Mr Amanze Uchegbulam, Chairman, Imo Football Association (FA), has recommended the sale of the state-owned Heartland Football Club to a private individual, to address the club’s funding problems.
He made the recommendation in a chat with newsmen in Owerri on Thursday, against the backdrop of unpaid salaries and allowances owed the club’s players.
Uchegbulam expressed his conviction that independent management for the club would yield greater revenues to subsequently address arrears owed in emoluments.
There are financially well-to-do Imo people who love the club and would not hesitate to invest in it if given the opportunity.
The Imo FA Chairman added that government may choose to retain part ownership of Heartland through a partnership.
He decried the “incessant complaints” of the players, coaches and officials over non-payment of salaries, bonuses and match allowances by government.
“I am tired of complaints of unpaid remuneration and we cannot continue to run the club like this. If the load is too much for government, I will advise that the club be sold to Imo people, who will buy it as shareholders while the state government retains part ownership “, he said.
He further stated that the funds raised as shares can be used for the effective running of the club by the shareholders, through a Board and management team.
Uchegbulam regretted that the club had lost six points in its last few matches in the ongoing Nigeria Professional Football League, and were only five points away from relegation, owing to poor player morale, caused by non-payment of salaries.
He, however, allayed the fear of the club going into relegation because, according to him, it would most certainly cost more money to come out of relegation.