Heartland causing familiar Problems in the NPFL, but this LMC can’t wish them away


There is a devious romantic theme the NPFL is now infamous for; every season as far back as I can remember, causing a nagging and constant pain for everybody but the League Management Company. Players’ Welfare.

While there are regulations and laws laid down by the LMC as obtainable in elsewhere, the league’s custodian however is the first to disregard those core values that ought to give any semblance of a professional outfit to the league.
Indeed one area where it has underwhelmed and continues to perform below expectation is with enforcement of player welfare; due payment of wages, protection of players rights and holding Clubs accountable for the breach of statutory regulations.
The latest episode in that installment of heart wrenching series is manifesting in the South East with Heartland FC.
Everything in the little black playbook that could happen has and the manifestation as revealed by some insiders points to the brazen disregard for propriety at the Club.
Reports that players were asked to sign documents forfeiting several months of unpaid wages and sign-on fees are genuine – although the Club has not officially denied them either – and prompted condemnation from all quarters but the LMC or NFF.
While it is true the club has commenced payment of the backlog of debt owed the players, its management has yet sunk to a new low sowing the seeds of Divide and rule in the squad.
Since that process began there has been an out cry from the players, among them Nigeria international goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa.
Ezenwa,33, joined the club last season after a year at Katsina United, but in February he accused the club of owing him Eight months unpaid wages.
Recently, the goalkeeper revealed the club commenced payment of the backlog but only cleared three months owed wages and still made illegal deductions, forcing him to seek redress with the LMC.
His claims were countered though, interesting not by the officials but him teammate and captain Chukwudi Nwaodu, who insists every player had been paid the full six months owed – while in actual fact the Club owed the team 8 months wages.
So far this season – almost at its midpoint – the Rooster hasn’t found its way back home, the LMC has not had to deal with the result of its failings, not because they aren’t there but chiefly because they’ve decided to simply ignore and wish them away.


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