I read with shock and listened with surprise the bashing of Frank Acheampong by many of my colleagues following his move to China, the fastest growing football league in the world. I felt that many have still not understood the other aspect of football apart from the pleasure. I will explain.
The very people who chastised Asamoah Gyan for taking a wrong move to Al Ain in 2011 are the same people who are crucifying Frank Acheampong. In an amazing turn of events, the same people are now hailing Gyan.
With that move to Dubai, Gyan became the highest paid Ghanaian footballer and second in Africa behind Yaya Toure. Maybe some people need to grow in the game and understand football as a business entity more than a recreational activity.
What many seem to forget is that football is an age-profession, the more you age, the less you play. I remember former Black Stars midfielder Laryea Kingston once told me ‘The moment you stop running, the money stops coming.’ So let’s allow Frank to live his time and make money to take care of his family in a poverty-prone economy like Ghana.
Now the China move. Need I say the Chinese Super League is the fastest growing league in the world? Need I remind readers that with Frank Acheampong’s loan deal to Tianjin Teda, he will become the highest paid Ghanaian player next to Asamoah Gyan? Need I say the Chinese League is capable of luring any player regardless of who he is or where he plays? I can go on and on but the bottom line is the move is the best thing to happen to the career of the Ghana winger – very juicy.
This is a league that has been able to lure many big stars with the world’s most paid player now plying his trade there. Incredible!
Carlos Tevez followed the footsteps of Demba Ba, Mikel Obi, Osaze Odemwinge, Brazil international Oscar, Belgium star Axel Witsel, and many others to become the highest paid footballer on earth. This is happening in China.
Frank is inching close to his 25th birthday and is not growing any younger. The best plan for him is to think about life after football. Every footballer has two careers – football career and life after football, which is the most important. The very people who will blame Frank today for moving to China are the same people who will reduce him to a laughing stock if he struggles in life after football.
Football is business now and players must be allowed to be businessmen in the game. The likes of Rev. Osei Kofi, Mohammed Polo, Wilberforce Mfum, Ibrahim Sunday and many others played for pleasure and the passion. Though they are not poor, they regret not being born in this generation. They would have robbed shoulders with the Messis and Ronaldos. They played for fun but the game today is played for MONEY.
Good decision from the handlers of Frank Acheampong. Let him take his chances.
Sometimes I ask why China is not buying journalists. I would have been the first to sign.