The urgent need to institute a better-packaged, fulfilling and more fruitful Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) that will germinate a more beneficial football economy for all stakeholders was the crux of a meeting on Monday which the President of Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau had with owners of clubs in the elite League.
In attendance were 13 of the club owners, with former Nigeria Football supremo Alhaji Ibrahim Galadima representing Kano Pillars and Nasarawa United boss, Barr. Isaac Danladi as Chairman of the club owners.
Also at the very important meeting with the NFF President were Elder Paul Bassey (Akwa United FC); Adamu Aliyu Mohammed (Niger Tornadoes FC); Coach Amehi Dickson (Dakkada FC); Promise Nwachukwu (Heartland FC); Ferdinand Emeka (Rangers Int’l FC): Prince Tunde Ogunja (Sunshine Stars); Rt. Hon. Tunde Olaniyan (Shooting Stars FC); Abubakar Abubakar (Gombe United FC); Mr. Dominic Iorfa (Lobi Stars FC); Mr. Jude Anyadufu (Enyimba FC) and Alhaji Abdulsamad Badama (Katsina United FC).
Representatives of Rivers United, Kwara United, Plateau United and Wikki Tourists were absent with apologies.
NFF’s Deputy General Secretary, Dr. Emmanuel Ikpeme and Ag. Director of Legal, Barr. Okey Obi were part of the deliberations.
1) The Club Owners unanimously congratulated the new NFF President, Alhaji Ibrahim Musa Gusau and Members of his Board and pledged total support to the Board on any steps it will take to ensure that the Nigeria Professional Football League really begins to live up to the name of a professional league in every sense of the word.
2) The Club Owners collectively maintained that the NPFL has suffered serious problems in the past six years and identified the following areas:
a) Lack of Sponsorship
b) No TV Broadcast
c) Poor Officiating
d) Insufficient Funding
d) Lack of Match Integrity
e) Poor remuneration of match officials and huge indebtedness in this area
f) Matches won on the basis of Highest Bidder
g) Poor Infrastructure
h) Incompetent Administrators
i) No prize money for winners and/or failure to honour same, et cetera
3) The Club Owners charged the NFF President and his Board to critically look into the aforementioned areas of concern and restructure the Nigeria Professional Football League in line with international best practices.
4) They called on the NFF President to set up a small committee of football experts to look into the former League Management Committee (LMC) and the current Interim Management Committee (IMC) and come up with a functional governance structure to drive the NPFL for the good and development of football in Nigeria and for the benefit of all major football stakeholders.
5) The Club Owners appealed to the NFF President to inaugurate the present IMC as appointed by the Federal Government through the Honourable Minister for Youth and Sports Development, Mr. Sunday Dare but with a short tenure.