English Premier League outfit Southampton have announced a partnership agreement with Ghanaian giants Asante Kotoko.
According to the Saints, the spirit of the pact allows them to support the development of Kotoko’s strategy both on and off the pitch.
Southampton will share their industry-leading coaching expertise to help Kotoko realise their ambition of building a sustainable Academy and pathway to the first team, with year-round remote support supplemented by regular visits to Ghana throughout the partnership from the club’s International Football Partnership team.
The partnership will include Academy staff exchange visits between the UK and Ghana, as well as opportunities for Kotoko’s young players to attend annual UK Player Development camps and experience the Southampton Academy methodology first-hand when travel corridors open up and it is safe to travel.
Southampton will also support the development of Kotoko’s commercial and operational strategy through collaborating on key projects.
Based in Kumasi, Kotoko have been champions of the Ghana Premier League a record 23 times, have won the CAF Champions League twice and were named the African club of the century by International Football Federation of History and Statistics (IFFHS).
Kotoko’s CEO, Nana Yaw Amponsah commented: “This partnership enables us to plug Asante Kotoko into Southampton in such a way that Kotoko functions like Southampton. Kotoko would have everything Southampton has but to a level that reflects our different budgets. I believe that with the expertise and resources available at Southampton, we can tap into this and develop our setup to look and feel professional like Saints.”
Mark Abrahams, Director of Business and Community Development commented: “During these challenging times we’re delighted to have agreed a long-term partnership to work with Asante Kotoko. Nana Yaw has a clear vision for Asante Kotoko to be a self-sustainable football club both on and off the pitch. We look forward to working with him and his team to support their development.”
Kotoko becomes Southampton’s first professional club partnership in Africa.
However, Southampton becomes the second Premier League club to partner with Kotoko after Sunderland in 2011.