LMC issues ultimatum to Warri Wolves to pay players
The League Management Company (LMC) has issued a notice of summary jurisdiction to Warri Wolves for indebtedness to players and officials of the club.
The LMC after conducting its investigations following reports that the players had gone on strike, served the summary jurisdiction notice to the club for failure to pay financial entitlements to the players for a period exceeding 60 days and cited this as a breach of Article B9.45 of the 2014/15 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Framework and Rules.
Dolphins FC and Sharks were the first to be put on notice for points deduction sanctions earlier in the season and two other clubs, FC Taraba and El-Kanemi Warriors have had to face the LMC measures designed to protect the welfare of players.
While Dolphins and Sharks acted before the deadline, the LMC has in separate letters to El-Kanemi Warriors and FC Taraba reminded them of the notice served on August 5 and directed the two clubs to on or before August 28, provide details of their financial situations.
Chief Operating Officer of the LMC, Salihu Abubakar said the summary jurisdiction notice is a routine exercise which the body will continue to carry out to ensure compliance with regulations.
By this notice, Warri Wolves stand to lose six points should the indebtedness not be defrayed within 60 days of receiving this notice and a further three points for every other 30 days for which the remuneration or entitlement of the players remain unpaid.
The letter to Warri Wolves read in part, “you are therefore required, within sixty (60) days of the date of this notice, to remedy the breach, otherwise the Board intends to exercise its summary jurisdiction and to impose on you an initial deduction of six (6) points and a further deduction of three (3) points for every further thirty (30) days for which the entitlements remain unpaid”
The LMC also cautioned the players of Warri Wolves for embarking on strike without exhausting the provisions of the rules which require players of clubs in the league to first issue a notice to the club and also give the LMC a 15-day period within which to intervene, before declaring any form of trade dispute when the clubs fail to honour their contractual obligations. Afterwards, they may take their case to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) Arbitration Committee, should they not feel satisfied with the LMC adjudication.
Abubakar said “it is important to draw the attention of all players to the procedure for declaration of trade dispute (including strike action) under the League Rules. Under section D of the Framework and Rules of the Nigeria Professional Football League, articles D1-3”.
The rule requires players and other club officials intending to declare trade dispute to give 45 day notice to the club management in the first instance and copy the LMC for its intervention within 15 days. The player or official shall then approach the NFF Arbitration Committee if the matter was not resolved after the 60 day period.