By Muhyideen Jimoh
Chairman of the Bauchi State Football Association, Patrick Pascal, has called for more Private sector involvement in the running of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) to improve the standard of the league.
The ex- international told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja that the move was imperative to change the structure and sponsorship drive of the league.
He decried the fact that most of the NPFL clubs are being run by state governments, a situation he described as ”archaic and unacceptable” in the 21st century.
“For me the structure and set up of our league needs to change. The private sector and companies need to come in and run the clubs more professionally and make profit.
” Today most clubs owned by state governments are being run like a charity organisation, we cannot continue like this,” he said.
The chairman also called for better sponsorship, remuneration, officiating and television coverage for the league to be at per with other foreign leagues in Africa and Europe
Pascal who is also the Super Eagles Team Cordinator stressed the need for the domestic players to establish themselves in the league before travelling abroad.
He insists, that it is better for the players to play and be noticed in the NPFL by national team handlers than travelling to some obscure countries in middle-east without football culture.
“We need to make sure our best players in the league are not traveling abroad after every season due to poor remuneration.
” I can tell you some of our players are suffering abroad, some are even scoting because of bad contracts, so instead of going out in a hurry, make sure you play well here before making any move, ” he said.
He called on the management of the NPFL, football stakeholders and the private sector to urgently organise a round table on funding and moving the league forward in line with international best practice.
NAN reports that most of the clubs in the NPFL are currently run by state governments without proper structure and funding.
The NPFL is currently without a title and broadcast sponsor despite efforts of the League Management Company (LMC).