Poll Result Encourages Public-Private Ownership of Football Clubs in Nigeria

In a Twitter poll conducted by @FootbalIssuesNG on ‘Government Ownership of Football Clubs in Nigeria’, majority of participants were in favour of a system of Public-Private Partnership for ownership of football clubs in the country.

56% of the 144 participants voted in favour of Public-Private Partnership, 39% voted for government to hands off ownership of football clubs completely, while 6% voted for government of limit itself to ownership of amateur clubs only.

The current trend in Nigeria is one where most professional football clubs are owned by various state governments, with some owning more than one. In the elite football league – the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL), 16 of the 20 participating clubs (representing 80%) are owned by state governments.

One thing we can take away from the poll is that given government’s stated aim of using football for the objectives of youth development; if perhaps government is unwilling to completely hands off football, in terms of ownership and control, government could still achieve its socio-political objectives by retaining part-ownership while leaving control/management of the club to the private sector.

Public-Private Partnership has, in Nigeria and indeed Africa, recorded some level of success in the areas such as infrastructure, tourism and transport. Perhaps it is worth considering for football, particularly given the crucial role government currently plays in football funding and infrastructure.

See some of the opinions below:

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