The Black Stars players can rest assure of receiving their desired pay cheque of $10,000 which has long been the status quo if they beat Comoros on Tuesday in the second leg of the Russia 2018 World Cup qualifiers in Kumasi.
Public Relations Officer of the Ministry of Youth and Sports (MOYS), Otor Plahar stated on Tuesday morning in an interview with Takoradi based Melody FM when he talked about the impending proposals of bonus reduction for the Black Stars.
Recent clarion calls for reduction in bonuses for Black Stars has risen to it crescendo while there is still a divide in opinion about the ever raging issue since the Brazil 2014 World Cup global disgrace and the recommendations of the Commission of Enquiry report.
The Black Stars players ahead of their preparations for last Friday’s first leg match against Comoros were greeted at home with the news that the Ministry of Youth and Sports would be paying them $5,000 instead of $10,000 as winning bonus. The players were irked by the news and it provoked them to ask about their outstanding bonus.
The players’ quest for assurance for the payment of their debt persisted to departure evening at the airport till a higher authority in government stepped in before they enplaned to Moroni for the 1-1 drawn game. Avram Grant has shrugged off the possible impact such distractions could have on his team ahead of the must win game saying his players have always being committed and focused.
The Asantehene, Otumfou Osei Tutu II has asked the Kumasi fans to throng the stadium and support the team but there is a keen general public expectation of how much the players would be paid if they win. Otor Plahar says it’s $10,000 adding that the imminent bonuses restructuring is as a result of the reduction in MOYS’ budget for 2016.
“Definitely the winning bonuses are still $10,000 we’ve not yet slashed it but there is that talk around. Looking at the way things are now it should be clear to everybody the $10,000 will not be sustainable so the way forward is to meet with our stakeholders, the FA and others and then we find an amicable solution to that.
“The 10,000 has not been changed. It’s still 10,000. We’ve not changed it but there is the possibility of reviewing it. If you consider the budget for the ministry now and you know the budget takes care of the activities of all our three agencies including emolument for the ministry so you realize what will be left will not be so much so there is the need to call a stakeholder meetings or conferences to look at the way forward,” he revealed.
Plahar also expressed the challenge a 14% reduction in annual budget from GHC 36 million to GHC 22 million for MOYS present to them.
“Definitely it will be a challenge. Currently the budget we have for 2015 is 36 million GH Cedis and now is 14% down. Is not just the sports ministry but is across all the ministries. It will be a serious challenge because presently we are having to grapple with outstanding bonuses and all that.
“The minister (Dr. Mustapha Ahmed) has come out with the idea of soliciting for corporate sponsorship for the various disciplines so that they will also be a bit self sustaining and I think it is also up to the various disciplines to brand themselves well to be able to attract corporate sponsorship. Already Tennis is been supported by MacDan (shipping company) which is a very good thing and I think of late Beach Soccer is also getting some sponsorship on their own (from Cal Bank). It should be clear to all now that the economic situation in the country is affecting every facet of life” he reckoned.
He further revealed that the likely bonus readjustment cut across all national teams and not the Black Stars only. He quizzed: “Looking at the circumstances and knowing the budget the ministry have,what do you think?
“Bear in mind the ministry has a lot of outstanding bonuses to pay and if this overflow into next year it will be real difficulty. Let us not be emotional,let’s look at things as they are and reflect deeply and see what will be the best way forward. Is the $10,000 sustainable? If it is not what do we do? Because that idea of always owing bonuses and players making noise I think it should be a thing of the past so looking forward we will see the best thing we will be able to afford,” he concluded.