The Western Regional Circles Council of Hearts of Oak want the current board led by Togbe Afede XIV ousted after passing a vote of no confidence in a meeting in Takoradi on Saturday.
The WRCC claim the board have failed on their promise to transform the club into a modern sporting entity when they took over five years ago after the flotation of shares.
The regional supporters wing in a statement castigated board chairman Togbe Afede XIV for making the club even worse than when he first took over by refusing to invest money in the club.
They have thus passed a vote of no confidence in the board in the first real action being taken by the supporters wing to have the current board sacked.
Read Below the full statement from the Western Regional Circles Council:
WESTERN R.C.C OF ACCRA HEARTS OF OAK: PRESS BRIEFING
Good morning respected members of the media fraternity, fellow phobians and sports enthusiasts. Thank you for responding to our invitation.
The purpose of this press conference is to share a few thoughts with you about recent developments in our darling club that is fast losing its shine.
To help you understand the issues better, it is useful to give a little background to the present distress in which our great club finds itself.
Our club has always been a powerhouse in Ghana and on the continent. We won the first league organized in Ghana. Although we had not won any continental trophy until the year 2000, we had always been a force to reckon with, especially in the 1970s when we were twice runners-up.
The 80s were a dry patch which saw us win only two league trophies (84, 85) in the entire decade. Even in this slump, Hearts managed to get to the semi-finals of the African Cup winners Cup in 1982.
In the 90s, Hearts began brilliantly by winning the first league of that decade. Then things got so bad that the Council of Patrons led by Nana Wireko Ampem II had to intervene in 1994 to suspend the Board. That was the beginning of our revival as the Council put together the Ato Awhoi-led Board to lead the club into the last half of the 1990s. Beginning from the 1996/97 season, this board achieved the six-straight league conquests popularly labeled Kofi Nsiah, the Champions League, the Super Cup and the Confederation Cup. They equalized Kotoko's longstanding 3-0 victory over Hearts and went one better with a 4-0 thrashing of the Porcupine Warriors.
Diminishing returns set in after these brilliant feats. Debts had also been incurred in the process. The clubs resources could not support its huge ambitions and supporters high expectations. The board then decided to float shares to raise 10 million Ghana Cedis or 100 billion old Cedis. Some of the fans and officials did not favour the move, but it was carried out all the same. Less than 1 million was realized out of the 10 million Ghana Cedis targeted. The poor patronage clearly vindicated those who had opposed the floatation. But Togbe Afede XIVs company, SAS, came in and bought shares amounting to over 1 million Ghana Cedis to push the figure to GH?2.5 million, which was the minimum required for the floatation to be successful.
A year after the floatation, Togbe Afede XIV assumed the chairmanship of the board and Hearts has since been hardly recognizable. The misery of Accra Hearts of Oak under the leadership of Togbe Afede XIV is too well known to repeat here. Hearts has been less than average over the years. Kotoko and Ashgold have always been big boys in the league and so we can accept their occasional dominance. But, without disrespect to these clubs, modest sides like Liberty Professionals, Inter Allies, Wa All Stars, Berekum Chelsea, Medeama, Hasaacas, Aduana, have all had better cumulative records than Hearts of Oak over the past 4 seasons.
This is a huge disappointment. Even when diminishing returns set in after we had won the league 7 times in 8 seasons, the Champions League and the Confederation Cup, we continued to win the league every other year up to 2009.
As I have already said, we were not really in favour of the floatation. But when we heard that it was Togbe Afede XIV who was coming on board to make it work, we welcomed him with a lot of expectations. We thought our own Roman Abramovic, Moise Katumbi or Sheikh Mansour had come. We were already dreaming of how we were going to parade the best local players alongside some delightful imports; how we were going to build a standard sports complex at Pobiman; how we were going to give the T.P. Mazembes and El Ahly's a run for their money in Africa! How wrong we were, and what a crushing disappointment!
In our ingratitude and our fantasy, we raised no objection even when Togbe decided to clear out all our old heroes. How ungrateful we have been to the Harry Zakkours, Nii Ayibontes, Isaac Tettehs, Fawaz Zowks, Alhaji Hearts Stephen Akwetteys, Maxwell Addos, Ernest Thompsons, Ernest Bediakos among others, to whom we owe our greatest achievements and greatest sporting memories!
We had joined Togbe to spurn these gallant veterans, expecting a mind-blowing transformation. But natural justice has repaid us bitterly. Not even a branded jersey. Togbe took over a Jacko-wearing Hearts of Oak; now we sew jerseys locally. Not even a regrassing of the Pobiman Training Ground; we are currently training on rented pitches.
By our traditions, Togbe Afede XIV could not have become a Board Chairman with Dr. Nyaho Nyaho-Tamakloe, Justice Ivy Heward-Mills, both patrons and E.M Commodore-Mensah, a former Board Chairman as members of the Board. The only thing that has made Togbe Afede get away with these aberrations is his money. Unfortunately, we have not seen the money at work. Nothing sets Hearts of Oak apart as a rich man's club. Office staff salaries are four months in arrears. Players recently boycotted training because they had not been paid for three months. With the probable exception of Laryea Kingston, Gilbert Fiamenyo and Richard Yamoah, Hearts have not made any sensational signing over the years. The Aduana duo of Godfred Saka and Stephen Adams always appear on our transfer wish list and disappear by the end of the recruitment exercise. It has been so even this season when we have every reason to be the most aggressive and business-like on the transfer market because of the recent flirt with relegation.
While other clubs have their monies in their breast pocket as they chase players, Hearts Management has to write reports upon reports, meet the Board subcommittee on recruitment to justify their demands, until it gets to the Board Chairman who also has to decide how much his company is willing to pay which player. The result is that, all the big players that Hearts will be chasing alongside other clubs, must have fallen to the bait being dangled before their noses. This is exactly what happened with Ahmed Toure and, recently, Stephen Adams.
We understand that, far from showing some urgency with the recruitment, the club has been organizing justify-your-inclusion exercises to pick players. In the Ghanaian context, Hearts of Oak is a Real Madrid or Barcelona, a Manchester United, Man City or Chelsea. We are not Sporting Gihon, Getafe Watford, or Swansea. Hearts of Oak is in harms way, and we are very scared. We hereby pass a vote of no confidence in the current Board and Management. Thank you for your kind attention.
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