English side Sunderland have signed a partnership agreement with Ghanaian giants Asante Kotoko, GHANAsoccernet.com can exclusively reveal.
The partnership will see Sunderland share its coaching and business expertise with the the two-time African champions.
The Black Cats will also offer practical support and advice in youth coaching, player development, fitness and medical matters, and football business strategy to the Porcupine Warriors.
GHANAsoccernet.com broke news of talks over the deal in April after the two clubs met in Sunderland and the agreement has now been sealed, says Black Cats chairman Niall Quinn.
He said: “It was a huge honour to welcome the Kotoko officials to our club and I’m delighted that we have now formalised a partnership agreement with them.
“There’s a tremendous passion for football in Ghana and I see a real synergy with Sunderland in that respect – football means the world to the people of Ghana and in that respect they are no different to Sunderland fans.
“There’s an infectious enthusiasm for the game that is wonderful to witness and we are honoured to be working with Kotoko and the Ghanaian people.”
Kotoko in turn will work closely with Sunderland to help the club build and grow its brand in the emerging African territory.
The Kumasi-based side have an astonishing eight million followers and on a recent visit to Sunderland the two club’s the respective chairmen enjoyed positive discussions on how both clubs could work together in the future.
A delegation from Kotoko club travelled to Sunderland in April, touring the Black Cats’ state of the art training facility, the Academy of Light, meeting Steve Bruce and players, including Sunderland’s Ghanaian star striker Asamoah Gyan.
They also visited the Stadium of Light and chairman Niall Quinn was delighted to spend time with them.