NNL

More Clubs condemn proposed cancellation of NPFL

Crown FC

Crown FC becomes the latest club to join forces with Lobi Stars and Akwa United in condemning the decision of the League Management Company (LMC) in collaboration with Football Club Owners Association of Nigeria, to conclude the 2019/2020 season using Points Per Game (PPG).

In a statement issued yesterday by the management of Crown FC, who plays in the Nigeria National League (NNL), condemns the decision of the league management who they claim did not consult with teams in the second tier.

In a release signed by the management of the club, who are hopeful of playing in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) next season, said the plan cancellation is not favourable to teams in the NNL.

“We restate this cancellation is unfavourable, one, NNL is not an appendage of NPFL, only a symbiotic relationship exists between the two, more so, the NNL was a beleaguered league even before the advent of the coronavirus pandemic on the basis upon which the Leagues were suspended, NNL matches were played last in December 2019 due to problems associated with payment of indemnity, issue of sponsorship, officiating issue and other challenges,” Kunle Oyeleye, Crown Acting General Manager begins.

Crown FC also alleged that none of the 42 teams in the NNL received an invitation to be part of the meeting and subsequent voting process.

“There are 42 clubs in the NNL, yet none of the clubs received any correspondence to attend the meeting where the voting was done to cancel all the leagues, we were not part of the decision yet they are making the decision binding on us.

“The manner of leagues administration in Nigeria is nauseating and worrisome this entire situation is becoming a charade and confusing. We emphasize it is a situation like this that keeps on robbing our leagues of sponsorship, excitement and most importantly, spectators at stadia across the country. Clubs cannot put in development plans, you register players, pay clearance fees, execute matches, pay salaries, bonuses and allowances, vote money to a lot of things just to sustain the system, yet at the end of the day, the league is managed on the whims of a few. All the Clubs combined would have spent about a billion naira in terms of naira and kobo aside other logistics before the suspension now we are talking about cancellation, what this portends is Club owners in NNL are not stakeholders in the league.

“The COVID-19 pandemic is a serious global issue truly but many countries especially in Europe where the disease is more prevalent have found a way round it (only France cancelled its league), we hold the belief that NFF should have been more proactive instead of hiding behind the issue of the COVID-19 pandemic. If NPFL clubs voted for calling off of their league, NNL clubs have not been consulted and it is gratuitous insult that we are being made to abide by the capricious wish of others.

“We demand that the matter be looked into again for the good of our leagues as a matter of urgency by the Honourable Minister and other relevant stakeholders,” he concluded.

Crown FC are second in Group B2 of the NNL with 9 points, having played a game less, while fourth place Vandrezzer FC who are on six points from two wins in three matches, are also nursing an ambition to play in the topflight next season.

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