Former Kumasi Asante Kotoko boss Dr K.K Sarpong says he regrets leading the club and insists he has no plans of returning or contesting for the Ghana Football Association boss.
Dr Sarpong led Kotoko to two league titles and a period of enhanced commercial success when he signed major sponsorship deals, partnership with Sunderland FC and intense transfer activity.
But he also had to cope with constant allegations of conflict of interest, financial wrongdoing and suggestions that he regularly sold the club’s best players without replacing them. He also had infamous fallout with sports journalists after his suggestion at the height of his criticism that most were junior secondary leavers.
Dr Sarpong has said little since he left the Kotoko post almost two years ago but provided a staunch and passionate defence of his time there in an interview with HotFM.
He said he ‘wanted an opportunity to set the records straight’ and claimed there had been very strong Kotoko fans who suspected wrong doing but have now apologised for those suggestions. ‘I believe other people who maligned me unjustifiably will follow suit,’ he added.
‘What hurts is when you do something with all your might, all your heart, all your soul and every resource that you have then eventually you are maligned, you are branded a thief. That is unfortunate,’ Dr Sarpong said. ‘I did not have any intention of leaving because I wanted to prove the club on sound footing. I managed it like a proper business.’
Amongst the accusations against Dr Sarpong has been the suggestion that he rented his own property to Kotoko and charged the club for it. ‘People have said all sorts of things. One of them was that I had given my son’s house out of rent to Kotoko. Yes I intended to charge and someone will say it was conflict of interest but Kotoko did not have money to rent and I gave it out so they pay later. The coaches have all lived there. It is a fully furnished house. I have asked my son not to chase it because I will pay myself. I am fed up with the accusations.’
He says he still remains a huge fan of the club but it is easy to see that the three years when he led Kotoko has hurt him despite enhancing his reputation in other quarters.
‘I have regretted that period. All the work I have done in this world it is the most regrettable because nobody seems to have appreciated the work I did. I can’t hide my feelings. I don’t want to work in Kotoko again or GFA. I can be a consultant but not direct management so no one should panic because I am not interested.
‘I will admit in the nook and cranny of the country Kotoko has helped people recognise me but the cost is too much. It hurts me sometimes that I did that job but it was a call to duty,’ Dr Sarpong said
The former executive board chairman of Kotoko also took the opportunity to shoot down rumours that he has an eye on becoming the Ghana Football Association president.
‘Let me use this medium to assure Mr Kwasi Nyantekyie that I am not interested. It is not my cup of tea. I got into football by accident but when an executive committee position came up at the GFA, I put someone up. It is an important industry but my plate is full and it is not part of my plans,’ he said.
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