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Clubs must go public, Owumi

By Jacob Ajom
As expected, there are lots of changes coming in the management of the Nigeria Premier league, if what the new chairman of the NPL, Davidson Owumi told Vanguard Sports was anything to go by.

The former footballer who was elected into his new office penultimate Saturday has seen it all about Nigerian football. His vision and mission, if allowed to flower, will definitely lead the country’s football record a few notches.

In a telephone interview with Sports Vanguard, Monday, Owumi was unequivocal in his bid to reposition the fledgling Nigerian premier league.

“The most important thing right now has to do with an aggressive sponsorship drive,” Owumi started. “I inherited a board that has no sponsors and a lot of debts. I cannot tell you exactly how much we are owing right now because no handing over has been done yet,” adding that all that would be done this week.

Continuing, the former chief executive of Rangers International of Enugu stated in clear terms what his immediate priorities were. “Sponsorship for the league, welfare of players and officials, good pitches and giving the league visibility with the media as the lynchpin.”

“We will partner the Nigerian and international media to ensure we give the league the desired visibility. We want to look beyond our shores and do it as is done elsewhere, using the structures of the clubs to breath new life into the clubs. Before clubs are registered for the coming season, we will insist and make it mandatory that they release at least 1% of their holding to their fans.”

He said Clubs will be asked to show evidence of having a fan base; fans that will be ready to become share holders of their chosen clubs. “They must submit a list of at least 2,000 fans willing to buy shares. This will be mandatory to all clubs whether they are owned by government or not. I don’t mind if they release even 1%.

“I know it will not happen overnight but we must start from somewhere. The idea is not about making immediate money but to create the necessary awareness first.”


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