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Nigerian clubs now avoid continental tickets, says LMC boss, Dikko

By Gowon Akpodonor
15 July 2016   |   1:18 am
The dwindling economic situation in the country may have compelled some clubs to shy away from striving hard to get continental tickets.
Shehu Dikko

Shehu Dikko

The dwindling economic situation in the country may have compelled some clubs to shy away from striving hard to get continental tickets.

The Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko, gave the hint on Wednesday while signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with NASD OTC Securities Exchange in Lagos.

The partnership is aimed at transforming Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) clubs’ ownership from governments to community-based and public subscription rights.

It will pave the way for private and public investment to play a bigger role in the financing of the various clubs featuring in Nigerian league.

Speaking at the occasion, Dikko said: “Some club officials do come to us to say if I am occupying the No 1 position on the league table, and if I lose my next four or five matches but still finish among the top six, I will prefer so. To some of these clubs now, the resources to compete in continental matches are no longer there, so they will prefer to maintain a middle position on the league table.”

The LMC boss said that the new partnership with NASD OTC Securities Exchange was a step towards realizing the vision nursed by the league body in providing a strong structure for the NPFL clubs ownership.

He said: “NASD will facilitate the creation of special products, including fans based cooperatives to provide NPFL clubs the platform to trade on their shares openly and transparently to expand their capital base which in turn would give greater impetus to the clubs to improve on welfare of players, club managers and all other personnel. This has the potential to position our clubs to offer attractive and competitive remuneration to players and attract competent marketing and administrative executives to improve the commercial operations of the clubs.”

Dikko added: “It is a journey that has been long but potentially fruitful to the league, the clubs, our partners, NASD, corporate Nigerian and the general football stakeholders. The need to standardise the NPFL Club Ownership structure in line with what are obtained in some more prosperous leagues such as those in Germany, Spain and coming closer home-North Africa has since been appreciated by the LMC hence we took steps to seek the actualization.

“We also see the possibility of deeper engagement with the private sector which is the backbone of football sponsorship in advanced leagues of the world. We have developed a scheme named ‘adopt a club’ which would see the private sector businesses partner clubs as sponsors and benefit from shirt endorsement deals that will admit them to the window of reaching the hearts and minds of the over 100 million passionate followers of football in Nigeria.