Thursday, September 30, 2010

Nigerian clubs in N350m debt to players

It has emerged that 26 professional clubs in the Nigerian league including the top-flight are hugely indebted to players and coaches to the tune of N350 million (about $2.34 million), was hinted on Wednesday.
A player’s agent licensed by the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), Aminu Yusuf, made this staggering discovery during a telephone conversation.
Yusuf, who manages close to 70 per cent of the players in the Premier League and the lower division, revealed that he is in possession of documents that verify that 26 clubs are indebted to players and coaches in the country’s league to the tune of more than N350 million.
“I have documents to back my claims of no less than 26 clubs owing players in the league more than N350 million. These are verified debts by the Players Status and Arbitration Committee of the NFF. All of the clubs summoned to that hearing were there and know this fact. So, we must know that the players are the most important in the scheme of the league because without them, others cannot exist in the first place,” Yusuf pointed out.
The player’s agent, however, refused to name clubs but got wind of documents of three clubs – Akwa United, Dolphin Football Club and Warri Wolves – on the issue.
The three clubs, according to the document, owe players and coaches a combined sum of close to N100 million (about $660,000).
But Yusuf added that unofficially the debt of clubs in the Premier League and the Nigeria National League (NNL) also known as the National Division I League should be in the region of N5 billion.
He said this cannot be ascertained since so many players in the league do not have written contracts.
“It is sad because most of the total debt, which is N5 billion and which is unofficial, had been in existence before the coming of the present NPL board. Most of the players do not have papers to show that they have a contract with their clubs and that is why we have just verified debts,” he said. also learnt that National Division I side, El-Kanemi Warriors, are indebted to late coach, Kafaru Alabi, to the tune of about N2 million.

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