NPFL And Its Shackles(2)


Unexpectedly, three related events happened between the time of filing this report and the last series released.

One ,The honourable Minister of Youth and Sports development, Mr. Sunday Dare confirmed 20th of October as the kick off date for NPFL 2019/2020 season.

“You will recall that I gave directive that the NPFL should start on the 15 latest October 20 but after due consultation ,it was obvious that the league can’t kick -off on the 15 anymore but definitely the league will start on the 20.

How does that sound? great and quite expected. So how would that really effect green light to the growth path of the league system.

The Minister from his statement made assurance that there is now solution to all problems regarding the kick off as he noted the imperative is to unify as many factions as possible with a caveat to consider the ingenuity of their interests in the league as to whether to move ahead with them or ‘possibly not’.

Practically ,He is getting to know some of the shackles holding down the league , how they are being dictated and may be extensively by who.

The basic context of some of the problems bedevilling any realm of African society has always stem out of personal interest . No doubt , the problems holding back the league may not just be far from that and as the Minister explained that he is trying to unify many factions as possible it came to mind how long will the mending of fences take and also the bid to secure a permanent solutions to all that could add value to the league .

Second and the least expected, Pioneer Chairman of League Management Company, Chief Nduka Irabor resigned is position as board memer from the company that is saddles with responsibilities of running the top tier league in the land.

He said ,” By December 28, I would cease to be a member of the LMC board. It is however open to make this exit date earlier. The board needs to find a replacement for me “.

Another hit as the league continue to strive for animation of good intentions and purposes from all ends .

Citing his burning interest in his core private business as a major reason of quitting, Chief Irabor seems to have done something fair to himself and may be not to league we keep our finger cross as to whether things get better or worse after his resignation.

Chief Baribote Rumson ,the former Nigeria Professsional Football League Chairman reportedly described the withdrawal as laughable when he said quitting the league at its trying time is of no importance to Nigerians because Chief Irabor has discovered that the NPFL is in a terrible state as there is no free money to squander.

The former Bayelsa United chief explained that despite the billions of naira invested in the league from 2011 to 2018 through TV rights when the league was rated the best is yet to get pass that stage ,pointing out that from 2011 till date the LMC has not given clubs a dime and referees are still been owed three years allowances.

Whether true or false is Chief Baribote statement , intuitively one may tend to see the basis of the ongoing inquiries been made by ICPC as a result from SPIP reports. A story for another day anyway.

Thirdly, we also have the Club Owners Association story making the Newsline with an urgent indication of having to meet with LMC top officials in order to know how well and soon would the league commence.

Shortly after that story emerged a public notification noting Monday 14th October will have the proposed kick off date and draws for the league considered by Club owners and LMC.

According to the memo the meeting is consequent upon a proposed league schedule sent to all the clubs for consideration ahead of the season.

As we look forward to what will transpire in the meeting of Club owners with LMC billed for today Monday 14th in Abuja,we hope that the meeting will inspire a better future for the league and will be a resort where everything regarding the uncertainty will be put to rest.

Monday 14th will be just 6 days away to the date earlier confirmed by the Minister ,as it stands the resolution from the club owners may not favour this date announced by the Minister because it is just to close and naturally couldn’t suffice the club sides preparation for the league. Another date you also think, Yes .

Although ,we can’t really tell what date was included in the letter sent to the club owners,the meeting might tend to produce another date that will favour the Club owners arrangement and would that suit the interest of LMC?

I hope we are not heading to another vendetta situation as the concluded league witnessed too much loggerhead between LMC and Club owners before it commencement.

Yemi Sodeeq


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