By Patrick Akoto
Ex-Ghana international Sam Johnson fears recent happenings in Hearts could be a backward step for their title ambitions.
The capital-based side will wrap up their camping activities at Sekondi on Friday after embarking on an intensive pre-season exercise over the past three weeks.
But what seemed a successful pre-season programme has been overshadowed by recent revelations about the poor quality of facilities at their base.
Experienced midfielder Laryea Kingston launched a vicious broadside against coach CK Akunnor for sacking him from camp for undermining his authority.
The ex-Ghana international took his own personal effects such as mattrees and water to camp which infuriated the coach and subsequently led to his dismissal.
The former Hearts strong-centre back has waded into the controversy and says the recent developments do not enhance the image of the club and could affect the psyche of the players ahead of this season.
“Some of us are worried about what is going on. First of all why will a team like Hearts go all the way to Sekondi for pre-season camping when they knew the facilities there were not good enough? Johnson questioned on Accra-based Citi FM
“I am not supporting what Laryea did but we must understand that he came into the team after playing abroad for many years.
“That is not how the players there are treated. I will not allow my player to sleep in such a place. I am surprised CK was there and sanctioned their stay there.
“How does the coach expects them to perform? They will get to the training grounds already tired.
“It is an insult to the players. Who is going to respect them? I can say that everyone respect Kotoko players because they are doing the right thing.
“Even if it is not up to 100%, it is far far better than how Hearts are doing their things. What is happening is bad and I am afraid it might affect them.”
Hearts have played catch-ups to emerging forces like Berekum Chelsea and Aduana Stars and lost out on the Premier League crown to Kotoko.
Failure to reclaim the title from their sworn rivals will be seen as a massive failure for a club that conquered Africa in 2000.
The club’s top brass are under pressue to deliver the title to their suffering fans who have been starved of the trophy for the past three seasons.