Chief Operating Officer, COO of Nigeria Nationwide League One, NLO, Sola Ogunowo has disclosed that Nigeria’s economic situation is key reason why the NLO has not been able to attract sponsors.
Ogunnowo said in a chat with Owosports in Ijebu-Ode, one of the centers for the 2019 NLO Division Two engagements on Monday.
He expressed optimism that the league would raise its standard from next season as support from the Nigeria Football Federation would be useful.
“The economy situation we find ourselves in the country is reason why we can’t get sponsors for the league, though it’s been tough having to get the season going, the only funds we make do with is the registration fees from the clubs.
“Am a trained manager and as I manage situations with limited resources, funds or without one, that knowledge I have used to get the league going over the years.
“But we are expecting the NFF to give us subvention that they have promised us this season.
“That’s why we have introduced live stream of some of our matches as a means to generate funds.
“We have used this season to test run it, soon it’ll be how to commercialize it when we sign a contract with the IT firm.
“It’s going to be a revenue source as there is a fee charged from any devices one use to live stream an NLO league game.
“We expect it to be much but its going to be gradual as funds from big brands and corporate firms can not be compared with,” Ogunnowo said.
Asked of his assessment of the Division Two League, the NLO COO added “Good games, officiating has been fair, I’m impressed with the quality of games I have seen here in Ijebu-Ode likewise other centres I have been.
“The performances from the teams and its officials adhering to the rules and regulations of the competition, shows professionalism.
“We can only look for better ways of improving the league for sponsors to come, so they can foot the expenses of the clubs.
“The standard of play too is high, more than 100 teams are slugging it out in the NLO 2019 Division Two to get promotion to Division One.
“If there was no quality you won’t see scouts of teams in the Nigeria National League (NNL), Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and foreign clubs in the Eight Centres checking out these raw talents.
“Former Super Eagles midfielder, Seyi Olofinjana called from the United Kingdom after livestream his team’s game on the internet.
“He could not have imagined watching his team who were playing in Ado-Ekiti at his end in the UK. This is one innovation we have introduced to the league. Kudos to Olofinjana as his team qualified to NLO Division One.
“Olofinjana investing his funds into this project shows he believes that there are talents that will feature for the Super Eagles in the near future.
“Playing at a neutral ground has its own plus but if you look at community footballing which we try to make the league be is a minus to some extent, as the community were these teams are based would have loved to see them.
“I want to assure you that from next season, many matches in the league will be on live stream as the target is either 20 or 24 games weekly.”
He said they are working hard to have the league format will revert to home and away basis next season with other innovations.
“Next season the NLO will have funds and a lot or changes will be made. Teams will get financial support from the NLO as a way of reducing their expenses, plan for other programmes like scouting players in their communities and beyond,” he said.