Renowned former German international and Ballon d'Or recipient, Lothar Matthäus, has entered the realm of football club ownership by purchasing Accra Lions, a Ghana Premier League team. The ex-Bayern Munich player's vision for the club revolves around nurturing talent and providing a pathway to European clubs.
Lothar Matthäus, a living legend in German football, has achieved remarkable milestones as a Bundesliga champion, World Cup winner, Ballon d'Or recipient, and prominent television pundit. Now, he adds football club ownership to his list of accomplishments with the acquisition of Accra Lions, a Ghana Premier League side.
In the new ownership structure, Lothar Matthäus has formed a partnership with two key figures to drive the success of Accra Lions. Oliver König, a player agent based in Frankfurt with a reputation for establishing strong connections in West Africa, assumed the role of chairman at Accra Lions in January.
König's appointment brings a wealth of experience and extensive networks to the club. Additionally, Ibrahim Tanko, a Ghanaian former player who had a notable career at both Borussia Dortmund and SC Freiburg in the Bundesliga, serves as the sporting director. Tanko has also contributed his expertise as a scout and coach at Cologne.
Completing the ownership triangle is Frank Acheampong, a 29-year-old Ghanaian international who currently plays for Shenzen FC in the Chinese Super League. Acheampong's professional journey has taken him across different leagues, including Ghana, Thailand, and Belgium's top-tier Anderlecht club.
Matthäus shared his introduction to König and Acheampong, stating, "I was introduced to Oliver König and Frank Acheampong through mutual friends about a year ago, and their enthusiasm for the project was contagious. It was this shared passion that led us to become partners here," he said during his visit to the club's headquarters in Abokobi on Monday.
Matthäus, together with his business partners Oliver König, a former German player agent, and Ghanaian international Frank Acheampong, aims to cultivate talent in West Africa and establish a route for young players to make their mark in European football.
Speaking to German tabloid Bild, the 62-year-old acknowledged the business aspect of the venture, stating, "Of course, it's a business model. Ghana has always possessed immense talent potential, evident in the national team."
Accra Lions, founded in 2015 and currently placed ninth in the Ghanaian top flight, is valued at $2 million (€1.85 million) according to Transfermarkt. While specific details about Matthäus' personal investment remain undisclosed, he expressed the club's dedication to developing young players and emphasized investments in their training facilities.
Within the ownership triangle, Matthäus' partner Oliver König, a player agent based in Frankfurt with substantial connections in West Africa, assumed the role of chairman at Accra Lions in January. Serving as the sporting director is Ibrahim Tanko, a Ghanaian who previously played for Borussia Dortmund and SC Freiburg in the Bundesliga, and has experience as a scout and coach at Cologne.
Completing the ownership trio is Frank Acheampong, a 29-year-old Ghanaian national team player currently competing in the Chinese Super League. Acheampong has played professionally in Ghana, Thailand, and for Belgium's top-tier Anderlecht club.
During his visit to the club's headquarters in Abokobi, Matthäus expressed his enthusiasm for the project, saying, "I met Oliver König and Frank Acheampong through friends a year ago, and they got me excited about the project. So much so that we decided to become partners here."
As a Bundesliga legend and ambassador, Matthäus has been actively involved in Ghana, investing significant time and mentorship. As early as 1999, he recognized Ghana as a football-loving nation, stating, "Ghana is a football country, and what I saw when training with the kids is their genuine passion for football. I witnessed many players with exceptional qualities and a deep love for the sport, which is key to improving Ghanaian football in the future."
Matthäus' financial investment now follows his previous commitment of time and mentorship in Ghana, aiming to reap rewards for individuals with aspirations in European football.