Just last weekend I was singing the praise of Heartland FC for seeking partnerships with European clubs as a way to move the club to new competitive heights, only to read this week that FC Ifeanyiubah have already completed a deal to become the partners of London club West Ham United in Nigeria. This is a huge step forward for both the club and the NPFL and more Nigerian clubs must follow this route to tap into the billions of dollars invested in the global football industry annually. We need to increase our share of the global football market. This is how we should play the game because given our pedigree in the game, our population of 180m people, our status as arguably the largest economy in Africa even with vast amounts of various mineral resources that are yet untapped, every business from outside our continent with Africa-wide interest should first talk to us in Nigeria.
Also this should show us that business is a two-way street as this deal will be mutually beneficial. I see Nigerians sweat over their love for the likes of Arsenal, Chelsea, Manchester United, Liverpool and the like and ask them “what do you get in return?” Often the answer is “entertainment”. I never get this, we already are a people exposed to over-entertainment, but that is not my point. Men should be different from boys because men have bills to pay. If you must invest your emotions and resources in these foreign clubs, at least be shrewd enough to get something tangible in return. That is what this Ifeanyiubah deal smells like, and the aroma is beautiful.