I would have chosen to remain silent over this StarTimes sponsorship package but it would be irresponsible on my part as a stakeholder to remain silent on this very important National issue.
I will not tell stories but take the points in the write up and give my views appropriately.
"More facts have emerged about the recent alleged shady broadcast right contract signed by the Nigeria Premier Football League, NPFL, and cable outfit, StarTimes".
*What is shady about the StarTimes sponsorship deal? This statement if unproven could attract litigation from NPFL, Star Times and others.*
"Many Nigerians had expressed concern over the deal describing it as possible daylight robbery on the Nigerian league and stakeholders, some of whom have vowed to fight the scam until there is justice for the league".
*How many Nigerians have expressed their views? Where is the evidence of day light robbery? Where is the evidence of the scam?*
"Former Gombe United Chairman, Alhaji Gara Gombe Shuaibu, has led a one-man riot squad against what he termed a disgrace to football lovers, a monumental scam and an embarrassment to Nigeria as a country. He has literally stormed power centres with placards urging the government to stop the rip off while also on a journey to the Nigerian Governors Forum to expose the alleged shady deal since most football clubs in Nigeria are owned by state governments".
*How is the sponsorship a disgrace for a League that had no sponsorship until recently when the IMC started making the sponsorship arrangements? If we have a deal now and it is called a scam, what will be the appropriate description of the League when it had ZERO SPONSORSHIP for a number of years?*
"There was, however, a twist to the whole drama on Tuesday when the Managing Director of TotalPromotions in a letter to StarTimes warned of the legal obstacles while the broadcast deal would not see the light of the day revealing that the broadcast right still legally resides with his company, further stressing that there has been an interlocutory injunction from the High Court retraining all parties from tampering with an existing contract between the NFLL and TotalPromotions. According to him, the case is now at the Court of Appeal after the League Management Company appealed the High Court verdict but abandoned it since then".
*Can we see the FACE of Total Promotions, please?*
*Since there was an injunction and the LMC for now is nowhere, legal experts should please educate us if the progress of the NPFL is dependent on Total Promotions.*
*Can I ask that Total Promotions should enlighten the Nigeria Football League followers what positive contributions they have made to Football in Nigeria?*
"Like a bolt from the blues, seeming facts are oozing out that the deal between the NPFL and StarTime may have actually been facilitated by an influential money-bag in the NPFL board who allegedly acquired 20 per cent shares in StarTimes recently. An impeccable source revealed that the said board member allegedly did everything to railroad the board from agreeing to any counterpart offer
As at the time the contract was signed, StarTimes had not a single Outside Broadcasting Van, OB Van, to telecast live matches. But as part of his 20 per cent shares in the company, the rich board member pledged to acquire four OB Vans for StarTimes before the end of the league season to enable the outfit to show four live matches a week. The first OB Van, according to our source, reportedly arrived Nigeria this week hence the promise of live coverage for the November 18 MatchDay 9 between Akwa United and Remo Stars FC in Uyo".
*If somebody has facilitated the realization of the broadcast of the NPFL matches, I should be praising the facilitators of the telecast of the Nigerian League rather than carrying my binoculars and stethoscope to identify flaws. Yes! Identify the flaws and let's correct them. Spurious allegations could be injurious and there are consequences. Are there hidden interest that are being promoted by orchestration of the NPFL/StarTimes Deal as a scam?*
"Unfortunately, the letter from TotalPromotions may have thrown a likely wide spanner in the plans as StarTimes is alleged to be seeking clarifications from the NPFL after going through the barrage of documents – court injunction, Justice Donatus Okorowo judgment, Supreme Court judgment and others – accompanying TotalPromotions letter to StarTimes".
*I commend Star Times for seeking clarification and I believe that the NPFL will be able to make the required clarifications. All we need is for our League to improve. We have great talents in Nigeria but many are wasting. Mamelodi Sundowns of South Africa won the maiden edition of the Africa Football League because of the quality of their League. It's a shame that we are quarrelling while some Leagues in Africa are improving very fast.*
*1. STAR TIMES AND THE QUIET POSTURE OF NPFL CLUBS.*
The NPFL Clubs are too quiet about the issue on ground. Enyimba, Rangers, Abia Warriors, Heartland, Bayelsa United, Rivers United, Akwa United, Insurance FC, Sporting Lagos, Shooting Stars, Remo Stars, Kwara United, Lobi Stars, Niger Tornadoes, Plateau United, Kano Pillars, Katsina United, Gombe United, Wiki Tourists and Doma United. All these Premier League sides, where are you? You are going to be the major beneficiaries and you are quite. What's the problem?
*2. NPFL, GARA GOMBE AND THE $11Million Deal.*
The criticism of the Star Times sponsorship package started from a better alternative which we were told is $11Million. While we were waiting for the Eleven million dollars sponsorship package, we have been distracted with allegations about the Star Times deal which are yet to be verified. Let's have that alternative please or else I advise that we settle for *the bird at hand and forget about the 1000 birds perching on the tree.*
*3. NFF/NPFL AND POSSIBLE LITIGATION*
The Nigeria Football Federation (NFF), the Nigeria Premier Football League (NPFL) MUST endeavour to cross the Ts and dot the Is to avoid any further distractions to the ongoing effort. Continue to listen to WISE COUNSEL. Don't throw away the Baby with the bath water.
I am waiting to see a well managed and improved League through a properly managed Sponsorship Deal.
These are my views.