FEATURE - The Life of a locally-based Ghanaian player - Part II

Published on: 07 December 2017

Locally-based players are motivated intrinsically when they see their pictures at the back pages of various newspapers, where sports news are captured, with previews to weekend round of games of the Ghana Premier League.

These on one hand push them to work hard and bring out the best from them with the perception that radio and television stations will seek their audience through interviews before the GPL games and their voices will be heard all over the country.

Sports Journalism on the GPL has been outstanding, as many sports journalists have been professional and productive with coverage, statistics and factual information about players.

Their works become complete due to the hard work of a locally-based player who is consistent with his performance but takes a low salary at the end of a 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 on their games or during their sports shows.

When this "soli"stops coming from the poor locally-based player, they are tagged ungrateful by these journalists - forgetting that their money comes once in four months and is even too small that it can't even settle debts accumulated by the poor player.

At this point players are ridiculed and all sort of baseless lies are peddled against them.

A locall-based player wants the best for his family and his community one day. The monies they take as salaries and signing-on fees are small which make it difficult for them to make the world a comfortable place for themselves and loved ones.

The locally-based players wish to enroll their children in good schools and also grow up in good environments but ...

Where they can take their families to vacation outside the country during the off season and to the malls for shopping during Easter, Christmas, and other Islamic festivities, still remain a wish.

All these dreams never turn out to become a realities, rather, ending up in abusive relationships and marriages, because spouses think players spend money on mistresses outside the marriage.

In 2012 when I was admitted to do my bachelors degree at the University of Education Winneba, I met 6 players who had tasted the Ghana Premier League and were fresh students like myself.

The summary of my interactions with them all ended with the point that, the money they receive as salaries were small. In addition, it does not come on time and they are, therefore scared of their future, if they continue to play the league without preparing the grounds for their future when they retire after football.

A small number of locally-based players can boast of a house or a car as a property or an asset playing in GPL, a greater number cannot.

Even with this, they earned it because they had a time with the senior national team, the Black Stars and took home per diems, winning bonuses and appearance fees in tournaments they participated.

It is not surprising that most locally-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, Eithopia, Congo DR, Guinea, Myanmar, Pakistan, Togo etc, all in the name of greener pastures.

At least our local stars are assured, in these countries, of accommodation, feeding and a car in addition to to their monthly salaries which is as low as $400, $500 or $600.

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 secured with their future in those countries, than their homeland.

My name is Abel Manomey and locally-based player deserve the best in his homeland.