Uncategorized January 8, 2015
Community ownership of football clubs in Nigeria is a transfer of a government problem to become a peoples problem.
The reason the government has problems with running football clubs in Nigeria is that it has become too expensive, between N300 and N500 million according to a story by the League Management Company (LMC).With that kind of money being spent on football clubs, and a minuscule amount of money in return from the league, the same problem will remain assuming that a community takes over a club.
The LMC story talks about shareholders or investors as those that can take
over the clubs from governments; Nigerian football is not an investment, it is a financial debacle.
Can you imagine investing N500 million and you get as a club N25 million from the LMC in a season. Your financial book will be highly unbalanced and with time you will collapse. That is why we have very few private ownership of clubs today; it is so expensive to own and run.
The LMC definitely believes that community ownership of football clubs is the solution to our football problems; not so LMC . Our problems starts from a bloated league structure, our inability to keep our best players at home and a lack of financial transparency. You look at the leagues that are well financed in Africa and see that many of their top players play at home; South African and all North African countries. To be a successful league, we must find a way to play our best players in our home league.
The LMC is playing the emotional card too much; people are not going to invest out of emotions, people invest because they see financial prospect in a product or in a football club.
The LMC claims that community ownership of clubs is how Esperance of Tunisia owns and runs an airline; completely erroneous. The chairman of Esperance for twenty years is a successful businessman, and as part of his business empire owns an airline, the club does not own the airline.
The financial success of Esperance is due to commercial success of the league; its sponsorship and television deals. When we are able to convince companies to partner with our league, then we will see success. Success is not in community ownership, it is a mere shift of problems.