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Private owned clubs and the battle to stay in the NNL

21 January 2014, 13:47

Most clubs in the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) and the Nigeria National League (NNL) are sponsored by government who can really splash the cash.

Lately some determined private owned clubs who want to make a change in Nigeria football, have taken a bold step to run  football clubs worthy of the NPL.

Though a few of those clubs have achieved that but their ability have to run as a professional club is a big question.
The budget to run a club featuring in the NPL or NNL a season runs into hundreds of million.

 That's the reason why most private owned clubs feature in the Nigeria Nationwide League (NNWL) where the amount they'll spend in a season is lower. They sell off their slot when they gain promotion from the Amateur to the professional league.

Last season in the NNL, four clubs pulled out of the league mainly due to financial reasons while a couple of other private owned clubs survived. Yes, planning goes a long way and clubs like TEAP FC of Abuja, COD United of Lagos, DSS FC of Kaduna, MFM FC of Lagos and First Bank FC of Lagos who aren't government owned will all feature in the Nigeria National League.

Union Bank of Lagos is meant to feature in the NNL after an impressive run in NNWL winning twice on the road but as at this time the club is considering to sell their NNL slot.

What do these clubs play for in the NNL?Probably the obvious reason is to give a shot at promotion to feature in the NPL but after that there's nothing really to play for.

Clubs don't get anything instead they spend so much to register and still pick up the bills of officiating officials during their home games, they spend so much just to honor an away match in a 16teams league format. The NNL has no sponsor neither is the league on TV.

With these obvious challenges  staring at these private clubs - will clubs pull out of the league?

A few of the clubs that participated in the NNL last season have been disbanded, Fountain FC of  Ekiti! Divine Warriors (former Ocean Boys) of Yenegoa, JUTH FC of Jos and Bolowotan FC of Ikorodu have all been disbanded. Though there are hints that Bolowotan FC of Ikorodu are planning a come back to the  NNWL.

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