Palmer promises major reforms in Ghana football

Author: Ebo Kwaitoo
Wilfried Osei Palmer
Wilfried Osei Palmer

Wilfred Kwaku Osei, a hopeful for the Ghana Football Association (GFA) hot seat, broke his loud silence with a masterstroke manifesto launch which promised urgent monumental reforms to address the structural defects in the running of football in the country.

Addressing the football family and the media at the packed Botsio Hall of the Alisa Hotel in Accra yesterday, Mr Osei, aka Palmer, who had maintained a culture of silence throughout the normalisation process; went full throttle with an extempore presentation which indicated his readiness to lead Ghana Football.

Delivering a policy document titled: Reforming Ghana Football, the outspoken Tema Youth Sporting Director, riding on the back of a campaign slogan #P4P, was flawless as he passionately prescribed a comprehensive panacea for Ghana Football’s woes with glee.

According to Palmer, the flaws in the game were operational, administrative, procedural and systemic to the extent that any meaningful level of progression could only be achieved after embarking on such reforms.

He, therefore, stated that the rich experience gained from his active involvement in the game as the founder of Tema Youth in 2005 and the various roles played at the FA had put him in a good stead to steer the affairs of Ghana Football to the desired heights.

An investment banker by profession and a product of the University of Cape Coast and University of Ghana Business School with Masters in Business Administration (Finance option), the man who single-handedly battled government’s decision to dissolve the GFA in court last year, said his exposure in the business world and club administration made him the best candidate for the presidency of the local soccer governing body.

He said the primary key performance indicators for “Reforming Ghana Football” would include reconstructing the GFA organogram with versatility in structure systems, procedures and the human resource base which would imbibe the tenets of corporate governance to nurture the FA into a globally competitive brand.

He gave an assurance that during his tenure, the various national teams would be built into formidable brands that would be commercially viable to create the financial independence needed for the GFA to wean itself off from government support and to participate fully and eventually rationalise resources into other sectors of sports to ensure total growth.

He also promised to establish a refereeing department that would jointly work with the Referees Committee to instill credibility and integrity in the development of the game and deal with the canker of bribery and corruption.

That policy, he said, would chart a new path for refereeing in the country and also end the current trend where a welfare body such as the Referees Association of Ghana (RAG) recruited referees for the FA.

Mr Osei also hinted of sanitising the judicial and adjudicating procedures at the GFA to merit fairness and equity in decisions and arbitration processes.

“I will review the structure, management and funding of domestic competitions into commercially viable projects to bring excitement into the competitions to which the GFA holds the franchise.

“We will also develop and establish modern infrastructure at competition centres to improve the standard of football across all geographical areas of the country,” he added.

Another area which is expected to get maximum attention will be youth development where some pragmatic youth development pathways capable of unearthing undervalued talents from the district, regional and national levels will be introduced to make the players globally competitive.

He emphasised that the best way to address the perennial problem of player exodus in the country is to keep churning out young talents to fill the vacuum created by those who leave.

He also intends to appeal to the government for tax rebate for potential sponsors of the GFA, while seeking for a reduction of the 17.5 per cent tax deduction on gate proceeds.