Written By Abel Manomey - Local based players are motivated intrinsically when they see their pictures on the back pages of various newspapers, where sports news are captioned, with previews to the weekend’s round of games for the Ghana premier league.
These on the other hand pushes them to work hard and bring out best in them with the perception that radio and TV stations will seek their audience through interviews before the GPL games and they voices will be heard around the country.
Sports Journalism on the GPL has been outstanding, as many sports journalists have been professionals and productive with coverage, statistics and factual information about players. Their works become complete due to the hard work of a local based player who is consistent with his performance but takes a low salary at the end of the month.
A small number of these Journalists take money from these local based players as "soli", so they can advertise them whenever they get the opportunity to give commentary in their games, or during their sports shows. When the" soli" stops coming, these players now turn to become ungrateful to their pay masters forgetting that the money comes once in four months and is even small, because accrued debts need to be settled. At this point, players are ridiculed, and all sort of lies are peddled against them which are false and baseless.
A local based player wants the best for his family and his community one day. The money they take as salaries and signing on fees are small which makes it difficult for them to make the world a comfortable place for themselves and loved ones.
A local based player’s wish is to enroll his children in the best schools available for the advantages tied to them, take their families for vacations outside the country during the off-season, and to the best malls for shopping during Easter, Christmas, and other Islamic festivities.
More often than not, these dreams do not come to pass. Rather, players end up in abusive relationships and marriages, because their spouses think they are spending their paychecks outside the marriage on mistresses and girlfriends.
In 2012, when I enrolled and got admitted to pursue my Bachelor’s degree at the University of Education Winneba, I met six players who have tasted the Ghana Premier league who were fresh students like myself and had gained admission. The summary of my interactions with them all ended with the view that, the money they receive as salary is very small. Additionally, it does not come on time, and they are therefore scared for their future if they continue to play in the league without preparing adequately for their future.
Only a small number of players can boast of owning properties such as cars or houses whilst playing in the GPL. For the few who can, they earned it because of time with the senior national team, the black stars, and took home per diem, winning bonuses, and appearance fees from tournaments.
It is not surprising that most local based players have exhausted their rents and always have to play the mouse and cat games with landlords when it comes to payments of utilities.
If salaries are good in the Ghana Premier league, we will not lose our stars to countries like Tanzania, Zambia, Ethiopia, Congo DR, Guinea, Myanmar, Pakistan, Togo etc. all in the name of greener pastures.
At the very least, in these countries, our local stars are assured of a car, feeding, accommodation, and monthly salaries that range between $400.00 and $600.00. They will in addition to all these, gracefully take advantage when the opportunity comes for them to naturalize and play for these countries. This is because they feel more secure about their future in another country than their homeland.
My name is Abel Manomey. I strongly believe that local based players deserve the best in their homeland.
Abel Manomey holds a B.Sc. Physical Education degree from the University of Education, Winneba