The Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) 2017 finished and attentions turned to qualification for 2018 World Cup in Russia. Meanwhile, for the Ghana Football Association (GFA), AFCON 2017 was still very much on their minds: their Assistant Manager Gerard Nus staged a seven-week siege in Accra over unpaid bonuses.
For anyone familiar with unpaid bonuses in Africa, this is hardly a surprise. However, it seems the GFA are particularly fond of this type of drama. Cast your minds back to Brazil 2014 when the Ghanaian government had intervened and sent US$3m cash to the team to quell player unrest.
The question remains how could Nus have acted to get his money quicker, seven weeks is an awfully long time to wait.
Nus failed to tap into the power of social. Yes, he made one or two posts on twitter, but he needed something to go viral. He needed to leverage the 60th independence of Ghana to drive home the message. #GhanaMustPay could have been one of the great hashtags of 2017. Missed opportunity by Mr Nus.
2016 was the year of GoFundMe. There was no reason why Mr Nus could not use this crowdfunding source to make the case for his unpaid bonus to be paid by fellow good citizens out there.
If an American girl could raise more than $10,000 because she was dating a black guy and needed money for college, then Gerard would surely have had sympathy from the footballing world, certainly mine at least.
Listen to Craig David: walking away from the troubles in his life would have been one way to avoid the negative publicity the whole situation has caused him and the GFA. Many of us have known that friend or relative that owes us money, and we put it in the bad debt account. This is what Mr Nus should have done rather than stage a one-man John Rambo mission.
In fact, all the other backroom staff were also owed money, and they left. Was Nus trying to avoid withdrawal symptoms from authentic Ghana Jollof?
It was claimed that after the seven-week sit-in at Alisa hotel, Nus was slapped with a $1,000 hotel bill which he refused to pay, citing that the GFA had previously taken care of all his hotel bills.
What did he expect? That after holding the authorities to ransom for seven weeks, they would pay his bills with a smile? Anyways Nus was reported to have picked up his money from the GFA offices, cash I would imagine, we hope the total cost of collecting was worth the amount he collected.
Otherwise, that would just be bad business wouldn’t it?
Before Nus took the job with the GFA, he ought to have checked the creditworthiness of his employers.
Back in 2014, the GFA had to fly cash to Brazil to pay player bonuses. This ought to have been a warning sign. Furthermore, recent comments by GFA officials stating that Nus was, in fact, a video analyst and not the Assistant Coach further shows that Nus would have been better off not taking the job.
Surely the payment received does not compare to the representational damage on both sides. He could have spent the first three months of 2017 in sunny Spain sipping mojitos and making TV appearances. Hindsight is a real teacher, isn’t it.