Former Kumasi Asante Kotoko boss Herbert Amponsah Mensah has shown interest in running the club again if the Asantehene gives him the chance.
Here are seven reasons Herbert Mensah would make Kotoko mighty again:
1. Quality Recruitment
Known for his knack for quality, the astute sports administrator would set in motion a recruitment drive that would bring in top players. Before Herbert Mensah’s appointment in 1999 by Otumfuo Opoku Ware II, Kotoko could barely raise a team to feature in the Ghana Premier League. However, he managed to secure the services of great players including Joe Hendricks, Isaac Boakye, Stephen Oduro, Isaac Owusu (Ninja), Michael Osei (Ember Power) and Shilla Alhassan. He further went abroad to sign on the likes of Clovis Kambou, Frank Atsu and Black Stars speedster Derrick Asamoah.
2. Youth Development
Herbert Mensah is a firm believer in youth development. During his tenure, Kotoko had a top youth development programme. With the assistance of German technical handler Ernst Middendorp and Paa Kwesi Fabin, Kotoko nurtured talents like Michael Ofosu-Appiah (CID), William Thompson, Kwadwo Poku (Mahala), Osei Kwame Jr., Edmund Owusu-Ansah , Francis Akwaffo and Eric Nii Baah. These players later became integral members of the senior side.
He is credited with introducing global brands to the Ghanaian game. Mensah made branding a crucial policy under his administration. He secured kit sponsorship deals with Uhlsport and Admiral for Kotoko. Herbert Mensah is also remembered for the Nokia and Puma deals he struck for Alhaji Gruzah’s King Faisal.
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4. Transparency and Accountability
During his era, Herbert Mensah showed the importance of transparency and accountability to the operations of corporate organisations. He established the Asante Kotoko’s official mouthpiece, Asante Kotoko Express, and used the medium to propagate the policies and programmes of the club. He had a column on page two of the Asante Kotoko Express which enabled him interact with the supporters. Mensah also ensured gate proceeds from home matches were itemised in the paper. That encouraged Kotoko supporters to voluntarily donate to the club.
5. Sound Management
Being an astute businessman, Herbert Mensah believes clubs should be run by competent professionals as businesses. His appointment marked the end of the era when wealthy supporters were made to run the club from their own pockets. He assembled a team of diligent and dedicated individuals to help steer the club to greater heights. Mensah is remembered for Kotoko’s strong Africa campaign in 2002, battling formidable opponents like Santos, Ghazel El Mahala, Sonangol and Wydad Athletic Club (WAC) of Morocco.
6. Rejuvenation of Kotoko Supporters
Herbert Mensah has a way of waking the millions of Kotoko supporters from slumber. This was evident in the early days of his tenure. The supporters filled the then Kumasi Sports Stadium to capacity and followed the team nationwide. The supporters’ union of the club, Circles, increased in numbers and spread across the nation. At the moment, the club is struggling to fill the stands at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium. Subscription of the Kotoko Express is also very low, denying the club of the much-needed revenue.
7. Good Policies
Herbert Mensah is Kotoko supporters’ surest bet to implementing credible policies that would see the club win more laurels. The rebuilding programme he instituted finally paid off in 2002 and 2003 seasons when Kotoko reached the final of the Cup Winner Cup and also won the Ghana Premier League respectively. That programme enabled the club establish and expand its structures. He recruited quality coaches including Ernst Middendorp, Ian Potterfield and Ralf Zumdick to achieve the set targets.
Herbert Mensah was appointed chief executive officer of Asante Kotoko by Otumfuo Opoku Ware II in 1999 but he resigned after three seasons.