The League Management Company (LMC) says it will not register clubs indebted to their players and coaches for the 2015/2016 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Season.
Salihu Abubakar, the Chief Operating Officer (COO) of LMC, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja that the defaulting clubs would not be registered until they demonstrate clean bill of health.
To this end, LMC has given all clubs up to February 10 to settle all backlogs of entitlements of players and coaches arising from the 2014/2015 season.
He explained that LMC has the mandate of the Nigeria Football Federation to ensure that a club with liabilities doesn’t participate in the new season.
“We have received a letter signed by the General Secretary himself,” Mr. Abubakar said. “It’s the NFF position which tallies with our position because the players are the main actors in this game and if we don’t take care of their welfare, the whole game will crash.
“So, we are serious about it; we have a list of eight clubs that was sent to us by the NFF and between now and when we finish registration, if they don’t pay up, they will not be registered.
“I assure you we will enforce that.
“You have to understand that there is an intention behind sanctions and you do it to be able to get results from these clubs; what is the result in this case? We want the players to be paid.
“At the last count, we have had about 16 clubs that were able to meet up with our requirements, so, I think it is a good starting point and you have to realise that also in the regulations, the main actor is the NFF not the LMC.
“Whatever we are doing is just to try to muscle the clubs to make the payment.
“The players’ arbitration committee is with the NFF; all the regulations are under the NFF.
“It is the NFF that will enforce and now that they have told us to enforce, it is in our hands, we will enforce.’’
He said the 2015/2016 NPFL season would now kick off on February 21 to enable league players settle down after some of them participated in the Championship of African Nations (CHAN) tournament.
It said failure to do such, the clubs must provide an acceptable financial guarantee instruments to secure the payments as well as tentative payment plan from the clubs’ proprietors.
LMC has since set a deadline of Feb. 15 for the issuance of the NFF Club Licensing Certificate as directed by CAF to clubs that have met the minimum criteria for participation in the 2015/2016 NPFL season.
The first round of the NPFL Super 4 will hold in Kaduna from Jan. 20 to Jan. 24 between Enyimba of Aba, Warri Wolves, Nasarrawa United and Wikki Tourists of Bauchi.
The second round of the Super 4 tournament, which is for the top four finishers in the 2014/2015 league season, will be played in Uyo, Akwa Ibom, from Feb. 1 to Feb 5.
Ilorin, Kaduna, Uyo and Abuja were the four cities which indicated interest to host the Super 4 tournament.