The League Management Company (LMC) has commended clubs and their players in the just ended Glo Premier League season for successful participation but tasked them on the need to reach for greater heights as there is still more grounds to be covered to achieve the quality of league that can compete well within Africa and beyond.
Chairman of the LMC, Hon. Nduka Irabor said the LMC, going by the interim report on match statistics, have achieved moderate success with the reforms that were introduced at the start of the season through the Registration Requirements for participating clubs.
“The new regulation on minimum wage may not have been complied with hundred percent but we are gladdened by the figures that has emerged from field stats on goals and goals scoring by the players which is a pointer that with improved welfare, there will be more delight on the pitch. We have by far enjoyed a more quality season than the last two seasons in almost all indices that can be used in a comparative study of performances in and off the field”, remarked Irabor.
“This season has been remarkable for the strikers in more ways than one. We had a player netting six goals in one game, another two who scored four goals in a match and of course, we had 11 hat tricks, fewer cautions and expulsions that is evidence of the discipline and less rancorous atmosphere on the pitch”, continued the LMC Chairman.
For the LMC, there are certainly more reasons to pop champagne this season than they would have celebrated in the last two seasons. A statistical analysis of the past three seasons shows that a total of 830 goals were scored as compared to 764 goals in 2012/13 and 690 goals in 2011/12.
The average goal per match in the just concluded season came to 2.2 as compared to the flat 2 goals per match in the preceding seasons.
The LMC suggests that the improved welfare condition of players which can be situated in the enhanced minimum salary may have provided the impetus for the performance of the players. This season, the Clubs reached an understanding with the LMC to abolish the practice of sign-on fees and pay a minimum monthly salary of N150, 000 while pro-rating the sign-on fee as add-on to the salaries of the players, a development that saw some players earning as high as N600, 000.
There were still reports of indebtedness by clubs to players though the club officials insisted that those were carried over sign-on fees from previous seasons. Irabor acknowledged that a negligible number of clubs defaulted in their financial obligation to players and reminded such clubs that they may not have any part in the league in line with the NFF Club Licensing Regulation which takes effect from December 1, 2014.
“As earlier stated, the season was not free of bumps especially going by reports of unpaid salaries to players from a number of clubs. We hope they realize the implication of not meeting their obligations in the new licensing regime that comes into effect from December 1. It is a CAF mandated regulation and will be enforced for the benefit of football, the players and their clubs”, Irabor reiterated
“We have also seen a reduced number of wins in matches this season from 319 in the 2012/13 season to 301 this season which can be attributed to improvement in officiating. We are not saying everything about the league has been perfected but it is safe to say there is tremendous progress which can only be sustained if all stakeholders do what is expected of them”, the LMC Boss reasoned.