ACCRA, Jan. 19 (Xinhua) — Ghanaian football club Kumasi Asante Kotoko on Tuesday announced a partnership agreement with English Premier League side Southampton FC in which the latter will support the development of the former’s strategy both on and off the pitch.

“Asante Kotoko is elated to announce a partnership with Southampton FC as part of ongoing restructuring and development of the Asante Kotoko SC brand into a viable model. This ground-breaking partnership seeks to plug Kotoko into Southampton and ensure a sustainable development where Kotoko functions like Southampton,” said CEO Nana Yaw Amponsah. 

Mark Abrahams, director of business and community development for Southampton, said, “During these challenging times we’re delighted to have agreed on a long-term partnership to work with Asante Kotoko. Nana Yaw has a clear vision for Asante Kotoko to be a self-sustainable football club both on and off the pitch. We look forward to working with him and his team to support their development.”

Under the agreement, the English club will share their coaching expertise to help Kotoko realize their ambition of building a sustainable academy and pathway to the first team, with year-round remote support supplemented by regular visits to Ghana.

The partnership will include academy staff exchange visits between the United Kingdom and Ghana, as well as opportunities for Kotoko’s young players to attend annual UK player development camps and experience the Southampton academy methodology first-hand when travel corridors open up and it is safe to travel.

Southampton will also support the development of Kotoko’s commercial and operational strategy through collaborating on key projects.  Kotoko becomes Southampton’s first professional club partnership in Africa.

Southampton becomes the second Premier League club to partner with Kotoko after Sunderland in 2011.