By Musa Sunusi Ahmad
Apart from 2016/2017 season of the Nigeria Professional Football League, NPFL in which the winner, Plateau United received fifty million naira (N50, 000, 000) as prize money, no other past winners of the league have received their prize money thereafter, Bestchoicesports.com.ng can report
League Management Company, LMC, the body responsible for organizing and managing the NPFL have not been able to pay the past three winners of the league 2017/2018 – Lobi Stars (League aborted); 2018/2019 champions Enyimba FC of Aba and 2019/2020 winners Plateau United are yet to receive their prize monies.
This much was revealed by chairman of the League Management Company (LMC) Shehu Dikko.
Plateau United were the last NPFL champions to receive a prize money (N50, 000, 000) following their maiden league triumph under the tutelage of Kennedy Boboye in 2017, while 2016 winners Rangers, who claimed their 7th title after a 32-year wait, were handed a cheque of N40,000,000 for their effort.
A truncated television rights deal with Super Sports in 2017 led to financial struggles at the LMC, with the league organizers failing to reward participating clubs and champions of the NPFL subsequently.
However, the recently signed commercial and investment partnership between LMC and Redstrike Sports promises to offer the NPFL sides financial benefits – something they enjoyed when the league was televised from 2013 to 2017.
“There will be prize money (next season) the way we used to pay before. It’s not the first time we have paid prize monies,” Dikko said in an interview on Kennis FM.
LMC Chairman, Shehu Dikko
“Before we had challenges with our TV partners, we had introduced not just prize money, apart from the prize money, we were paying the basic money. We were paying the technical and development money.
“Remember, people use to forget but history will remember us for this, there were times we were paying for away goals scored, we were paying for away wins away draws, if you have 5,000 fans in your stadium, if you play Under-18 players, we’re all paying clubs for that.”
The 2nd Vice-President of the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) also stated that the financial reward from the LMC to the NPFL clubs would not be enough to take care of their (clubs) expenditure, advising them to explore other means of generating revenue as is the case globally.
“The world standard is that the league can give between 25 to 30% of the clubs’ revenues, the club can generate the other revenues. The clubs don’t sit down and wait for the league to feed them.
“If you check, for example, the Premier League table for last season, the highest winner of the league got about £150m but the clubs were getting revenues of £700 to £800m. Some were even £1b. But the highest money that came from the league is 150m or so in pounds.”
With upfront payments already made to the LMC by Redstrike, it remains unclear what the 20 clubs in the NPFL and eventual champions will receive in the upcoming 2020/2021 campaign