LMC Dangles Carrots At NPFL Clubs

It was a bouquet of goodies for clubs, players and match officials as the consultative meeting of the League Management Company, LMC, and representatives of Clubs, which held in Abuja on Tuesday, rose to announce a number of incentives which is unprecedented in the history of professional football administration in the country.
The incentive covers players welfare, match officials indemnities and clubs earnings and specifically includes the introduction of a Bridging Pension scheme for players, substantial increases in the match indemnities for referees, and match commissioners and a 50 per cent rise in the total pay-out for the Merit Award introduced last season. Clubs will also in the new season receive rights fees for hosting any match that is televised live during the season.
Speaking shortly after the meeting, the Chairman of LMC, Hon. Nduka Irabor explained that “the Bridging Pension Scheme has been set up to secure the future of all our players in the elite league, as they will be eligible to draw some portion of the fund on retirement, terminal injury or perhaps voluntarily quitting the game”.
In addition to these improved welfare packages, the meeting affirmed that all Clubs participating in the 2013/14 Premier League season will comply with the mandatory provision of N100m Performance Guarantee from an approved financial institution, while Clubs are to take steps to address within nine weeks all the concerns raised about their home grounds by the LMC Stadium Inspection teams.
According to the communiqué, “the indemnity of Match Officials and Commissioners was reviewed upwards by 25 per cent starting from the 2013/14 league season. The LMC Chairman also announced a 50 per cent increase in the Merit Award from N50 million of the 2012/13 season to N75m for the 2013/14 season”.
Merit Award is a performance bonus paid to clubs at the end of the season based on their final standing on the log and is aimed at increasing the intensity of the competition and the entertainment value thereon.
On the commencement date for the season, the meeting also affirmed that the 2013/14 Premier League season will commence on the weekend of 7 March through to 9 March as scheduled and agreed a deadline of Tuesday, 4 March for return of all registration materials by Clubs to the LMC.
The meeting reiterated that the provision of Performance Guarantee of N100 million from an approved financial Institution remains an irrevocable requirement for registration to participate in the 2013/2014 league season.
However, clubs are allowed to provide the guarantee in quarterly installments of N25 million and any defaulting Club shall be liable to forfeiture of six points, six goals and a further withholding of the defaulting Club’s financial entitlement from the sponsorship rights”.
Irabor also explained that “the delineating and structuring of the provision of the performance guarantee is consistent with our objective to protect the players and ensure that only Clubs with financial and organization means are admitted in the league.
“This doesn’t in anyway subtract from the value of the performance guarantee and as has been said, the requirement is part of the reform process to improve the operations of the Clubs”.
In the new season, Clubs shall be entitled to earn N250,000 from hosting of live television broadcast games. This, the communiqué said is to ensure equity in the schedule of live broadcast matches, Clubs that have any of its home matches televised live shall receive N250,000.
However, if for any reason such as unsuitable stadium and security and other logistics challenges, a Club is unable to host live broadcast match, the home game of the Club shall be played on any other suitable venue.

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