In apparent reaction to the spate of protests and threats of strike by players of some Nigeria Premier League, NPL, Clubs, the League Management Company, LMC, has warned that clubs found to be in breach of financial obligations to players will not be registered for the 2014/15 Glo Premier League season.
Chairman of LMC, Hon. Nduka Irabor emphasized that ‘a no pay, no play’ policy will be adopted in the registration process for the coming season, and noted that all clubs seeking registration must provide proof that there are no overdue payables especially to the players. He said the zero tolerance for clubs’ indebtedness to players will cover current and former players of the clubs.
Irabor made this clear in a recent communication to Club Managers and Owners and reminded them that compliance to the Financial Criteria is a fundamental requirement for club registration under the Licensing Conditions.
He said the mandatory compliance with licensing regulations has been reiterated by the Confederation of African Football, CAF, which also recently warned that Clubs that are not licensed by the Federation would not be registered to compete in CAF Inter-Club competitions.
The LMC Chairman harped on the issue of players’ welfare which he said is a fundamental requirement under club licensing regulations and expressed displeasure that some Clubs have been cited in cases of non-fulfillment of contractual obligation to players.
Irabor described as embarrassing to the nation’s football reports of street protests by players of these clubs for non-payment of their salaries and other accruable.
In his words, “The numerous reports about players in the league being owed salaries for several months, including public protests by players over unpaid salaries are disheartening and it is extremely embarrassing that a great football nation such as ours is exposed to ridicule and not allowed to see the performances of happy and well compensated professional football players.”
He therefore vowed that the LMC will uphold the sanctity of player contracts and offer players every necessary aid to obtain redress for any breach of contracts.
CAF just recently reminded Clubs through the Federations that the enforcement of licensing conditions has become mandatory from 1 December, 2014 and has amended its regulations for Inter-Club Competitions to reflect the new realities.
For Nigeria, Clubs were reminded that they must have a Youth Development program Coordinator who must have the prerequisite qualifications listed in the criteria.
One of the instruments introduced by the LMC to check overdue payments by clubs is the Financial Performance Guaranty which was widely resisted by most of the club’s during the current season.
“The direct effect of non compliance with such basic condition is now too obvious for all to see. The LMC will not budge on its demand for Financial Performance Guarantee in the new season, we will not allow clubs to carry-over their indebtedness to players into the coming season.”
The LMC Chairman concluded with an advice to the Clubs to seek diversification of their revenue generating capacity by involving their immediate communities in the sporting and financial pursuits of the clubs and assured that they would have the cooperation and relevant guidance of the LMC in this regard.