyantakyi, we need to know why such a clause became an utmost necessity; and also why such a clause had not existed in contracts signed with other coaches prior to the hiring and arrival of Mr. Grant. And also what makes such contractual confidentiality so auspicious or favorable to the Ghanaian taxpayer and sponsor of the Black Stars. This kind of economic and political blind-siding does not look good for both the image and reputation of the Ghanaian people.
Were the Black Stars a private enterprise, the non-disclosure of Coach Grant’s salary would be perfectly in order. But, for good or bad, the Black Stars is not Asante-Kotoko, Kwaebibirim Stars, Aduana Stars, Berekum Chelsea, Hearts of Oak, Olympics, Abusua Dwarfs, Hasaacas or any of the other privately owned soccer clubs.