Privatizing Govt Club Will Kill Football in Nigeria – Alhaji Gafar Liameed

The President of 36 Lions FC, Alhaji Liameed Gafar has kicked against privatizing govt clubs in Nigeria. According to him, Govt Clubs in Nigeria are doing well and he went ahead to explain that no private club in Nigeria can afford to spend as much as the government clubs at present, adding that some government clubs are paying a minimum of Five hundred thousand (N500,000) as salary for Nigeria Professional Football League players. He revealed that it will be difficult for private clubs whose major income is gotten through player transfer to pay players as much as N500,000.

Speaking on Nigeria’s foremost sports WhatsApp platform Family United By Football (FUBF) he said, “The government clubs should not be privatized anytime soon because they are doing okay. The average salary by government club is N500,000 and an average professional ten career years. So when we multiply N500,000 by 120 months that will give an average player N60 million. Subtracting player’s life maintenance and sustaining his family throughout his career he will probably be left with N20 million and sometimes Zero and most the government clubs are paying such amount. Most of the private players are paid less compared to government players because the only source of our income is the player’s transfer. So imagine where a private club will get money to pay players N500,000 Monthly.

He admitted that private clubs in Nigeria are struggling as their income solely depends on player transfer. He lamented about the lack of means of income for private clubs saying it is difficult to secure sponsorship deals as well as club merchandise. With our system as a private club with no gate takings, no TV right, no club merchandising.

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At 36 Lions, this is our 20 years, and I can tell you that we have not sold club merchandise worth N20,000. Is that not a shame, but whose shame is it. 99% of the individuals I know who love 36 Lions have always asked for free jersey all the time, but we can’t blame them because even our annual supporters we cant do more than two jerseys for them annually sometimes three jerseys a year and this is because we cant have our boys playing without supporters or someone cheering them up.

We have also had meetings with several brand managers and marketing gurus over the years maybe they will win us sponsorship or partnership but as of today, nothing is forthcoming.

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So, for me trying to privatize government club in Nigeria is trying to kill Nigerian football. Please let us leave government alone and let fix Nigeria and as long as Nigeria is Fixed, Nigerian Football will thrive” He concluded.

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