There may not be data to quantify the contribution of football to the Ghanaian economy, but Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Databank, Kojo Addae-Mensah, has a ballpark figure.
“I think it hovers around five to seven percent,” Addae-Mensah estimates.
“Inasmuch as I cannot be certain with the figure, I think this is the best time for the GFA to start documenting. The data is available, but it is haphazard – it is not in an organised manner so it is time for us to sit down and calculate.”
He goes on: “Anecdotally, we can figure out how much it is contributing to the economy through average taxes from salaries, attendances and extrapolate. And then [we can] see what at the end of one season, the contribution it would make. Until this is done, it would be difficult to place a figure on the contribution”.
“Let’s not forget our economy is in billions, so five to seven percent is quite a significant amount.”
The GFA is courting government to extend its GHS 1 billion stimulus package for Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (SMEs) to football.
Many have questioned football’s contribution to the economy to merit financial support from the tax payer.
The lack of concrete statistics to back the GFA’s demands have left their fate wobbly as Deputy sports minister, Perry Okudzeto revealed that sports in general – for that matter, football – was not factored when the package was planned.
However, Addae-Mensah is encouraging government to come to aid of the game.
“It is very important the FA gets some of the stimulus package for the clubs,” Addae-Mensah told Joy Sports.
“But, this is the period where the FA must know that transparency and accountability is crucial. You can’t just demand for a stimulus package when you have no track record of transparency and accountability. You have to have proper books and proper plan on what you’ll use the money for.”
“This FA [leadership] has been in office for just few months and they would have the benefit of doubt so I think they deserve that support.”
Last month, CEO of Inter Allies, Delali Senaye told Joy Sports that football employs about ‘four thousand people directly’. He had also called on government to support football financially.
Mr Addae-Mensah believes the football community employs more.
“Football employs many people,” he continued. “Take just one team; it employs approximately thirty players, seven technical team members, they have a laundry, caterers, staff who man various positions, they buy balls, boots, hose and all other necessary equipment; just look at the multiplier from just one team and the number of people connected to it economically, multiply that by eighteen teams just at the premiership only and the rippling effects it is having.”
“Then, there is Division One, Two and Womens football, academies; sports is one of the largest employers in the world and football is at the top of that; in Ghana, it is not different. The impact the game has on people is huge and I can’t quantify the enormity of the game not being played.”