Fans may be relieved that after weeks of uncertainty the new NPFL season will finally kick off today, but the referees who will call the games are not throwing a party – they are owed a staggering 60 million Naira in indemnities.
SCORENigeria learnt that the rudderless League Management Company (LMC) has failed to make any promises when this backlog of debts will be cleared.
The consequence of this is that the integrity of the NPFL will be further compromised as match officials seek “other means” to pay their bills.
The problem may well degenerate to the home clubs paying the indemnities of the referees as was the case when the professional league was founded in 1990.
Rather than confront this vexed challenge headlong, the LMC, a private company, has initiated a failed and ill-advised campaign for the Federal Government of Nigeria to bail out the professional league.
This is after this same company had squandered millions of dollars from sponsors mainly Supersport Television that it can no longer sustain the extravagance and lack of vision that defined the years Shehu Dikko has overseen the league as LMC chairman.
The NPFL is no longer on television as the LMC has lost sponsor after sponsor, while hiding behind lame excuses first of the power tussle involving Chris Giwa and lately the corruption probe of the NFF, which involves Shehu Dikko.
As the new season gathers steam, expect the LMC to continue with its already worn-out lie of last-minute withdrawals by potential sponsors.