Wednesday, 27 May 2015

Dikko urges Clubs to take advantage of Elite Players Scheme to draw Fans and Sponsors

Dikko urges Clubs to take  advantage of Elite Players Scheme to draw Fans and Sponsors
Glo Premier  League clubs  have been asked to take advantage of the Elite Players Scheme introduced by the LMC since 2014 season to inject Nigerian players with specified national team caps as part of strategies to rekindle greater following for the domestic league as well as attract sponsors to the clubs.

While speaking at a recent interactive session with Sports Editors, the Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC) and NFF Vice President, Mallam Shehu Dikko noted that a number of incentives have been put in place to not only encourage the clubs but also to assist them implement ideas to bring back the fans to the games and also attract credible sponsors to the clubs.
“Last season, the Elite Players Scheme was introduced and one of the objectives was to include in our clubs’ squads, players who have made name and are popular amongst the fans and their community. The presence of these players just like late Rasheed Yekini did for Gateway FC, is bound to draw a good number of fans to watch them play again. On the part of the LMC, the scheme has assigned the responsibility of paying such players a certain amount which we worked out while the club can pay bonuses and any other expenses they are able to afford and the players can be registered at any time of the season for any specified period agreed with the player”, explained Dikko in response to a suggestion by Ade Ojeikere of the Nation Newspaper.

The LMC Chairman revealed that so far the scheme yielded results when Sani Kaita joined Enyimba last season as his presence in Port Harcourt drew a large turnout in the match against Sharks which ordinarily hardly attracts more than a thousand. Fans were also showing up at other venues Enyimba travelled to  asking to meet Kaita.

He enumerated other incentives to include bonuses to clubs that succeed in getting more than five thousand to their home games, performance bonuses to clubs to win or draw away games aimed at assuring fans of the credibility and integrity of matches as well as financial support to clubs to maintain infrastructure mainly the pitches, dressing room and public amenities at their grounds.

He identified instability in club administration as one of the banes of the league as the club managers focus more on winning games to guarantee their tenure rather than focusing on developmental programmes due largely to no fault of theirs.

“ I will support a tenured and or rather a contract appointment for our club administrators by their respective state government owners with defined tenure and deliverables because we have seen the clubs simply focusing on how to win matches and trophies to make their employers happy rather than seeking a wholesome approach to developing their clubs. Most club chairmen are unnecessarily distracted from paying the required attention to development programs such as running an academy and professional training and welfare of the teams as they are always under pressure to win matches and give the government a public relations leverage even when the Government have not its obligations to the Club by way of releasing funds timely. Furthermore they have other people always working to get them out of office and this again forces them to spend time covering their flanks rather than putting energy towards the club development”, lamented Dikko.

“Thus I will always advocate and will push for a proper contract between the Government and or the Private Club owner with the Club chairmen/administrators with a specified tenure, deliverables and compensation scheme as done internationally so a stable environment will be created for the chairmen to focus on their core jobs of professionally managing the development of the clubs”, Dikko further stated.

He however believes these would be a thing of the past when government club owners agree to divest and open club ownership to the communities and individual investors and assured that the LMC will at all times explore opportunities that will increase the revenue base of the League and the clubs.

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