Can Ghanaian clubs emulate West Ham on attracting foreign fans?

Published on: 21 August 2019
Can Ghanaian clubs emulate West Ham on attracting foreign fans?
West Ham fans in China support the club even though they have no connection with the English club

Despite the growing interest in European football by Ghanaians, clubs from the Ghana Premier League have found ways of gaining the interest of foreign clubs and their fans. 

It’s a cliché, but it’s a new trend that is renewing attention on local clubs and English Premier League side West Ham's documentary shows how are attracting fans in China.

Ghana’s top-flight league is yet to resume, with its future shrouded in doubt following the Normalisation Committee’s slow pace at handing over football to the managers of the game.

And in as much as many football enthusiasts are being starved with by the lack of football, ironically, the local game is gaining interests from foreign fans.

Social Media

The rate at which the domestic clubs are branding themselves online has garnered some huge following to some of these teams. Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko alone have over 250,000 followers on Twitter alone.

The numbers are even more on Facebook and Instagram. Many of these foreign fans take delight in sharing their love for the club online and some go to the extent of coming down to watch the team play.

Most of the clubs have become  more attractive online increasing their fan base.

Employing foreign coaches

Hearts of Oak, the oldest club is Ghana has enjoyed some massive following from Asian fans after employing Japanese tactician Kenechi Yatuhashi some few years ago.  Their relationship with the American trained gaffer did not end in good terms but the Japanese fans of the club have been solidly behind the club with or without football.

Most of these fans can be seen on match days watching the club play.

Foreign investment

Foreign investors have also found ways of buying their ways into some of these teams and this comes with some following.  Inter Allies is an examples of a club that has a good following of foreign fans because of their relationship with foreign investors.

Foreign clubs interest in local clubs

In recent times, AS Roma caught the attention of Ghanaian football fans after sharing in the celebration of the 100th anniversary of Sekondi Eleven Wise, one of the oldest clubs in Ghana.

Accra Great Olympics with their avalanche of nicknames also got a shout out from the Italian club. Roma’s active involvement on Social Media has made them one of the most loved clubs on the continent.

Fans of Roma have now knowledge of these clubs and have started following them keenly.

Continental activity

Kumasi Asante Kotoko’s involvement in the CAF Confederation Cup last season was plus for their growing fan base of foreigners.

A lot of foreign fans followed the team through the competition and in effect the Porcupine Warriors ended up establishing a relationship with Kenyan side Kariobangi Sharks.

Fans of Kariobangi Sharks see Asante Kotoko as a sister club, with the same feeling reciprocated by the Reds.

You can also follow more of Betway relationship with West Ham