Uncertainty, debt profile and court cases trail resumption of Nigeria Professional Football League
|NPFL sides in action. The league resumes on the 15th of November despite huge uncertainties hovering around clubs. (Photo credit: TheNFF.com)|
The Nigerian Professional Football League, NPFL is getting a new date to kick off but nothing seems certain with clubs owing players and sponsors shying away from investing in the league.
Heartland Football Club of Owerri recently paid three months arrears to players and backroom staff having owed them for more than eight months.
While many have lauded the Coal City club for paying some, it will never be enough for clubs to owe players and expect loyalty and commitment, considering how hard life has been in a pandemic year for these players.
The NPFL is scheduled to resume on the 15th of November but more than half of the clubs in Nigeria’s top division still have months of unpaid salaries, internal leadership tussles, players destination battles and other issues respectively, and has always, the ruling body can’t contribute anything of note to it, leaving the league in the balance.
Another uncertainty is the court of arbitration hearing between Rivers United and the League Management Company (LMC).
Recall that the Rivers State club were on top of the log when COVID-19 struck but the ruling body came up with a point per game system that handed the league title to Enyimba of Aba but Rivers United aren’t having it.
While waiting for the ruling from the CAS to rule on who represents Nigeria at the African Champions League, the local league is set to kick off and yet again, without a major sponsor.
The league is quite unpopular among African ranks largely because we don’t get to see the games on TV compared to some and the fact that violence won’t just go away from stadiums across the country.
League management company on Monday confirmed that five substitute will be allowed in the new season to allow teams refresh their squad on match days and give legs the right grace to settle into games having not played in eight months.
LMC chairman, Alhaji Shehu Dikko released this statement in Abuja while sharing new rules guiding the 2020/2021 NPFL season