The untold story of the rise of Oliver Arthur and his leading ArthurLegacy sports business franchise is remarkable. The company has an enviable pedigree thriving beyond Ghana football. In anticipation, Arthur could rise to the level of modern football’s ''super-agents'' in Jorge Mendes, Mino Raiola and Pini Zahavi.
Arthur enshrines a model of player development into a needs-driven football business scenario that has become an important reference of Ghana football.
In the ArthurLegacy talent-export model, self-development is principal – Arthur does not go looking for players others developed.
The vision is built on developing players from their formative years and having lifetime relationships with them, stretching beyond their playing careers.
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The story began in Accra on 23 March 1974 when Oliver Kwame Afful Arthur was born to the late Yaw Arthur and madam Beatrice Tawiah.
His education was at Suhum Secondary (1987-92) and Accra Academy (1992-94), which propelled him to the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (1998-2000) and a later career as a travel agent at 2020 Travel and Tours, Alitalia and Air Maroc respectively.
The destiny of ArthurLegacy did not start right away after his career at Dansoman United FC where he played Colts football for the U-17 team and was a promising winger until parental pressure forced him to quit to focus on his schooling.
Arthur began full-time life in football as a Chief Executive Officer of the then lower-tier Bechem United FC, in the mid 2000s. He would later resign from this Bechem role to pursue a new philosophy – doing transfer deals and managing players on a full self-funding model. He would also adopt to a principally Italian transfer market and be perpetually heard praising a certain Mauro Barnebei for his agency career.
He met Italian football agent Barnebei while working at Alitalia and he helped him develop a concept to setup an agency.
Barnebei had a registered company in Morocco called Atlas Sports and was also a match agent.
He had served as part-time manager of the Under-17 team of Liberty Professionals between 2003 and late 2004. Despite leaving, he occasionally returned to Liberty to process their visas, famously he did the visas for the first travels of Kwadwo Asamoah and Rabiu Mohammed.
Atlas Sports managed both D.C. United and Bechem United officially, helping the clubs to travel abroad for scouting events like the Trofeo "Nereo Rocco", Trofeo Karol Wojtyla and Citta di Gradisca-Trofeo Nereo Rocco U-16/17 tournaments in Italy.
Atlas succeeded in securing transfer deals for a number of players, including Isaac Cofie, Yusif Raman Chibsah, and Alfred Duncan with the help of partner agent Leonardo Guisti.
Arthur’s role in the development of a number of other players is also we documented – Hotter Este Edmund, Nii Nortey Ashong, Massahudu Alhassan, Maxwell Boadu Acosty, Godfred Adofo, Kofi Adjei, Eric Warden, and Azian Tano Innocent.
The relationship with Guisti later collapsed, leading to Arthur losing eight of the nine players their partnership co-managed. Only Richmond Boakye-Yiadom went with Arthur. Guisti went with the rest of the players including Duncan, Chibsah, Salifu Amidu and Cofie. This redefined Arthur’s career and ushered in the ArthurLegacy era.
The incorporation of ArthurLegacy came in 2013 to usher in a golden generation. ArthurLegacy would become a huge success, with the help of ace Italian agent Paolo Busardo.
ArthurLegacy built two flagship events into the new vision – the ArthurLegacy Invitational Scouting Tournament and CTB (Calcio Trade Ball).
The invitational tournaments are staged specifically for top European clubs, agents and scouts. Held under the auspices of the Embassy of Italy in Ghana on a biennial basis, CTB celebrates the contribution of Italy to the development of Ghana football and promotes Ghana-Italy cultural relations.
Shiraj Ahmed, a practicing economist with two master’s degrees, is a long-serving employee. His sister, Kathleen Arthur, brings in a wealth of corporate-level experience into her General Manager role whilst Sintim-Pako Antwi, Stephen Domfeh and James Annan are specialist scouts and managers with vast experience in player development in Europe. Gideon Attoh, renowned for his local scouting pedigree, is the company's Chief Scout.
She is a highly educated interior decorator who runs a successful company called Signature By Bertha and has been a key decision maker in transfers from the beginning.
Many credits her astute business mind for the rise of ArthurLegacy.
Arthur does not like the headlines; his philanthropic works are also publicity shy.
Arthur donates clothes and food once a year and supports students with fees in Macarthy Kope-a village in Ada, Greater Accra Region. He has also donated to the SOS village in the past and does much more charity work without publicity.
Arthur is described by most of his players as a 'humanist' due to his player welfare care and that is manifested in the fact that he still maintains tight relationships with all his former players.