From Chairman of the League Management Company (LMC) has come an expression of deep appreciation to fans of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) Clubs for their support all through the 2014/15 season season and a pledge to offer more in all aspects of the league’s organisation in the 2015/16 season which kicks off on Sunday, February 21.
Dikko spoke on the heels of the successful NPFL Super 4 tournament which held over two rounds with the first leg in Kaduna and the last leg concluded in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State last Friday.
He said the fans were the most valuable assets of the league in the last season as they succeeded in repossession the league. According to Dikko, “the success of the last season goes down to the fans, together, we repossessed our league and we will do more to keep our league together”.
He said fans should expect more this season in the area of tightened security, players’ welfare, media coverage, governing rules implementation and improved atmosphere at games.
“Fans should expect more when the season starts on February 21. We will work to ensure safety at match grounds for fans, match officials and the players as all the groundwork done last season with the office of the Inspector General of Police and the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps will be implemented to tighten security before, during and after games”, the LMC Chairman assured fans.
On players’ welfare, Dikko said learnings from the last season will be put into use to prevent a recurrence of the magnitude experienced. “We are putting place with the clubs some safeguards that will reduce if not eliminate the problem of indebtedness to players by their employers. This is the reason we are asking the clubs to provide financial guarantees as part of their licensing requirement and above all, the LMC will ensure the implementation of Rules and Framework which has been updated to take care of some of the observed lapses of the last season”.
Continuing, the LMC Chairman promised that “we will work at expanding our media platforms to reach more Nigerians and this will be in the area of free to air television broadcast of our games, live radio commentaries, social media platforms and the conventional media which we will explore partnerships to ensure wider coverage and reporting of league activities”.
Dikko also commended the Referees for the quality of officiating in the last season and charged them to aim to improve delivery of match arbitration. “To a large extent, we have ensured the fidelity of match outcomes and will support the Referees to improve on the standard attained last season as the credibility of results contributed to the surge of interest witnessed last season.