Rumblings in NPFL: Unresolved riddles over contract of players, coaches

The International Federation of Football History and Statistics (IFFHS) early this year ranked Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) the 57th national league in the world for 2019 trailing the likes of Tunisia (15), Morocco (17), Egypt (30), Angola (48), South Africa (50) and Zambia (55) in the continent. Just this month, the continent’s top football-governing body-Confederation of African Football (CAF)-also rated the NPFL  eighth on the continent behind yet again   Morocco, Egypt, and Zambia.

According to CAF, the rating employs a point system based on how clubs from respective countries have performed in the two major club competitions over the past five years.

Incidentally, Nigerian clubs have had mixed fortunes on the continent in recent times, with NPFL teams struggling to get to the crucial stages of the CAF Champions League and Confederations Cup.

The  lacklustre performance of NPFL in continental competitions in recent years  was ironically celebrated by the League Management Committee (LMC) chaired by Shehu Dikko yet there  are growing concerns about the status  of both players and coaches  bothering on the vexed issue of secrecy and non-disclosure of  their sign-on fees cum salaries across all the clubs.

Apart from not knowing what players earn in NPFL, many clubs are also fond of owing players and coaches despite huge money released by government which happens to be  the owners of most NPFL clubs .

For some inexplicable reasons, most of these clubs hardly disclose the worth of their players’ contract talk less their wages as obtainable in other African countries for instance.

For purpose of this investigation on why there is so much secrecy surrounding  the emoluments for NPFL and coaches , it was like squeezing water of stones as most major players in the domestic league declined comments and few ones  that responded did so under the guise of anonymity.  For instance, a foremost coach who had handled several NPFL clubs and a stint with the national team, blamed lack of transparency in players and coaches contract on nothing but this on insincerity of club management.

The tactician as usual, pleaded anonymity equally blamed such trends on pressure from associates of the players and coaches.

“I think the reason why most clubs in Nigeria don’t disclose players and coaches sign-on fees and salaries is because of the insincerity of those in charge of the clubs,” explained  the vastly experienced tactician that has handled several NPFL Clubs including Enyimba.“  Most of them see the clubs as another way to enrich themselves to the detriment of those who sweat it out on the pitch.

“Apart from this, you can hardly know the amount released to them by the owners of the clubs which most often, are state governments.

“All these happen time and again because of the weak structure of most of the clubs in the NPFL as they are owned by the state governments.

“Look at those that manage the clubs, they are either family members of the government or party chieftains who were rewarded for their loyalties.; so from the beginning, such clubs are set up to fail and it is based on this that those in charge rip-off the players and coaches with undisclosed sign-on fee and salaries.

“Basically the structures of most of the clubs were set up to encourage fraud and financial impropriety particularly in the NPFL.

“If the clubs were owned by private people, accountability and transparency would have been the order of the day and this is what is happening in Europe and some African nations where most of the clubs are owned by private groups,” he added.

Speaking further, the coach who also had stints with the Nigerian national teams’ set up, further blamed societal pressure as another chief reasons why there seemed to be oath of secrecy as far as   contract of players and coaches is concerned: “Most of the players are not even ready to disclose what they are earning because of pressure from relatives and friends.



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Rumblings in NPFL: Unresolved riddles over contract of players, coaches Rumblings in NPFL: Unresolved riddles over contract of players, coaches Reviewed by Osigwe Omo-Ikirodah on September 11, 2020 Rating: 5

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