Saturday, April 27, 2013

League reforms are not for the current 20 teams in the Premier League

Mike Enahoro
*Only six clubs are incorporated in the Premier League
*What he has to say on Total Promotion and television coverage

Nigerians would want to know how far the LMC has settled with the club owners. Have you settled?
When you mean settlement, what are you looking at?
Club owners had a meeting in Abuja where the LMC was sacked by a vote of no confidence. In the communiqué of the National Council of Sports, the LMC got a support. This should translate a mediation had taken place. That may mean the LMC is back in business. What is the situation now?
Did you read the pronouncement by the NFF of last week Saturday? The NFF pronouncement was very clear and unambiguous.
The club owners acted after the NFF statement.
Its not for me to discuss actually. The NFF gave a pronouncement. They adjudicate in all matters of conflict between anyone in football. If the NFF say they back the LMC by 100% and dissociate itself from anyone trying to go against that pronouncement. The LMC is focused. The LMC in instituted and is a brain child born with all the right caliber of documentation. The NFF as the sole custodian is saying the LMC is authorized to run football, certainly, different stakeholders will have different opinions so why would the LMC be held by a club owners. Was it instituted and managed by the club owners?
Look at a situation where it was the club owners by their inherent powers in the statutes who sacked the Baribote board. If that Board was not sacked, the LMC would not have been in place.
Does that mean we should go into a circle of violence? And continue a circle of distortion and administrative quagmire because of what? Agitations lead to stuff. When you have an opportunity to do the right thing, you do the right thing. What do you want the LMC to do?
Because somebody agitated and the NFF decided in its wisdom to do the right thing, then, we should go and quarry to a stakeholder’s claims? For the first time, the country has sat down and set a template that are of international standard that says to run the league, here are five or six different parameters that must be in place. The board is constituted as a private entity in line with FIFA statutes, in line with best international practices because FIFA is saying gravitate away from government.
So, Nigeria goes and registers the League Management Company (LMC). The transformation in filling that vacuum created by the previous administration, the League Management Committee is acting in this period of transformation, is acting as the management team. That is the standard anywhere.
If you go back to the first Premier League organization of the five clubs in England. The people that they picked to now become what Nigeria’s LMC is, eventually, when the whole structures were now worked out by the whole 20 clubs, we now had a Board that was selected to run the EPL. That’s where we are today. We are at the period of birth.  That period is a gestation period where we have to put all the structures together in line with international best practices. The process of reform is currently ongoing. We are in the middle of it right now.
We’ve been receiving documentations which are being adapted and are being Nigerianised.
As we speak right now, different sub-committees are working on these documents right now. It is a bit challenging when we are at the birthing period. This is because certain things in the status quo that do not work must be changed.
In the wisdom of the LMC, the NFF and the NSC who have been saddled with the responsibility to adjudicate and administrate football in the country, we have said, don’t stop the game. This is because people’s livelihood are at stake. Investments by state governments are involved, and the fans are aiming to see football played. So you can’t stop.
So, we are having two things happening in parallel. There is an actual physical playing going on as well as, a reform process running parallel. When we see that changes need to be made, they have to be made without disruptions to the game.
Is the LMC likely to conclude its assignment without the period you have given the volume of tasks you have enumerated?
I wouldn’t look at it as concluding work. We are creating a sustainable platform and framework within the mandate that we are given. That is what we are breaking our heads to achieve as quickly as possible. Will the clubs be able to see an LMC visibly that says that it s now ready for them to transition into a new platform? Yes.
So, there are certain types of things that must happen. The clubs themselves getting themselves organized. I mean those templates of what the clubs need to do. The templates will be coming out pretty soon. We shall share that with the club owners, of which the club managers as the operational arm of the ownership structure will have to go and make sure that they implement within the same period of time. These are administrative things that can be done sharp. Today is the 21st century and we need to align ourselves with that.

Part II of this interview will run tomorrow

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