Crown FC Frowns At Plans To Abort 2019/2020 NNL Season
By Amaechi Agbo
Reactions have continued to trail the plan by the Nigeria Professional Football League club owners to abort various leagues in the country in the wake of ravaging coronavirus in the country, Bestchoicesports.com.ng reports
Crown FC a campaigner in the Nigeria National League, NNL in a statement released Wednesday and signed by the club’s acting General Manager, Kunle Oyeleye, said the club and its technical crew considered with disdain the cancellation of all leagues in the country by the Nigeria Football Federation, NFF.
The club’s reaction came in the wake of voting conducted on Sunday by NPFL Club Owners which approved the cancellation of all leagues in the country and use of Point Per Game, PPG system to determine the country’s representatives at the CAF competitions.
17 out of 20 club owners voted in favour to abort the league and use PPG to determine CAF flag bearers
The club restated that the cancellation is unfavourable adding that NNL is not an appendage of NPFL but rather a symbiotic relationship exists between the two.
Noting that 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, issues of sponsorship, officiating and other challenges.
“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 that 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,” the club said.
It added that “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 clubs have financiers who invest heavily on us, now, what reports are we going to give them that the league is again terminated without us making any inputs in the decision? We state categorically that Oyo state would be a big loser in this imminent travesty and we seriously frown at it. The state has two clubs in the Nigeria National Lesgue – Crown FC and 3SC. While 3SC is leading its group, Group B1, Crown FC is the only club in the group (Group B2 ) that had so far won an away match, is poised to take the lead in the group after the upcoming home match (week five game). The two darling clubs of the state have prospects of promotion by which they would have taken the two slots in the Southern Conference but spanners is set to be thrown in being the massive efforts of the Engineer Seyi Makinde administration in the state, of the players and of the managements,” the club averred.
The release noted that although 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.”
The club therefore demanded that the matter be looked into again for the good of the leagues as a matter of urgency by the Honourable Minister and other relevant stakeholders.