Relegation-bound New Edubiase thrilled us all so much, though their fall from grace was anything but sudden or unforeseen
By: Sammie Frimpong
It’s always admirable to know when you’re beaten, with little hope of recovering a lost position, and that’s why New Edubiase’s throwing-in-of-the-towel statement earlier this week — though deemed not very necessary in some quarters — has been fairly well-received by those who actually give a damn about their lot.
“For us, we are thinking of playing in Division One [next season] so with the matches remaining we will play our hearts out for those who will survive to survive,” Alex Akummey, CEO of the club, told Starr Sports.
It’s safe to say Edubiase aren’t going to be safe should they even attenpt pulling off the mightiest of miracles at this stage. Two of their four remaining games involve trips to mid-table Bechem United and Ebusua Dwarfs (who, between them, have won seven of their last ten games), one home tie against fellow relegation candidates Inter Allies, and another versus desperate title-chasers Hearts of Oak.
And while Edubiase may not be mathematically without a chance of salvation, logic — even their own — sentences them to a fate which, in truth, had always been coming, as reflected in the more recent of their six previous campaigns in the top-flight.
A poor first season after their maiden promotion, in 2009/10, saw them place a lowly 12th — their worst prior to this term — but Edubiase recovered and made good progress in the two editions of the league which followed, finishing 7th and 5th respectively, seven and 17 points above the drop zone on each occasion. After the high of 2011/12, Abdul Salam Yakubu may have expected his team to rise even more, but those hopes were quickly dashed by ensuing results. Edubiase slipped to 9th in the next campaign, nine points clear of relegation. They fell one more place on the table in 2013/14, but the points difference between themselves and the best of that season’s three relegated sides, regional rivals King Faisal, narrowed to two. And two it remained a year later, when — though up to 8th in the standings — Edubiase only survived courtesy a final day 4-2 win over Hearts of Lions; anything less, and Edubiase would have swapped places with the unfortunate Kpando outfit.
They’d never been that close to ‘death’ and, as this season’s inevitable outcome has proven, they were never going to draw any farther from it, instead being sucked right into the vortex.
After a pre-season during which the club lost key players like the Nuhu twins, midfielder Latif Anabilah, full–back Emmanuel Nti Mensah and striker Bernard Ofori, that fate seemed only too real — and it’s struck hard, knocking Edubiase square in the face and out of the fight.
Edubiase would be missed, of course. They’ve given us so many great memories while at the highest level: all those closely-fought Adansi derbies with Ashantigold, their outspoken owner’s many controversial moments, as well as the shocks they occasionally pulled off. Even this season when they’ve struggled so much, Edubiase bested record champions Asante Kotoko in both rounds and also recently condemned Techiman City to a rare home loss.
The remainder of their Premier League days would, in the words of Akummey at the outset, be spent “[playing their] hearts out” and, should they emerge unscathed from the alleged match-fixing
scandal involving themselves and league-leaders Wa All Stars [into which the Ghana Football Association is commencing investigations], at least Edubiase would leave with their pride intact.
For all the crests they’ve ridden and the troughs they’ve survived, it’s no less than they deserve.