Way back in May, I did an article titled “Good Thinking, Bad Product” following the 3-1 victory of the Super Eagles over Luxembourg in a friendly game. The idea of a friendly was good, but the choice of opponents, considering what was ahead of the Super Eagles, wasn’t a brilliant one. The recent selection of officers into the boards of the Nigeria National League, Nigeria Women Football League and the Nigeria Nationwide League falls into the same category: the thinking is good, but the methodology has birthed a bad product…

The assumption is that the boards were set up with the purpose of recreating the success the League Management Company (LMC) has achieved in the Premier League. If that assumption is correct, then the NFF have put the cart before the horse, and the result can only be chaos. The first step should have been to register a company or companies, then clearly state the component parts of the board and their functions. The LMC has been successful because it is not only recognised by law, it is run as a company by people with proven track records. 

The appointment of an “Independent Chairman” and a “CEO” is a likely recipe for disaster. What are the functions of the Chairman? What makes the office ‘Independent’? What is the job of the CEO? Who is really in charge? The obfuscation of the leadership role may lead to crisis in future. The LMC has a single chairman, supported by Board Members whose roles are well defined.

The boards have a two-year tenure, reportedly agreed by the congress of the Leagues in question. When did these Congresses meet? Why two years? Given the state of the leagues involved, precious little can be achieved in two years. Will the board be given a further two years? If that is the case, how many terms can each board serve? Will that be made up as the days unfold? Another grey area. The LMC Chairman has a four year tenure. The four years are long enough to get most things going, a two-year tenure is not enough.

Why didn’t the NFF simply follow the blue-print of the LMC for the Women League? And wouldn’t it have been better to hand over the NNL and NWL to the LMC, grow the brands, and then create their own boards? The fact that the NFF quoted laws to justify the process, meant that they recognised the flaws in their creation. It’s not too late to admit the mistake, and do the right thing.

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