Will the Proposed Private Nigeria Premier League work?
A new professional Football league to rival NPFL is set to debut in Nigeria very soon. The formal announcement of the birth of the first privately owned professional football clubs league in the country is said to be imminent. Initial checks reveal that a maximum of 10 clubs will pioneer the league which is said to have tacitly received the backing of the Youth and Sports Development Minister, Sunday Dare.
Apart from how poorly the NPFL is being managed overral, it will appear that owners of the few private clubs are particularly unhappy about how they believe they are being badly treated in the current league set up leading to this break from the LMC (League Management Company) to form their private league. One of the organisers of this new NPIFL (Nigeria Private Investors Football League) , Eken Adams (the proprietor of Kaduna based Kada City Football Club) said: “We are not happy with the way the private club owners are been treated like an outcast. We sat down to seek the way forward for Nigerian football because there is nothing to write home about in the league. We then decided to invest in our own private league which will commence soon,” he said. The independent league is expected to feature the likes of Remo Stars, Go Round FC and Dynamite Force of Benin.
But, is breaking off from the established NPFL the answer?
There are upsides and downsides to almost every initiative under the sun. I believe some forward thinking investors have seen opportunities but rather than working with the LMC to fix the NPFL, they have decided to launch a parallel league. Top on the agenda is showing league matches on television which itself will have the instant benefit of allowing fans see the quality of players still present in the shores of Nigeria. However, as much as I wish the brains behind this initiative good success, I would still have advocated for them to work with the NPFL in order to revamp the present league. Either way, any move to improve the marketability of indigenous Nigerian football is always welcome by me.
If it works, hopefully this new initiative will deliver a football product and brand that all soccer loving Nigerians can at last be proud of.