Staff of the company were issued a letter to reapply for their jobs.
Staffers of the Nigerian Premier League, NPL, have expressed dissatisfaction with the non-payment of their salaries and the way new officials of Nigerian football management are treating their employment.
Since the inception and registration of the League Management Company Limited (LMC), coordinator of the Nigerian Professional Football League, there have been many changes effected in the league management.
During a press briefing in Abuja last month, the chairman of the management company, Nduka Irabor, stated that the NPL, including its staffers, is no longer recognised. The NPL was initially running Nigeria’s top league before the Sports Ministry and the Nigeria Football Federation set up the management committee.
Staff of the NPL who spoke to Premium Times said they were not happy that the 5 months salary owed them may not be paid; and even if they re-apply for their post as they have been asked, they may not be re-employed.
A senior staff of the NPL, who pleaded anonymity, lamented, “We have been given a letter to re-apply and the letter was signed by the former executive secretary of the NPL, Salihu Abubakar. How am I sure they will re-employ me?
“I have been working here for over 6 years, dedicated all my time to the growth of football development, will my 5-months salary go in vain just like that? All my suffering here, loyalty and hard work has gone just like that. How do I feed my family? how do I pay my debt? This is not fair.”
Another staff, also pleading anonymity, said, “They said we should re-apply, there’s a new company. To me, it doesn’t make sense. It’s all a scam and I know that LMC won’t last. Me, I will not re-apply but I want to collect my 5-months salary. I maybe suing the NFF but for know I want to keep quiet.”
A junior staff of the NPL, who shed tears as he spoke, said “I have been living on debt since the beginning of this year. The senior staff have been giving us money but now, they’ve stopped. I can’t feed my 3 children and wife, my house rent has expired, I’m owning a lot of people and I don’t know what to do. They said we should re-apply and I’m scared I will not be selected who will pay my debt.”
The Executive Secretary of the NPL, Tunji Babalola, denied the sack of any staff saying they were only asked to re-apply.
“Nobody has been sacked. LMC only requested the staff to re-apply but the staff on their part equally requested LMC to look into their welfare – outstanding salaries, previous services and other related issues- before applying for a fresh job,” he said.
A representative of club owners and Chairman of Nasarawa United football club, Isaac Danladi, asked the LMC to call for a 2-week congress between it and the club owners to discuss the issue to sort out various challenges facing the Nigerian League including the staff of the NPL.
“NPL is legal until CAC says it’s not so, I wonder why a company will take over another company,” Mr. Danladi said.