WHY CLUB OWNERS OPTED FOR GLO
Fresh facts have unravel as to why some stakeholders made a volte-face to support the National Sports Commission (NSC)'s directive that the Nigeria Premier League (NPL) should organise another bidding exercise for corporate organisations willing to take up the title sponsorship rights of the Premier League.
Late last year, the NPL had awarded the sponsorship rights to MTN after a bidding process that had another telecommunications giant, Glo in contention. Few days after the bid, Glo told the media that the process was not fair and transparent, alleging that it was tailored to favour its opponent, which didn't bid openly for the league sponsorship rights, but used a marketing outfit, Total Promotion as a front.
Glo eventually went to court to challenge NPL's award of the rights to MTN, but latter withdraw the suit a fortnight ago after it was resolved that NPL would organise a fresh bid for interested organisations.
However, some club owners, who make up the General Congress of the NPL, which is the final decision making organ of the football body, revealed that their past experience with Total Promotion, which fronted for MTN in the bidding exercise, discouraged them from supporting the South African-based company.
Tony Ogola, the general manager of Ocean Boys and a representative of the Bayelsa club at the NPL's Congress, alleged that Total Promotion has many question to answer as it concerns the television rights of the Premier League. Ogola revealed that spirited efforts would have been made to lobby representatives of the 20 clubs in the Premier League at the General Congress to show solidarity to MTN, but its link with Total Promotion was the greatest undoing of the telecommunications giant.
'If we, the members of the Congress, had stood our grounds that MTN should remain our sponsor, nobody would have stopped it,' he said. The Ocean Boys' team manager alleged that from the investigations made by club owners, it was revealed that Total Promotion used to get N600million from television rights every year, but neither the current board of the NPL nor any of the clubs in the league had got a dime from the money.
'Total Promotion has been unfair to club owners for a very long time, that is why we don't want its involvement in this title sponsorship bidding process. The organisation has never given a dime to the current board. It was only Chief Oyuki Obaseki that confirmed that his board got N150million during his tenure as chairman of NPL. So, who did Total Promotion give the remaining money it made from television rights?' Ogola asked.