Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC), Shehu Dikko, has revealed that the target of the Nigerian top-fight professional league managers in year 2020 is to consolidate on the progress being made despite the challenges confronting it.
In an Exclusive interview with THISDAY, Dikko insisted that LMC’s comprehensive transaction with Next TV remains paramount amongst plans to uplift the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) in 2020.
“Our objective is to consolidate on the progress being made in spite of all the challenges and to ensure the continuous commercialization of the league in line with international best standards.
“Also, we hope to get our comprehensive transaction with Next TV up and going so we can have our games on Television across all platforms – such as mobile, cable and FTA and others.
Dikko who also doubles as the 2nd Vice President of the Nigeria Football Federation, stressed that with full monetisation of the contents and other sponsorship windows in the league, the LMC will be able to generate the desired revenues as envisaged which would now be reinvested in the clubs for the players benefits.
“This measure of upgrading infrastructure is to keep making the league better,” observed the LMC chief.
He however agreed that despite criticism from a section of the sporting media on the performance of the league, “We will keep working with public authorities to ensure the enabling environment is provided through legislation, enforcement of existing laws.”
Dikko said the objective is to keep driving the league “towards being a key factor of the Nigerian economy, hugely contributing to wealth creation, redistribution, jobs creation and indeed a huge factor to the GDP.”
“We honestly believe that in spite of all the avoidable challenges, deliberate distraction, we are certainly on a positive track and thus we won’t allow ourselves to be distracted,” he pledged.
The LMC chairman asked genuine stakeholders to be patient “as the positive outcome will soon manifest as surely building is more difficult than destroying. It usually takes time to come together for the better. But we assured everyone we are on the right track and with the total support and backing of all stakeholders we will arrived at the desired destination sooner than later.”
Dikko said everyone can attest to what LMC has been able to achieved during the period of semblance of stability and financial well being.
“So we can certainly do more with the right support and stable environment.
Honestly, all stakeholders need to understand and appreciate the fact that we only have one NPFL and indeed football structure and it’s a public trust and therefore we must all come together in one direction to keep moving forward as this is the only panacea for success.”
He insisted that the current situation of ‘we against them and or if not us then no one else’ will do nothing but keep dragging the Nigerian topflight league backward.
“You don’t have to like Amaju Pinnick or Seyi Akinwunmi or even Shehu Dikko or anyone in position of leadership for that matter but just genuinely love the system and align to contribute positively for the system to grow.
“Support those in charge positively and surely the sky will be our limit. This is what happens in all the developed jurisdictions we cherish and wants to emulate.
“Everything over there is about the system and it’s growth and everyone is aligned to this fact regardless of personality, political or groups differences. So if we want to learn from international best practices and benchmark, this is the starting point and everything will fall in place,” concludes Dikko