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Why local football clubs have not been paid by GFA from StarTimes deal-Kurt Okraku In Tight Corner

GFA awards StarTimes TV broadcast rights in $5.25m deal - Graphic ...

 

The Ghana Football Association (GFA), has not paid clubs from the StarTimes broadcast rights deal signed in January 2020, Joy Sports can confirm.

The GFA inability to pay the clubs their monies in the agreed partnership is due to the fact that StarTimes have not made payment to the Association for the broadcast rights of the Ghana Premier League and MTN FA Cup, Joy Sports gathered.

Some clubs are unsure if they can pay salaries of their staff for the month of April and beyond if the current ban on public gatherings due to COVID-19 continues.

They believe payment from the Chinese TV rights deal could help them cater for some bills in these difficult times caused by the novel Coronavirus pandemic.

The GFA suspended 2019/2020 season following an address to the nation by the President Akufo-Addo on March 15, suspending public gatherings.

With gate proceeds and player sales being a major revenue generation for Clubs, the lack of sporting activities have affected their source of revenue.

The Ghana FA is seeking for financial support from government from its stimulus  package announced late March to help its members.

Kurt Okraku

GFA President Kurt Okraku, on April 1, 2020, in a letter to club owners and CEOs empathising with them the economic hardship coronavirus has brought on football.

He revealed that he is “engaging with all the major stakeholders to ensure that the football family is included in the government’s stimulus package to alleviate some of the hardship on our industry.

“I will continue to positively engage the Ministry of Youth and Sports, Ministry of Health, the Ghana Health Service and Government for the advancement of our beloved sport.”

Executive Council Member, Randy Abbey in an interview with Asempa FM said nobody should ‘isolate football’ from from a ‘stimulus package’ promised by the government to help businesses.

Randy Abbey

“Anything that government do or prospective government do, sports and for that matter football is included because it is an integral part of the Ghanaian economy.

“So, when we are having a discussion about providing stimulus for the Ghanaian economy, football or sports cannot be disregarded.

“Football, does it not provide employment, does it not pay taxes, is it not part of the Ghanaian economy, does it not affect other sectors of the Ghanaian economy?” the Heart of Lions CEO quizzed to buttress the calls for government’s support.

These calls, others argue that is too early because the football governing body of the West African country agreed to pay members $30,000 for the season and took bank details of clubs to make the payment, but have failed to fulfil the agreement, Joy Sports gathered.

Checks within the GFA revealed that, Clubs have not been paid the agreed amount because there were some disagreements over the payment terms proposed by StarTimes.

The Ghana FA counter proposal delayed the signing of the five years Television rights agreement worth $5.25 million.

The contract, Joy Sports sources say, was signed either in late February or first week of March, despite the FA announcing the agreement of the deal on January 8, 2020.

It was expected that the payment would be paid to the FA by mid March, but due to Coronavirus pandemic, StarTimes offices in China were unable to wire the money into the accounts of the GFA, sources said.

It is unclear when the offices of the FA product rights holders will be opened in China for the payment to be made.

Sources at the FA say, they are hopeful of getting the alert by the end of April.

StarTimes started broadcasting matches on Week 3 of the 2019/2020 league season.

They televised a little over 30 matches out of the 133 matches played so far before the games were halted.

Some club cannot fathom why matches the broadcaster was allowed to televise matches without payment.

Please send us your articles for publication via editor@reportghana.com

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