Two weeks ago, he said this.
“Sponsorship is very hard to come by. And that’s why we are always grateful to any corporate entity that partners us to raise the profile of Ghana football by way of sponsoring our league.”
That was GFA President Kwesi Nyantakyi on May 17, following a deal with Zylofon Cash to be the new headline sponsor of the local top flight league. All of which makes this piece more interesting.
A few months ago, the boss met representatives of a rich private investor outside the country.
Among the things discussed was a potential deal to sponsor the Ghana Premier League, which had been without one for three years. The amount the 'sponsor' promised to pump into the Ghana Premier League was $15m a year for three years.
[Editor's update: an earlier version of the story said the amount was $5m for five years.]
After touting the credentials of the league, Nyantakyi set about explaining how sponsorship deals at the Ghana Football Association are brokered.
Unknown to him, these 'investors' were actually private investigators from the Tiger Eye PI agency. They filmed the entire encounter with the FA boss.
Nyantakyi explained that there was finder’s fee for whomever was able to bring sponsors to the table. But before the investors – who he continuously refers to as Sheikhs – could explain how they wanted to go about the deal, the administrator put forward his plans.
He suggests forming a company that will be the agency to broker the deal, so as to be able to get the commission on whatever sponsorship money is brought to the table.
“It’s cool money. Once the deal is sorted, then you get your share and I get mine. We can work it out so we get 20-25%.”
To illustrate how serious he is, the FA boss – himself, a lawyer – immediately drafts a Memorandum of Understanding, from memory, behind a sheet of paper, gets it typed, and makes it ready for signing in their next meeting.
To sweeten the impending deal, Nyantakyi makes more pledges. He promises the investors “serious visibility” in Ghana, pointing out that “Ghana has about 500 radio stations” and so getting their name out there will not be an issue.
He goes further to tout his influence with Chinese media giant StarTimes, who signed a 10-year deal to be the broadcast partner of the Ghana Premier League last year.
He pledges publicity on this network “in Asia and China” to the investors as well.
To make sure that the deal is closed well, Nyantakyi helpfully suggests to the investors that he owns a financial institution which can be used for all their transactions relating to sponsoring the Ghana Premier League.
Due to the influence he displays, the investors are impressed – and Nyantakyi sees it. He asks for them to make him the local representative of the Shiekh’s company in Ghana, with all its inherent benefits.
Once that is agreed, the GFA boss drafts an MoU for that as well.
This sequence of events is part of the much-awaited video premiere of an investigative work by journalist Anas Aremeyaw Anas, which started airing on Wednesday at the Accra International Conference Center.
It follows three weeks of anxious waiting by Ghanaians whose attention had been heightened by President Akufo Addo, who - after being shown portions of the video in advance - reported the GFA boss to the Police CID for alleged defrauding by false pretenses.
More on the premiere: