Wednesday, June 12, 2024

LMC moves against Dangote, Glo, others

The League Management Company has announced that it is working on a legislation aimed to check Nigerian firms sponsoring foreign clubs and leagues. The LMC says the move is to help in curbing capital flight from the nation’s football industry to overseas.

The LMC has revealed that it intends to work with the Nigeria Football Federation and the National Sports Commission to push the Federal Government for the enactment of a legislation by the National Assembly that will make it mandatory for Nigerian companies entering into sponsorship deals with European clubs to pay some percentage of the net worth of the deal to the domestic league.

The company said on its website that its Chairman, Shehu Dikko, re-echoed the LMC’s position at the recent World Leagues Forum inaugural meeting in London which sought a percentage of European Leagues’ broadcast and other commercial partnerships deals secured from Nigerian organisations for the airing of live games and other activations in the territory.

Dikko said, “Our biggest challenge is the struggle for the hearts of our fans and the proliferation of European football on television and promotion of foreign clubs contents by Nigerian companies. The intrusion of these broadcasts has made it more expensive to go to the stadium as just about N50 can get the average fan into a viewing centre to see the foreign leagues and we are saying they should pay development grants in the form of solidarity payments to us as they do to the lower leagues in their country.”

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Dikko lamented that investable funds that would have accelerated the development of football in the country were being channeled to foreign leagues/club deals while the domestic league and clubs are left to struggle.

While Alhaji Aliko Dangote has made public his desire to buy over Arsenal in the English league, Nigerian league sponsors Globacom have sponsorship deal with Manchester United. Beverage manufacturers Chivita also have a subsisting sponsorship deal with the Manchester team. Sterling Bank played hosts to their partners Arsenal in Lagos last month just as Standard Chartered Bank has international relationship with Liverpool.

LMC officials said that they were encouraged by international scholars who are into sponsorship and marketing. They said that Dikko’s view was supported by the three guest speakers at a workshop organised by the Lagos Businness School – Dr. Jim Pulcrano, a visiting Professor and member of EMBA Teaching Team; Mr. Kelvin Roberts, Editorial Director, Sports Business Group and Robert Matsauki, former Technical Director of Association of National Olympic Commissions of Africa.

Roberts was quoted as saying, “The position of the LMC is reasonable and it is something that could be put on the table and negotiated but it is also important that you identify opportunities in the industry and utilise them.”

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