League Crisis: Nigerian Pro Club Owners Sack LMC

23 Apr 2013

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LMC Chairman, Hon Nduka Irabor

*LMC: Our mandate is from NFF

By Olawale Ajimotokan

A new chapter was opened in the festering Nigerian football league crisis Monday, when the 20 chairmen of the football league clubs sacked the League Management Company (LMC) headed by Hon Nduka Irabor.

And akin to a military decree, the group also ordered the Executive Secretary of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), Tunji Babalola, to immediately recall all sacked staff of the league and take full charge of the running of the league until a substantive board is elected.

They insisted the decision was consequence upon the failure of LMC to comply with a two-week ultimatum to convene a congress of all football stakeholders where all the grievances listed by the owners would be addressed.

They insisted that LMC was an aberration as it was improperly put together.

Their decision also appeared to have fanned the embers of the discord with the Nigeria Football Federation (NFF) which at the weekend threatened to sanction the league owners or their agents with severe consequences for undermining the authority and legitimacy of LMC.

NFF which is a shareholder in LMC had warned the feuding club owners to follow due process by channelling their grievances to the football federation.

It admonished the owners that any threat to LMC was an affront not only to NFF but Nigerian football in general as LMC is ''duly recognised'' by it.

But the club chairmen had contended among others that the LMC was illegally registered while their two members on the board were sidelined from decisions made by the company.

The Nigerian league has been on the backspin since December last year when NFF installed an interim committee headed by Irabor, which latter transmuted into the LMC following the impeachment of the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) board headed by Victor Rumson Baribote.

The club owners, who addressed the media through Isaac Danladi, claimed they were statutorily guided as the legislative authority of the league in sacking the LMC which they accused of high handedness and lack of regard for the clubs.

Danladi, who is the Chairman of Nasarawa State owned Nasarawa United Football Club, asked NFF to reconstitute a new body to administer the league as the clubs had ceased to recognise the Irabor-led committee because the LMC was incorporated without the consent of the clubs.

However, in reacting to the decision of the club owners, the chairman of the LMC’s Media Committee, Mike Enahoro, said in a statement issued in Abuja Monday that “the League Management Company remains focused on the mandate given to it by the Nigerian Football Federation (NFF) on behalf of football loving Nigerian people.”

He said that the process of reforms will continue for the long-term benefit of Nigerian football.

“This is not a time to be distracted by any form of disturbances.

“While we recognise the role to be played by club managers, the League Management Company will continue its work on its set agenda towards creating a sustainable platform for Nigeria’s Premier Football League.”

In closing the statement, the former Hawks of Makurdi player said, “We thank the NFF for its pronouncement on Friday 19th April 2013 which clarifies the position of the federation in support of the League Management Company on this matter.”

In an earlier message on the threat of the club owners to call a congress, Chairman of the LMC, Hon. Nduka Irabor, on Sunday night, insisted that convening the congress was an aberration.

“The existence of a congress is an aberration in the management of a limited liability company.

"The Abuja Federal High Court judgment, amongst other things, ruled that elections to the Board of the NFLL (Nigerian Football League Limited) could only have been conducted in accordance with the Memorandum and Articles of Association of the company and the provisions of the Companies and Allied Matters Act, rather than by guidelines issued by a purported electoral committee.

“What this means is that the electoral committee, which constituted a congress for the NFLL, was not competent to issue election guidelines and qualify candidates for the board of the NFLL and thus the so-called congress was an invalidly constituted body.”

Irabor said that the LMC was created to prevent the almost total collapse of the Nigerian Premier League, which has been plagued by legal, contractual, administrative and financial problems.

Tags: Sports, Nigeria, Featured, LEAGUE CRISIS, CLUB OWNERS, LMC, NFF

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