This Day (Lagos)

Nigeria: LMC Pays Workers As Clubs Owe N88 Million

The League Management Company (LMC) has made a giant stride in the running of the professional football as it has cleared the backlog of salaries owed its secretariat staff before its coming on board.

Sources at LMC told THISDAY at the weekend of the feat of the body headed by Hon Nduka Irabor, against the backdrop of the demand by club owners, who last week in Abuja asked the LMC, which runs the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), to clear the salaries of the workers.

The payment of the salaries was achieved just as the huge debt profile due to the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) and the professional players, by the Premier League 'Club owners', was uncovered recently.

The Association of Professional Footballers of Nigeria (AFCON), recently published the names of the professional football clubs indebted to NFF, players and club officials.

The cumulative debt ascribed to the 15 of the professional clubs and seven national league clubs is at over N88 million.

The debtor clubs include, Sharks of Port Harcourt, Shooting Stars of Ibadan, Enyimba of Aba, Kwara United of Ilorin, Heartland of Owerri, Elkanemi of Maiduguri, Rangers of Enugu and Dolphin of Port Harcourt.

Others are, Wikki Tourists of Bauchi, Wolves of Warri, Akwa United of Uyo, Bayelsa United, Gombe FC and Kano Pillars.

Secretary General of APCON, Austin Popo, said that the huge debt amassed in the past two years, was in form of salaries and sign on fees due to the players.

Rather than address their indebtedness to the players and officials, the 'club owners' have continued to undermine the LMC in its mandate to upgrade the league to global standards.

At the end of their meeting in Abuja last week, the 'owners' showed their bias for Total Promotions over the title and TV rights sponsorship by urging the LMC and other involved parties to respect all existing contractual agreements and MOU in order to avoid further litigation.

They have also set up a five-man transition committee headed by S.B Aluko of Kwara United to advise the association on how to approach the forthcoming elections in to the board of the league.

The LMC was set up after the court pronounced the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) illegal.

And it was out of the need for a fresh start and to make the league attractive to corporate bodies that informed the formation of the NPFL.

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