OFFICIAL Statement from RTU: Stopping the lies, rumour mongering and working together

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Chief Executive Officer of Real Tamale United, Mr. Kassim Perez
Chief Executive Officer of Real Tamale United, Mr. Kassim Perez

Management of Ghana Premier League side, Real Tamale United (RTU) have today released a statement on the current happenings in and around the team.

Below is the full statement dubbed: Stopping the lies, rumour mongering and working together.

STOPPING THE LIES, RUMOUR MONGERING AND WORKING TOGETHER
STATEMENT BY RTU MANAGEMENT

On Monday March 7, a group of people who profess to love RTU mounted an outrageous attack on the players of RTU and technical staff during their training session. The group went on to churn out a web of lies against the Management of the club and spewed forth wild, fabricated and unfounded allegations of corruption. The group claimed that management has been sharing gate proceeds and ‘chopping’ the club’s monies. Another lie is that management comprises only three people. Unfortunately, some gullible people believe the group. Meanwhile Management has always told all who care about RTU to approach it with any complaint they have.

As far as the group is concerned, by implication, corruption has so pervaded the fabric of our society that one can hardly find incorruptible persons. Does it mean that if their sponsors were in our shoes, they would have done what they are accusing this management of? They don’t believe that one could be in such management position and be incorruptible. But thankfully, there are some remnants in society who are incorruptible and could withstand any form of scrutiny, which is the stuff the leadership of this management is made of.

However, if their cause were genuine, they would have employed dialogue to address any grievance they have with the management or technical directorate of the club instead of resorting to violence and dragging the name of the club into disrepute. Management has always told supporters that its doors are opened for any form of enquiries. So why is this group not interested in sitting down with Management and confronting it with evidence of their allegations?

The Management of RTU had, hitherto decided not to comment on the incident and claims of that group of people. However, upon second thought, Management deems it fit to educate the group, and others like them, to appreciate the intricacies of football administration. This will enable everybody associated with RTU to put their shoulders to the wheel of progress.

Football business, like any corporate business, is subject to time-tested organizational and administrative principles and disciplines. Like any other business, professional football entails a value chain that must be well-lubricated for maximum and effective performance. In football business, the value chain comprises five critical components: investors; board of directors, management committee (service and business development); technical directorate and supporters’ group.

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Each of these five components have their respective roles and responsibilities. Briefly, the Investor brings his money and establishes a Board of Directors (Board) to use the money to govern the club and obtain the desired results. The Board develops a strategic direction and puts in place structures to administer and achieve results. In that vein, the Board appoints a Chief Executive Officer (CEO) who constitutes a management team to operationalize the Board’s strategic plan with the available financial, logistical and human resources. The CEO uses those resources to serve the Technical Directorate to enable it perform and win matches. So, the CEO employs a Head Coach who sets up his technical staff and assembles a capable and talented squad of players for impact. These four offices (Investor, Board, Management, Technical Directorate) are backed by a fifth one – Supporters’ Group.

How do these five offices or components complement one another? The investor provides the Board with adequate funds to govern the club (or the Board raises funds to run the club). Management submits a budget for the season to the Board for approval and subsequent release of funds. Management uses the budget to ensure that the Head Coach and his backroom staff are resourced financially and logistically, to condition the squad of players for high-performance and continual victory in matches. The responsibility of the Supporters’ Group is to back the management and technical directorate with various resources – moral, financial, material and in-kind.

These components are linked to one another; any malfunctioning of one will affect the others.
Now, when a team is not doing well, as in the current case of RTU, what should be done? This is when to ask productive questions to seek realistic answers and effective solutions, not violent actions just to satisfy a group’s parochial interest and egocentric agenda.
So, the group should seek answers to questions like: are there problems with the club? The answer is yes. The club is not winning matches. Why? How can the problems be identified along the value chain: investor – board – management – technical directorate -supporters? Let’s put each of them to the test in order to identify the problems and offer solutions through these set of questions:

1. INVESTORS: Does the club have an investor or investors? If yes, who is he and how much has been invested? If no, why?

2. BOARD: Does the club have a Board of Directors? If yes, who are the members? Has there been a board meeting since the beginning of the league? As a professional club, is the board having any administrative, human resource, financial and operational policies? How much budget has been made available to management? Does the club have a strategic plan?

