League Management Company: Appropriate, ideal or sentiment?

LMC chairman, Nduka Irabor
Written By
Damite Tonte Sanipe

A fortnight ago, the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) met in Warri Delta state on 28th November, 2013  for their Annual General Assembly, (AGA).

During the gathering, they passed a communique among which was the general assembly’s approval of the members of the League Management Company(LMC) for one additional season - 2013/2014 premier league season.

This brings to mind the earlier brouhaha raised at a meeting held in Abuja on Tuesday 29th October 2013, where the club chairmen and managers came to the conclusions and issued a communique (items 2, 3, 4 and 5)

(2) The meeting emphasized on the expiration of the tenure of the LMC in line with the terms of reference given to them by the NFF.

(3) The meeting specially thanked the chairman and members of the LMC for their efforts in organizing the just concluded league as well as their several innovations and suggestions on the way forward and wished them well in their future endeavors.

(4) The meeting re-echoed the need for immediate organization of election to usher in a substantive league board in line with relevant statutes governing football globally as stipulated in FIFA standard electoral codes and as affirmed by NFF in their letter to FIFA.

(5) In order to avoid a vacuum, the outgoing LMC are to hand over to the secretariat of the league, which is to liaise with the present club owners’ executive pending the election of a substantive board.

This move by the club owners brought so much confusion and uncertainty of the future of the Nigerian League. 

Exchange of words in the press by all parties involved as the chairman of LMC Hon Nduka Irabor was quoted as saying to the media, “we did not get our mandate from the club owners and they cannot decide when our tenure ends. The NFF gave us this assignment and they have not told us to stop. We are continuing with our plans on the clubs licensing and improving the fortunes of the league. We remain undeterred.”

On the part of the NFF, the chairman, Aminu Maigari took at swipe at the club owners/ managers that they should focus on improving the structures of their teams in line with the demands of professional football rather than get sucked into illusory political maneuverings and hysteria.

But why are majority of Nigerians against the club owners’ resolution?

It is only ideal that no matter how successful in office, you leave at the end of your term. Did Bill Clinton seek a third after the expiration of his second tenure as stipulated by the Constitution? We should move from basing our decisions on sentiments and condemn the ‘act of sitting tight’ in offices to the appropriate as demanded by law and constitutions.

The league belongs the clubs and one cannot run it without the involvement of the club owners thus the NFF should liaise with the club owners and not force the LMC on them!

Agreed the former league board almost destroyed professional football in Nigeria but let him with no sin cast the first stone after all the NFF could not pay the coaches of all national teams claiming there is no money yet they travel all over the world for every football competition in their numbers. Have they ever accounted for any fees/monies due the NFF from FIFA and friendly games? Has a reputable audit firm gone through the NFF books since we won AFCON? I think a lot of people are quiet at the alleged corruption and incompetence of this NFF. Someone once wondered aloud if the NFF officials ever read the FIFA regulations.

Nduka Irabor expressed his concerns when he said, “…we are aware that the committee set up by the NFF on these regulations have completed its assignment, once they make a public pronouncement on these regulations, professional football in Nigeria will commence a new era of where all the problems of the past will truly belong to the past.”

Now Irabor and his company can now focus and deliver the goodies as his concerns and call for the NFF have been adhered to in the AGM which also passed an implicit vote of confidence in the Executive Committee and Management of the Nigeria Football Federation led by Alhaji Aminu Maigari which to me is absurd!

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