Former chairman of the Nigeria Premier League Victor Rumson Baribote has dismissed a claim by officials that the NPFL needs a staggering 2.5 billion Naira to run a season, while also questioning pleas for government to bail out a private company that is running the league.
Baribote has also demanded that the private company running the league, the League Management Company (LMC), should account for the $8 million Supersport paid to them over the years.
The kick-off of the new NPFL season has been delayed after officials admitted they do not have the cash to organise the competition.
LMC has now announced the new season will begin on November 3.
Baribote has first questioned the cost of running the league.
“I ran the league and we did not need 2.5 billion Naira to do that every season,” he started.
“We need to ask them to give us a full breakdown of this cost because I cannot get my head around this.”
He also maintained that government cannot invest in a private company to run the league, while demanding the LMC to render full accounts of how they spent over $8 million (more than 3.5 billion Naira) they received from major sponsors Supersport.
“LMC is a private company registered in the CAC and so not accountable to government, so why should government invest in such a company?” he argued.
“That means government should also come and invest in our various private companies.
“Rather, we should ask LMC to tell us what they did with the over $8 million they received from Supersport over the years.”
Isaac Danladi has continued to parade himself as the chairman of the Club Owners Association even though he was sacked as chairman of Nasarawa United.
The former league chief said Danladi ought to have stepped down as his continued stay in office is illegal.
“Which club is Danladi now representing after he was removed as Nasarawa United chairman,” he wondered.
“The very day he was removed, he ought to have handed over to the new Nasarawa United chairman.
“He only headed the association by virtue of the fact that he represented Nasarawa United.
“So, who is he representing now?”
Baribote therefore called on the club owners to come out and take over the running of the NPFL as was the case previously.
“LMC has to hand back the running of the league to the owners of the league if the competition is to be revived and regain its glory,” he said.
“Both the late Oyuiki Obaseki and myself headed the league because we were critical stakeholders as former chairmen of Insurance and Bayelsa United, respectively.
“It was in our time that the Nigeria league was rated among the best in Africa, but not so now.”