The fans were in a state of a quandary because much as they believe the man tagged a ‘pro-Kremlin oligarch’ by their government had colluded with Putin to commit some of the supposed atrocities their government claims Putin had done, they were also not oblivious to the fact that he was responsible for some of the best moments in their life.
Since his takeover in 2003, Abramovich pumped huge sums of money into the club and lifted them from a mid-table side to two-time European champions and a club that competes with the very best in the world for all the big trophies.
Abramovich invested in Chelsea and changed the face of the game. He bought big and won big. If average players like Declan Rice are now being priced at $130million, then it’s because the seed of mad spending planted by Abramovich which to some extent saw our very own Michael Essien join Chelsea at the expense of Manchester United is bearing fruit.
That is how self-acclaimed millionaires or billionaires make their presence felt in football when they take over a club.
They invest in the club and make it a trophy-winning institution and thereby creating wealth from that institution. It is not always the case but it’s mostly the case.
So, when a herbalist who prides himself as a millionaire takes over a club which at some point was an alternative to the Hearts of Oak-Asante Kotoko duopoly, this is the impact he is expected to create.
When a man who was once projected by media friends to be the best person for Asante Kotoko assumes control of Ashanti Region’s second-biggest club, you expect him to turn the club into another Asante Kotoko if not a better Asante Kotoko.
What you don’t expect is a greedy and morally-rotten man who will turn a club with history as rich as Ashgold into a betting enterprise.
What you don’t expect is a shameless man with an over-bloated ego running a family business of match-fixing with an institution as precious and prestigious as The Miners.
Unfortunately, that has been the case of AshantiGold under the man who is hailed by his disciples as ‘Champion’. Perhaps a ‘Champion’ of betting and match-fixing.
Ashgold under ‘millionaire’ Kwaku Frimpong has become a betting institution with almost every result of theirs being questioned by followers of football in the country.
The Ashgold of Sir Sam Jonah that once was the model club in the country has had its fortunes dissipated to the level where reports of Ashgold players owed months of salaries are no longer news to anyone.
The Ashgold of John Mensah, Augustine Arhinful, Jonathan Mensah, Wakaso and a host of others have turned into a mediocre club that cannot even mount a strong challenge for a Premier League.
That is the Ashgold Kwaku Frimpong has created. He came in at the time the club were encountering some financial challenges, with a promise to turn around their fortunes and make them the big club they once were. Instead, Kwaku Frimpong has ‘brought asem’ to AshantiGold and is now going to leave them in the trenches of Division Two where there is no guarantee of a return to top-flight football anytime soon.
The Ghana Football Association’s Disciplinary Committee condemned AshantiGold and Inter Allies to Division Two on Monday, May 16, 2022.
Kwaku Frimpong, chairman of Ashgold, and his son Emmanuel Frimpong, CEO, were both banned from any football-related activity for 10 years.
They were fined for their match-fixing involvement. Ashgold’s 7-0 win against Inter Allies in GPL matchday 34 raised concerns and prompted an inquiry.
Monday’s judgment came following a 10-month FA inquiry.
Credit: Perez Erzoah-Kwaw