Proprietor of ABS Football Club, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki
The proprietor of ABS Football Club, Dr. Abubakar Bukola Saraki has thrown his weight behind the decision by the Minister of Sports and Chairman of the National Sports Commission (NSC), Mallam Bolaji Abdullahi, to stop the kick-off of the 2012/2013 Nigeria Premier League season until it is restructured and all pending issues affecting sponsorship and television rights are resolved.
Speaking in Abuja over the weekend, the former Kwara Sate governor, now a sitting senator representing Kwara Central Senatorial District in the National Assembly said he was confident that by the time Abdullahi’s restructuring team completes its assignment, the league will be a thing of joy to behold by all stakeholders.
“The decision to put the league on hold by the Honourable Minister until all contentious issues are resolved is the best thing that has happened to our football in recent memory. As a stakeholder, I can tell Nigerians that despite increase in funding, there has been no corresponding improvement in the league. What we have now is a badly run league where the title goes to the highest bidder. It is a league where the administrators are feeding fat while the players and clubs suffer in the midst of plenty," observed the ABS FC proprietor.
Senator Saraki asserted further that the NPL is fraught with under-hand dealings which are open to all stakeholders.
“Most of the people managing our league do not have what it takes to run football today, the standard of managers and administrators of our league is very low,” Saraki posits that football and sports generally thrives on credibility.
He said that the moment fans know the result before a match or can predict what will happen in a match, such a league becomes uninteresting and a huge turnoff.
“As a club owner, I crave for a league that is credible, where there is fairness for all stakeholders, I want to watch the players display their best talent in fun- like and entertaining atmosphere, I want to see our players train with the best facilities in the world, I want funds invested or sourced through sponsorships go into developing and promotion of the game and not into private pockets. I want a league where the administrators not only display perfect understanding of the rules governing but also an application of the rules without fear or favour, where the corporate world will feel compelled to invest in,” he noted.
Senator Saraki urged Nigerians to back Abdullahi not only in his plans to reform the NPL but all aspects of sports in Nigeria