The Nigeria Premier Football League, NPFL, Chief Operating Officer, Davidson Owumi has said that the league is attracting visibility and still work in progress.
Owumi said the NPFL Board are beginning to accomplish their targets, especially in the area of privatisation, followership and elements of professionalism in all quarters.
On the issue of infrastructure, Owumi noted that the involvement of the GTI as strategic partners would go a long way in the procurement of standard infrastructures that would be consumer friendly to the fans and all stakeholders.
His words: “The effort is from every quarter, the management itself, the press, we have all contributed our own quota into making the league what it is today. We started about a year ago as IMC and the league wasn’t visible anywhere but I can say with all assurance that in less than 12 months, the league is where it is today.
“At least, we are very visible right now. It’s still work in progress. We have not arrived, we are are still trying how we can fine tune the enormous channels and frequencies of the league to make sure that it can stand shoulder and shoulder with other leagues around the world.
“We had our own KPIs when we took over and gradually we are beginning to accomplish some of them but we want first of all that the teams are privatised in such a way that they can run as professional teams in the real sense of the world. We need a league that is at least 70% private driven and profit oriented. We want to make sure the clubs belongs to the people so that they can draw followership and stints of professionalism across the board.
“We hope that with the transition that is going on, we will get more private sector involvement. We are also looking at the possibility that government will let go some shares in the clubs so that the private sector can get involved.
“In terms of infrastructure, we are looking at getting a standardised infrastructure for all the centres our league matches will be played with GTI as strategic partners, when we stabilise then we can go into the procurement of some of these things. Good infrastructures in the league so that you will have an atmosphere where there will be very consumer friendly.”
Owumi called on the State Football Associations Chairmen and the club management to ensure that they beef up security across the different centres adding that the consequences of assaulting a referee is usually automatic deduction of three points and fines.
“We are also looking at the attitude of our fans. How we can educate our fans that football is a fun fare and not a do or die thing. And the economic viability of our clubs is dependent on the other factors. When the environment is secured, when the league is visible, when there are good infrastructures in place, then money will come in and that will raise the standard of living of the players and all those involved.
“The issue of security has different layers. You have from our own layer of security as the NPFL and that is to improving on the FAs to make sure they represent the federation by making sure that the clubs do the needful.
“The second layer of security lies with the management of the clubs. That is where the issue lies because the match day security is the responsibility of the home team. If you have an irresponsible chairman, there is no way there will be security in that kind of place because once the lose, it’s the chairman that will start the fight.
“The second layer is where we have our problems. The management of the teams is their responsibility to sensitise their fans that this is the expected standard that will need in your stadium. It is the immediate chairman and State FA that have the second and third tier security duties.
“The press too should be able to educate the fans too on the consequences of going into the field to assault referees is bearing on the club itself because its an automatic deduction three points and three goals.”