Acting Public Relations Officer of the National Sports Authority, Charles Obeng Amofah has disclosed that, about five of the six clubs who will be using the Accra Sports stadium have already made advance payments for the usage of the facility for next season’s football season.
This revelation followed after the NSA released a statement earlier on Tuesday to confirm the commercial rates for the usage of the Accra Sports Stadium. According to the NSA in a statement signed by the director general Professor Peter Twumasi, each club using the facility as their home grounds will be made to cough GHC 20,000 per match under Category B matches whilst Category C matches will attract GHC 15,000.
However, instant reaction from the football fraternity suggested, the GHS 20,000 being charged is outrageous considering the restrictions that have been placed on the usage of the stadiums due to COVID-19 pandemic where each club must fill up to 25% of a stadium’s capacity.
The GFA President Kurt Okraku even took to his social media platforms to criticize the NSA for charging exorbitant fees stating, “this is unfortunate and our GFA will engage the NSA on this exorbitant and unacceptable fees!!!”
But speaking in an exclusive interview with Kumasi based YFM, the acting PRO of the NSA Charles Amofah justified why the clubs were charged that amount. According to him, cost of operating the facility for each game is around GHS 10,000
“Because of the restriction on the number of people, for Accra sports stadium, seating capacity is 40,000 but now, we can only admit just about 10,000 of the spectators and you know we rely on gate proceeds for income.” He said
“Now the pitch itself is always maintained, we have to fertilize it, we mow it every morning and evening and apply pesticides so if we are looking at cost per match, we are looking at a figure of about GHS 10,000.
“What we have done is to come up with realistic charges to be able to break even with regards to maintenance of the facility and so far, some of the clubs have even paid up front for the usage of the facility.
“Some clubs even attract less than less than 1000 spectators and look at what we get at the end of the day, it’s just about GHS 500 per match. Now, looking at what goes into every match, the expenditure on human resource, electricity, water, cleaning and all that, it’s something that has been affecting us.
“So management thought it wise to come up with this realistic target now that the seating capacity has been reduced to 25%. So the charges that you see are new charges for the clubs to bear and like I said, some of the clubs out of the six, about five of them have even paid up front, some have even paid for five matches”. He added.
As it stands, Premier League sides Accra Hearts of Oak, Kumasi Asante Kotoko, Inter Allies, Great Olympics and division one side Accra Lions FC are set to use the Accra Sports stadium as their home venue for the next campaign that kick starts in three weeks’ time.
By: Stephen Zando