NPFL: LMC bungles Bet9ja sponsorship deal

Few weeks after announcing a mouth-watering sponsorship deal with top-notch betting company, Bet9ja, a top official of the League Management Company (LMC) may have thrown spanners into the partnership arrangement  ahead of the commencement of the 2021/22 NPFL football season.

The sponsorship deal may turn out to be a mirage after all as it was  reliably gathered from an impeccable source.

Blueprint reliably gathered that Bet9ja chairman, Hon.Kunle Soname, who also is the proprietor of Remo Stars – a new entrant into the NPFL was irked when a top shot in the LMC demanded for 50% payment into his private account.

The LMC official in question was not the one that brokered the deal between LMC and Bet9ja.

The action and effrontery of the LMC official infuriated Hon Soname to the extent of cancelling the ‘verbal and mutual’ understanding between the two parties.

The LMC had recently been overwhelmed by debts. The country’s football league managers are owning a backlog of 19-months salary to their staff.

They have not been able to fulfill their obligations in payment of match indemnities to match officials in the last two and half years. The LMC are owning millions of naira to several hotels and company across the country with a debt of about N2bn hovering on their head.

The cancellation of the deal is one of the reasons why the NPFL cannot start despite concrete assurance that the 2021/22 NPFL season will gets underway latest by first week in October.

The deal between LMC and Bet9ja was announced second week in September though the LMC did not state the duration of the sponsorship agreement.

Also, the LMC did not  provide details on the contractual terms, how much Bet9ja is bringing in N250m which is enough to start the league.

In a release, the LMC said it has firmed up a “multi-year partnership for the NPFL with Bet9Ja, Nigeria foremost Betting and Gaming brand. The deal commences from the 2021/2022 NPFL Season.

“Under the auspices of the deal, which was concluded by the parties in June 2021, after lengthy negotiations, with Nidayo Sports Marketing as advisors to the Parties, Bet9Ja will be signing up as “Official Supporter/Sponsor of the NPFL under the Betting and Ganung category.”

Both parties have also agreed to work together to develop special projects and activities to maximize the activation of the partnership while providing mutual value and benefits to their brands, customers, businesses and, indeed, the overall development of NPFL and Nigeria Football.

The organisers noted that “Further details on the Partnership will be made available at the formal unveiling ceremony to be held at a date to be announced soon.”