Thursday, March 17, 2011

NPL season faces financial hitch

Indications have emerged that the 2010/2011 Nigeria Premier League (NPL) season could come to an abrupt halt when the second round kicks off in a fortnight. learned that the Premier League has been struggling to offset the indemnities of match officials since the commencement of this season.
Only recently, the NPL got a financial lift of about N20 million from the National Sports Commission (NSC) also referred to as the sports ministry in Nigeria to settle the payment of referees.
Already, the sports commission has made it clear that it would not bail out the NPL in the event of it going cash-strapped in paying the referees in future.
An official of the Premier League told in confidant that he fears that the season might be grounded at some stage if the NPL cannot source for fund to run the league.
The official claimed that the NPL is broke following the refusal of last season's title sponsor, Globacom Nigeria Limited, to pay up the sum of N923 million for the 2009/2010 campaign.
It was also learned that the league body had hoped to hit the ground running in terms of its financial commitment after MTN Nigeria Limited secured the league's title sponsorship rights for four years through Total Promotions Limited in December 2010.
But the nullification of the contract with MTN Nigeria Limited by the NPL congress earlier this year has left the league body starved of fund.
It has also been gathered that the NPL clubs have been informed of the development that the season could run into a hitch and a number of them is seeking a volte-face in the whole title sponsorship saga.
But NPL Acting Executive Secretary, Tunji Babalola, dismissed the claim that the season could run into a halt due to lack of funds.
"That is not true," began Babalola. "I can assure that we will make sure that this season is finished on scheduled."
NPL is yet to pay clubs in the topflight the usual 10 per cent from the title sponsorship for last season as well as the ongoing one.

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