I sincerely hope this is not a thesis like article that will bore you stiff with uninteresting lines of repetitive words.
I have listened to different voices about potential reform areas in the domestic league and thus far none has brought to the fore core proposals that can transform the fortunes of our league and arouse the interest of the people.
Obviously there are several areas that need attention, player salaries, medicals, quality of pitches, officiating, regulations, sponsorship etc.
I will limit this article to our league schedules and format. The Ghanaian league system as we have it has four tiers, premier, first, second and third (save for Greater Accra which has second division A and B).
I’ve carefully looked at the system and wondered why we couldn’t consider altering the current format to a regional like league that will see teams compete along regional lines rather than the current format which involves long travel hours and matches that have next to no significance for the immediate community.
Before you rubbish my idea and say that we’ve tried this before and it didn’t work I’ll urge you to recollect your thoughts on the exact format then.
Several years ago, the commencement of the league was delayed due to disagreement over the final league table.
The FA in an attempt to fill the void created by this impasse divided the country into a southern and northern zone.
Based on location, teams were placed in either group and competed for a trophy of little value.
Unfortunately this attempt at revamping the league didn’t work out as expected, the new format only filled the temporary void that had been created.
After all the issues were resolved, the new format was discarded and the league resumed with its many problems and nothing really changed there after.
Fortunately enough I’m a fan of the local league, primarily because I want to be one of the first to see a burgeoning talent before everyone gets to see and rave about it and oh yes there’s that little issue of being a registered intermediary(formerly Fifa agent ) as well so this is actually me at work and exploring ways of making the league better and much more interesting.
Can you imagine a league format where every weekend there’s a local Derby? Yes this is exactly what I’m proposing, a league full of local derbies.
A league where there’ll be more Hearts vrs Oly, Kotoko vrs King Faisal or Corners, Berekum Chelsea vrs Berekum Arsenal, BA vrs Bofo, Wise vrs Hasaacas, Vision vrs Dreams, Dwarfs vrs Vipers.
I hope you see the picture I’m trying to paint.These are games that have significant local interest, games that bring the locals out of their homes to the stadia.
These games can divide families and either make food tastier or force an individual into a fast.
I propose we alter the league structure by combining the premier and first division leagues to form a more simplified league system which will reduce travel time and its associated costs.
The reduction in the cost will allow for funds to be redirected to other areas of importance.
I believe that larger crowds will be drawn and this will catch the attention of corporate Ghana.
I’m no advocate of gambling but the stakes will be much higher with each team wanting to take away bragging rights if for nothing at all.
We could consider combining western and central, brong Ahafo and northern region, upper east and upper west, eastern and volta whiles Ashanti and Greater Accra can stand on their own given their number of teams.
The groups can further be divided into two where Ashanti, Brong Ahafo, Upper East and Upper West, will form thw northern sector and Greater Accra, Volta and Eastern, Western and Central form the Southern sector.
The top two teams from the combined regions will qualify to play in the northern and southern mini league with the top team from either sector meeting to determine the winner of the national league.
Aside the league format that i believe requires changing, i believe that the timing also requires being tweaked.
It’s not for nothing that the Spanish and Italian leagues play a lot of their matches after the English league’s last game for the weekend.
The organisers recognise the power that the English league has and want to make sure that their league is more complimentary than it is considered a competitor.
So if these powerful leagues appreciate the draw of the English league and thus seek to adjust their league schedules so as to optimise viewership and patronage why shouldn’t we do same?
Kicking off at 8am on Saturday morning will go a long way to avert this problem, adjustments can be made to play the really massive games on Sunday afternoons as and when deemed fit. Our league is not dead, it’s only asleep. #tweakit!!!!
By: Alexander quaye (Fifa intermediary )