Just as I started in the previous article about the dissolution of the LMC and the creation of the IMC, there are possibilities that the same problem will transcend to the newly wedded bride of the Nigerian top flight league.
I also stated that the problems cried about by the Club Chairmen are mostly caused by them even in larger quantities. A league can’t single-handedly run, which means it works alongside with the number of registered clubs appointed to participate for the season.
However, if the clubs regardless of their numbers fail to show a level of class and responsibility in what matters, definitely, it will limit the progression and increase the mediocrity of that league.
To talk about the lack of sponsorship as clamoured by the Club Chairmen. A fact you should know is that, no serious investor either corporate or person would invest hard-earned money on a League that its member clubs are prone to Fracas.
Background check into the just concluded 2021/2022 season, over five major fracas were recorded in the NPFL.
As early as matchday four, 3rd January, 2022, a violent activity was reported in the League. An Assistant coach, Sunday Etefia, assaulted Assistant Referee 11, Sani Baba, at the end of the Matchday 4 fixture against Remo Stars in Uyo. The game ended in a 1-1 draw.
Another incident was five days later during the matchday five encounter between Niger Tornadoes and Rivers United at Ilorin. It was between club officials of Niger Tornadoes against the referee.
A southwestern derby between Remo Stars and Shooting Stars on matchday 11 also witnessed some sought of violence. After the match, both clubs’ fans were caught to be involved in violent attacks that led to the destruction of properties outside the stadium.
This violence activity didn’t stop till almost the end of the season. A very loud one was Kano Pillars against Dakkada FC during the Matchday 34 fixture in Kano.
Kano Pillars chairman, Suraj Yahaya harassed an LMC delegate Uchenna Iyoke and the Assistant Referee I, Daramola Olalekan.
Earlier before then, an outburst from fans during a southwestern derby between Remo Stars and Shooting Stars at the Adamasigba Stadium led to the attack on Sports Journalists, Tobi Adepoju and Atinuke Esan on the 1st of June, 2022.
With the few mentioned, could it be said that the League body directly caused them? Definitely not!
The Club Chairman that slapped a match official for deciding to uphold a goal scored by an opponent, would you say the League body instructed such person to act in an unsportsmanship manner? Certainly not.
Just like they say that bad news travels faster, I remembered someone telling me that the harassment done to match officials during Kano Pillars’ game against Dakkada was seen and read in the UK.
This means it could discourage a potential investor from entrusting his or her money in the League.
Asides from this, how well have individual Chairmen sought for partnership either in cash or kind for their respective clubs?
Last season, less than 40% of the NPFL clubs had a brand sponsor less than Ghanaian clubs. Enyimba, Heartland, Kano Pillars, Rivers United, Enugu Rangers and Remo Stars were the only clubs with a visible sponsor.
However, a handful of Ghanian Clubs can boast of individual sponsorship aside the Betway deal which is generally for the league.
Meanwhile, other sources of income like merchandise are hardly sold by a Nigerian Club, so it becomes herculean for the League company to preach the Gospel that’s hidden.
Why don’t the Chairmen focus on getting brand sponsors for their respective clubs and see if the league won’t be colourful?
Under the Shehu Dikko’s-led LMC, there were limited sponsors in the league. As a matter of fact, the latest sponsorship deal initiated last season was from Bitnob which could hardly cater for the basic needs of the League body.
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