After series of meetings between management and the technical team on one hand, and, management and the players involved, Kotoko has parted ways with 13 players from both the Reserves’ and the Senior’s team.
Board member, lawyer Adu-Gyamfi headed the four-member team that also had Operations Manager, Ernest Owusu-Ansah, Special Assistant to the Executive Chairman, Samuel Opoku Nti, and Supporters and Public Affairs Manager, Listowell Yesu Bukarson, that did a yeoman’s job by meeting the players individually to discuss with them case by case on their own merit.
Some of the players had themselves put in requests for their release by citing lack of playing time as their reasons, whilst others wanted the cancellation of their Pro-rata contract with Kotoko to enable them move on.
After the series of meetings with the players, it was resolved that six players from the Reserves’ Team, namely, Frederick Sarpong, Ibrahim Alhassan, Goalkeeper Rashid Seidu, Charles Agyei-Mensah, Michael Sarpong and Glorious Obeng be released from their respective contracts with Kotoko.
“After agreeing with them on what to do with their respective cases, we have duly paid the remainder of outstanding balance of their served pro-rata contract period if any, and have also paid them three months salaries in lieu of the notice of the cancellation of their contracts,” Listowell has told Kotoko Express.
“Since we cannot release the playing cards and certificates to the players themselves, we are on a full standby to release their cards to any club that they the players would so instruct”.
Earlier, one other player, David Owusu-Ansah also of the Reserves’ Team had put in a request for his release out of his contract and that had been duly granted.
“However, we shall seek ways to get some benefits out of his move for Kotoko,” Listowell added.
Two other players, Mumuni Mustapha and Emmanuel Adu-Ofei, who jostled between the seniors’ and reserves’ team for playing time, and yet could not get much, would be sent out on loan to a yet to be identified club where they would get the opportunity to play more matches.
At the Seniors’ side two players, Frank Boateng and Afranie Yeboah, also opted for their release from their contract to also move to a club where they will get more playing time.
The Adu-Gyamfi committee granted their requests, and has duly released them of their contractual obligation by activating the cancellation of their benefits under their pro-rata contract with the club.
Defender Sabato Mohamed has also been transferred to Western region based premier division side, Medeama FC, where Kotoko Express learns he has appended his signature to a three year contract with the club.
Another defender, John Kuffour has also been released from his contract with about a year more to go.
On the concept of the pro-rata contracts Kotoko has with her players, Listowell explains that it is the best contract form for football and applied sports because it ensures that none of the parties involved is cheated in cases where abrogation becomes apparent.
“By that contract, financial obligations to the player is spread over the period of the contract and so if a player for instance is to be paid Gh¢30,000 for a three year contract, the pro-rata arrangement here will be to give the player Gh¢10,000 every year till the end of the contract.
“When it comes to the situation where we put a player who has for instance played one year of his three years contract on transfer, or where we come into mutual agreement with the player for his release out of the contract, we will be obliged to only the one year he played.
“The remainder two years will be cancelled and he will be free to join any club of his choice without any commitment to Kotoko.
“For instance with the players who have asked for their release to enable them move on, we will look at the contracts to see if they still had some time to serve with the club.
“If there is time to be served, we find out if we owe them in relation to the years served. If we owe, we will be obliged to pay only the debt owed for the period served, and the amounts quoted for the years remaining would be cancelled”.
On those that are going out, Listowell expressed management’s pain in parting with them, and wished them well.
“It is with a heavy heart that Dr. Sarpong had to sanction their going, but since those movements would be in the ultimate interest of the players as they say, we will not be a stumbling block in their movements.
“As a matter of fact, Kotoko is grateful to them for their service to us and we wish them well wherever they will find their way”.