The League Management Company has said that it has commenced the processes of restructuring the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) to enable it meet FIFA and global standards of football and deliver its mandate to have a League for Nigeria, run by competent Nigerians and clubs for the benefit of both local and international footballers and fans.
Disclosing this yesterday, the Chairman of the LMC, Hon. Nduka Irabor said that the body was in the process of developing a corporate governance model for the LMC, the clubs and the league, even as he noted that the body was reworking the Title Sponsorship Agreement as well as the Broadcast Rights Agreement in order to make the league more viable and profitable for all.
While noting that following an exhaustive examination of the legal and financial issues that had paralyzed the football league (resulting in the dissolution of the former board), Irabor said that “the committee decided that the interest of all stakeholders, especially the teeming millions of football lovers in Nigeria, would be best served by mapping out a new direction in the structure and management of the local premier football league”
“Based on legal advice and in line within our mandate, the management committee in conjunction with the NFA opted for a new management body for the local league that will be structured on corporate governance, transparency and meets the unfulfilled expectations of local football fans.
“The new entity, the League Management Company (LMC), has taken off unencumbered by the baggage of illegality, absence of due process and insolvency that has bedeviled the growth of the local league.
“We have already set out to work. The LMC has commenced the processes of restructure by putting in place machinery to deliver its mandate. We are preparing for instance a new league rules framework which includes new rules for the qualification and licensing of clubs within the league to bring our local clubs in line with international standards.
“The new rules will guarantee that clubs meet their obligations to players etc by ensuring that they have solid financial bases, setting aside 5% of the income of the LMC solely dedicated for a youth development program which will ensure that all clubs have feeder clubs of players not older than 18 years of age and of not more than 30 trainees.
“We are also in the process of developing a corporate governance model for the LMC, the clubs and the league. We are presently re-working and negotiating the Title Sponsorship Agreement as well as the Broadcast Rights Agreement to bring them in line with more commercial and favourable terms for the league and also in compliance with the laws of the land ”
On the issue of shares, Irabor explained that “the LMC was incorporated to manage the professional league, under license from the NFA. It has a share capital of 100,000,000 (one hundred million shares). In order to meet the minimum requirement of the law for incorporation, only 25% of its share capital was subscribed on incorporation.
“The NFA holds golden shares of 5% and the LMC, in the name of its Chairman holds 20% in trust for the company, which will be relinquished as the situation warrants.
There is a pre-signed Nominees Agreement to this effect and an affidavit sworn to by myself and registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission, Abuja to further buttress this commitment to relinquish these shares held temporarily by me. The participating clubs of the league will own no less than 60% of the Shares which they will be mandated to take up as soon as they are re-organized and operated as corporate entities in law.”