We need to support Lobi Stars – Alhaji Shehu Dikko

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Having agreed to stand by the agreement reached at the recent stakeholders meeting, what then are the plans put in place to ensure that the 2018/2019 NPFL season turns out the best ever played?

Also if you look at the last three seasons NPFL always starts at a given date and ends at the agreed date… so really, it’s something we will achieve..

Already, the draft schedule is being Worked out and sure we will finish by May…

The plan is to do two groups of 12 teams and then do a super league of the top three teams from each groups … which also would be played in a league format. So we hope this format would give us an exciting season to repay the fans and sponsors for the unintended mishap of this season which we sincerely apologize for from both LMC and the Clubs but we have to take the hard decision which we hope we can turn to one huge positive gain for the league and our overall football industry in the long run.

We have been doing so much as you can see over the years but really it’s a case of Chicken and egg…

Which one comes first? I can tell you every club and administrator knows clearly and appreciate what to do to make this happen but issue of Stability of the system and finance are very fundamental..

For instance once a club lose two games at home we would hear all sorts of stories and pressure to the club chairman, coach and even players? This shows that no one wants tl give them time for development and proper organization but just to win games… that is why we introduced the BEYOND THE THREE POINTS program to change this narrative but sincerely we have to carry out an institutional and system reset to achieve this…

On the finance, most clubs run mainly on operations budgets only and not investment funds so they have little to invest towards development and or infrastructure… Here, we are working to go back to the basic to see if we can set up a process that would not just bring in the funds but also protect the industry from the afront of foreign football and appetite for this foreign leagues by our corporate world… all these are captured in our second program called FOOTBALL MEANS MORE… hopefully all would come together with our new broadcast deal and the right funding streams will be opened for the league to drive proper investment at all levels…

Remember we have already 10 clubs being prepared to be listed at the second stock exchange for private sector to come in and invest…

We are also pushing Government at the highest level to see the need to invest in upgrading infrastructure just like it is done at the start of the EPL in 1992 when UK Govt put £200m to provide EPL with right infrastructures to start.

Today, UK Govt is making £3billion in taxes annually from EPL and sustaining 12,000 direct jobs and several hundred thousands indirect jobs… we can achieve this template in Nigeria if we get the right support across board” he concluded.

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