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BY: OLATOYE OLAWALE 

Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Club Owners at the League Management Company (LMC) Annual General Meeting (AGM) unanimously approved a resolution to strengthen the enforcement of some provisions of the NPFL Framework and Rules in order to elevate the quality of the league organization and its perception by the public.

The resolution was reached at the end of deliberations on technical review of the 2018/19 season with most of the delegates agreeing that there should be improvement in areas of pitch quality, dressing rooms, fair play and fans education.

Shehu Dikko, the Chairman of the LMC had while opening the AGM noted that the called meeting is in compliance with the LMC Governing Structure and to brief the clubs on commercial projections and technical plans for the new season which began on November 3, 2019.

During a short part of the meeting which was open to the Media, Dikko announced that, “We would be presenting a commercial proposition to the AGM Delegates for consideration and ratification.

“It will show that we have achieved a milestone in our commercial drive and what we have on the table is better than what we had before and where we were coming from” Dikko said, adding, “we have achieved a capacity through this new partnership to run a very viable business concern”.

He said the full detail of the commercial offer would be unveiled at a public event with the partners after the AGM has ratified the pre-contract agreement already signed.

“We had to delay the start of the 2019/20 season because we have been locked in negotiations with our partners, Next TV. We have struggled financially in the last two seasons as a result of the withdrawal of our former partners and it is common knowledge that television right generates the biggest revenue for football”, the LMC Chairman told the AGM.

Dikko explained that the LMC had always recognized the need to take the league to the homes of Nigerians through television, noting “this explained the extensive negotiations we had with FOX Networks Group that was very enthusiastic to partner with us until the deal was scuttled by the series of disruptions in football administration in 2018 among others.

Speaking further on the potentials of the proposed deal, Dikko said, “We have lost some sponsors while potential sponsors lost interest in discussions because we did not have television but now, a lot of opportunities are open before us as we now have that which was the main interest of the Corporate Businesses we have been targeting”.

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He said the new deal has been structured to secure the future financial base of the NPFL and commended the NPFL Clubs for their show of understanding and support while the challenges prevailed.

Further in the briefing to the AGM Delegates, the LMC Chairman explained that the new proposed transaction structure is hinged mainly on four planks which include an initial investment in the NPFL operations and production of NPFL matches and events.

The others are sales of NPFL contents produced to ensure it generates revenue across all platforms in Nigeria, Africa and globally including the Next TV Over The Top (OTT) platforms and fourthly, the commercialization of NPFL Rights to generate sufficient revenue through the optimization of NPFL earnings.

The AGM meeting unanimously approved the transaction.

Speaking on behalf of the clubs, Felix Anyansi Agwu, Chairman of Enyimba International and board member of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) commended the tenacity of the LMC Board in pursuing commercially viable deals for the club and urged them not to relent

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