EXCLUSIVE: Enugu State Government Set To Appoint New General, Team Managers For Rangers
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By Amaechi Agbo
Baring last minutes change in plans, Enugu State Government will this week appoint substantive General Manager and Team Manager for the Rangers International Football Club, www.bestchoicesports.com.ng can exclusively report.
Both positions have been vacant for close to two years since former occupiers, Messrs Davidson Owomi (became the Chief Executive Officer of the defunct League Management Company) and Amobi Ezeaku who resigned from his position as Team Manager in August 2021, respectively.
Rangers International, prosecuted the entirety of the 2021/2022 season without a Team Manager and General Manager, a situation supporters and followers of the club believe had impact in the team’s 5th place finish in the season.
Their underwhelming performance towards the end of the season resonated in the new season as they are currently 9th on the ten-team Group B abridged league table after losing two and drawing two matches.
However, after much pressure from the media and lovers of the club, the Enugu State Government set up Special Intervention Committee on Rangers in 2021 to recruit qualified individuals for the positions.
Best Choice Sports can report authoritatively that the committee headed by the Commissioner for Lands in the state, Mr Chidi Aroh sat and interviewed about eight applicants on October 5, 2022 for the position of Team Manager.
Four months after the interview, the committee is yet to make public their report neither have the appointments been made.
A Source told our correspondent exclusively that the committee will appoint a temporary General Manager for the team this week.
Although the source did not mention the exact date of the appointment, he noted that the Enugu State Government has approached a renowed football administrator and club owner for the job.
“The government and the committee are making frantic efforts to name a temporary General Manager, GM for Rangers. They have spoken to the former Chairman of Delta Force FC, Okonkwo Chidi Emmanuel to take up the job in the meantime.
“I can tell you that the commissioner for youth and sports spoke with him on Monday and they are discussing.
“I cant say anything about the Team Manager, TM position because they have done interview for that. I believe whoever they have chosen, the name is in the cooler. They will announce the new appointment this week, all things being equal,” the source said confidentially.
Further findings by the papers indicate that Mr Okonkwo is not predisposed on taking up the job as he has his own club he is overseeing in Abuja.
But our source was not convinced.
“The government is under pressure right now to change the fortunes of the club. A lot of people will talk to him. Let’s see how far it goals but for the fact that it is a stop-gap appointment, I don’t think he will turn it down. He is one of the best football administrators in the land. He established a club in Abuja that missed promotion to NPFL last year in the club’s first league season in the NNL,” he added.
When contacted, the Chairman, Special Intervention Committee on Rangers, Honourable Chidi Aroh told our correspondent that the announcement would be made soon.
Mr Aroh who refused to disclose the name of the preferred candidate for the GM position, noted that the committee will brief the media “very soon” on the matter.
“We are dealing with that now,” the chairman said
Our correspondent who spoke with him via telephone, wanted to know why the appointments have been delayed for over a year
“That is what I am telling you. We are dealing with that. We will soon brief the press on our decisions,”
Asked how soon the appointment would be made, Mr Aroh said “Very soon”
On whether they have penciled individuals for the positions, the commissioner retorted “Are you part of the committee? I said we will talk to the press soon. That is all”, as he ended the call.
Calls put across to the Commissioner for youth and sports, Enugu State, Mr Manfred Nzekwe were not answered.
Other members of the Special Intervention Committee on Rangers include: Mr Chuks Agu, Managing Director, Housing Corporation; Mr Steve Oruruo, Special Assistant to the Governor on Information; Mr Uwakwe Azikiwe, SA to Governor, among others.
Rangers currently play their home matches at the Awka City Stadium in Anambra State. Their home stadium, Nnamdi Azikiwe which has been under renovation since 2021, is expected to be ready by end of next month.
Rangers will battle Dakkada FC of Akwa Ibom on Wednesday in the matchday 5 encounter. It is a “must-win’ match for the Flying Antelopes if they would want to escape relegation at the end of the season.