One of Ghana’s biggest clubs could soon be orphaned and may not be ready for it just yet
By: Sammie Frimpong
AshantiGold are not just having a torrid title defence that’s got them blowing hot and cold; they also are in a time machine that’s headed in reverse — a 38-year reverse, that is — at a speed which could have the Aboakese in a worse place than they currently occupy on the league table for lack of a solid footing.
By the end of the year, as reports betray, troubled Ashgold would be without the patronage that’s run it for the best part of the last four decades.
“We were told at the meeting with [the club’s owners] last two months and almost anytime we meet them they tell us,” GHANASoccernet quotes a club source. “After December, AngloGold has no budget for the team so from now up to December, AngloGold should get an investor to take over.”
The source details the pressing plight some more: “The problem now is that AngloGold is not operating now in Obuasi. They are not producing gold here so they have no money now.”
The real problem, then, is finding a new owner, and it’s not nearly as simple as it seems.
For as long as could be recalled, fans of Ashgold have associated their darling with just one brand. The club was birthed in 1978 by employees of the erstwhile Ashanti Goldfields Corporation (AGC). Those visionary sport enthusiasts sought the formal backing of the establishment they worked for but, until the club reached an unlikely FA Cup final six years later while still on the lower rungs of the Ghanaian football pyramid, the AGC never seemed very interested. When it finally did come on board, however, its sponsorship sent the Adansi side on a rise that, though not without the occasional hiccup, has been blessed with a measure of success only the traditional power duo of Hearts of Oak and Asante Kotoko have bettered, notably, four league titles (the first three in a row) and a Caf Champions League finalist’s finish — all as Goldfields Sporting Club, of course.
In April 2004, courtesy a merger between AGC and South Africa-based mining giant AngloGold, the club’s name changed to what it currently is but everything else has largely remained same till now — now that, as in 1978, the Miners may be preparing to be on their own for a while.
But just how prepared could they be?
Ashgold, you see, run on one of the biggest budgets on the domestic scene, receiving a monthly ‘chop money’ of $25,000 from parent AngloGold. Now, not many firms could cough up that much catering for a club which participates in a league that promises little in financial rewards (per trending rates, Ashgold pocketed just a little over $12,000 for winning last season’s league title).
It’s why, although four reported prospective investors have already applied, quite some time is expected to pass before settling on an ideal choice.
“AngloGold Ashanti Company