Monday, January 7, 2013

NPL and the N50m guarantee fund: Matters Arising

League players before a game greeting their fans in an empty stadium

Newly inaugurated League Interim Management Committee (IMC) mandating clubs to pay a N50 million bond is one step I honestly think is enough to quickly bring some sanity to the League. This step remains one key decision that has to be pursued to a logical end.
The Committee directed all the 20 clubs in the NPL have at least N50 million in their bank accounts before the league commences for the 2012/2013 season in February.
No. The money is supposed to be paid into an escrow account of the League. Red and Yellow card charges are deducted straight from such. Where there is salaries dispute decided against the clubs, these monies are deducted straight. So, by eduction, such guarantees CANNOT be resident in the clubs' banks.  
The money was to serve as some guarantee that the clubs have enough money to pay their players and to some of us who had the privilege of playing in better organized climes and leagues, this is to ensure the clubs are not bankrupt. If they become bankrupt during the season, the system is insured.
Low profile football economy: If words credited to Chairman of Warri Wolves FC, Alex Amodu, are anything to measure, he was cited to have said: “some of us do not have or have not seen N50 million in the past two-three years; nobody has that amount of money now, but if the league is buoyant we will pay.”
He described the directive as “a very good decision made by the committee that will help the league to grow and move forward. By that, we will not owe players,” he said.
The Chairman of Kano Pillars, Abba Galadima, said: “Honestly, it’s not a welcome development. Teams move from hand to mouth. The government cannot release N50 million to clubs. It’s totally not acceptable,” he said.
The Chairman of Heartland Football Club, Fan Ndubuike, said “whatever will bring stability to the league is welcome. Anything they can do to make sure clubs didn’t stop midway like Rising Stars FC of Akure, whatever will make them to pay the entitlements of players (is good),” the Heartland boss said.
Kwara United FC of Ilorin boss, Bamidele Aluko opines that the league management committee was going beyond its term of reference.
“The terms of that committee is wider. They are to look for sponsors and we are not the one that are supposed to give them money. They are supposed to source for money and bring to us,” he said.
The 2012/2013 Nigeria Premier League Season is expected to start on February 16.
Must league start now?: Going by the truth of the fact, the League is prostrate. Many are in a hurry to fix things that took years to destroy. The League has no proper, professional management set-up. Once the league starts, fire-brigade approach to the issues of management begins and the merry goes round and before you say pronto! The season is over and the life of Nduka Irabor’s IMC is over.
From the assessments of the clubs, they are all government clubs. Despite that the budget ceiling for some of the clubs is N1.3b and the base index is N320m, why should N50m be a task to ensure safety and security in the system?
Why can’t the reconstructive surgery of the league system completed first, which will bring some confidence depending on the quality of human resources eventually stationed to drive the league, especially the issue of the Chief Executive Officer.
After which, we can play due to the force majeaur an abridged league. This is given that we are already late behind schedules. So why don’t we fix the issues properly?
Club economy: It is sad but true that most of the people who are saddled with the management of the clubs see the opportunity as a means to take their own cuts of the national cake. One key question is, why is no one thinking outside the box?
Why must the League not set a 100 months agenda for all the clubs to become limited liability companies with shareholding? This means they must be incorporated with the Corporate Affairs Commission.
There is none of the clubs in the NPL today I cannot sell for less than N1billion. With the appropriate structures in place, by the time merchandise, franchise and television (which has to be so knitted like a web) are managed well, none of the clubs should go home per season at this teething stage with less than N1.5billion.
Vision and drive: For Nduka Irabor’s committee, what exactly are their vision and drives? What are the priorities they want to set, pursue and deliver? With a hoodwinked IMG project already controversially plotted, can there be any hope? The nation needs some transparency and accountability. What with the moral bankruptcy of some of its members already hanging like a halo on their neck?
It is when this committee comes forth as a business organization to lay out practical steps of its tasks that some confidence will streamline and make the Organised Private Sector players both within the country and abroad can start to invest their hard earned income.
Presently, all hogwash and Lilliputian pressures to make the League start is just to benefit the club leeches who are getting broke with the break. If anything must be done well, timing is of great asset.
For now, I am getting to the dressing room to be back again   

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