Abuja – Heartland FC of Owerri will be restructured ahead of the 2016/2017 Nigeria National League (NNL) following its relegation to the lower league early this month.
The club’s General Manager, Oscar Keke, said on Tuesday in Abuja that talks were ongoing between the players and management to know the way forward.
“We will reorganise and get ready for the NNL season and the new position we find ourselves.
“But until we hear from the sponsors of the club, we can only reorganise within our ability and wait for the next line of action from the government.
“It is not every player that will want to play in the lower league, so, we will know those that will go and those that will stay before we can know what next in terms of signing players,’’ Keke said.
According to him, plans are on to keep the club in the elite league but that the “Naze Millionaires’’ as Heartland is popularly called will not waste time to fit into the NNL.
“If we see the opportunity of those wanting to sell their slots in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), we will take it.
“So far, the people we are talking with are not interested in relinquishing their position,’’ Keke added.
Heartland FC was relegated to the NNL following a League Management Company (LMC) decision that saw it forfeit three points and three goals to Plateau United FC of Jos for abandoning a match.
A review of the encounter which was a Match Day 38 fixture in the just-concluded NPFL season played on Oct. 2 in Jos had shown that Heartland breached article B13.26 of the NPFL rules.
It will be recalled that players of Heartland abandoned their match against Plateau United in the 75th minute following a dispute with the match referee’s call.
Scores were 1-1 at the time the match was abandoned, but the LMC’s decision meant Heartland lost the match 3-0.
It also officially confirmed the relegation of the Owerri-based club for the first time since its inception in 1976.