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3. MANAGEMENT: Are the people in management fit for purpose? Does management have an operational plan? Did management submit a budget for funding? Was the budget approved? If NO, how is the club being financed? Are there only three people running the club? Are there people in charge of co-ordination, legal matters, finance, administration/operations, media/digital matters, supporters’ liaison? Do they have job descriptions? Do they have personal copies of the job descriptions? Are they functioning in their various positions? Is the squad of players motivated enough to offer their best? What has management done to supplement the club’s finances? Is management servicing the technical directorate accordingly? Is management transparent and accountable? Does management relate to supporters?

5. SUPPORTERS’ GROUPS: Are they well-structured and organized? Do they have well-organized chapters? Do they contribute financially or in-kind to the club? How often? Since the beginning of the league how much have they contributed to the club? Have some of them adopted players they admire in order to take care of them? Do they pay to watch RTU matches? Do they meet management to point out its shortcomings and offer suggestions? Are the doors of management open to them? Is it appropriate for supporters to insist on manning the gates and allowing people they know to enter free?

The questions are by no means exhaustive, but these are some of the questions management expected the group to ask before embarking on the unproductive exercise. So, what is the problem? The team is not winning matches and the group says it is management that is causing it. Really? What is management not doing right? Besides providing financial and logistical resources to the Technical Directorate to motivate the players and mold them into a winning machine, what can management do? Wear jerseys and go and play?
Management can only intervene and not interfere in technical matters.

The mandate of management is to provide sufficient resources for the technical team and players to perform. The rest are technical issues. The best Management can do is to offer suggestions to the Head Coach which he is not obliged to accept anyway. But he does that at his own risk as he could be sanctioned if he does not offer the desired result. How many times has the group heard that Manchester United, Liverpool or Chelsea have sacked their CEO or management? Hardly! Because Management is a service provider; the duty of Management is to make sure the Technical Directorate has all the resources it needs to condition the squad into a winning machine. Has this Management been doing that? If not, why? Winning matches is the task of the Technical Directorate.

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Transparency and accountability have become buzz words that any Tom, Dick and Harry can throw around these days. The group says management is not transparent and accountable. Contrarily, Management has been transparent as it has given enough relevant information on the management of the club to the supporters’ representative for dissemination. As for accountability, management is accountable only to people who give it money and other resources to expend.

Ironically, the club does not have a budget for the season even though Management submitted one before the beginning of the league. Which serious professional football club in the world can operate without a budget? The club subsists on the benevolence of individuals to honour matches, pay salaries and match bonuses through the efforts of the Chief Patron. Management submits match- specific budgets to the Regional Co-ordinating Council (RCC) for funding and accounts periodically to the RCC. Gate proceeds are used for recurrent expenditures, cost of training, medication, players’ personal issues and welfare, transportation, fuel, maintenance etc. Every pesewa spent is recorded by the Finance Officer and accounted for to the RCC because that is where management derives its funding. Yet the propaganda is that Management shares gate proceeds among its members. Incredible!

Obviously, the group is championing the agenda of certain individuals with parochial interests who want this Management out by hook or crook. Yet this Management’s aim is to lay solid organizational structures and systems for RTU, as required in football business, so the subsequent management will have a solid foundation to build on. We cannot continue to maintain the status quo which has been riddled with corruption and malfeasance. We cannot continue to do things in the former regressive ways.

Yes, criticize Management, but let it be based on truth, facts and good intentions, not personal attacks on people who have striven to build incorruptible reputations; not on vile propaganda and viciously fabricated lies. Truth and facts!
Management assures genuine RTU supporters that it is working for the general good and interest of the club. The club is bigger than any individual or group of persons.

So, all interest groups should jettison any parochial interest or agenda that is anti-RTU and come on board. Yes, there are problems, let’s all put our shoulders to the wheel and fix them to restore the shine. For, united we stand, divided we fall. The time is now! Now!

Statement by RTU Management

By: Kwaku Oduro/sports24online

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