UEFA AND NPL CALENDAR CLASH: Why Nigerian Clubs and Players Are Losing out in the Transfer Market

Many a time football management fine or suspend a player that abscond to attend trials in Europe. Come to think of it, do you blame the players? If you’re a professional football player in Nigeria Premier League club would you miss an opportunity to try out in Europe? You wouldn’t do that because such opportunity doesn’t come always. We must  understand something here, it’s the dream of every football player in Nigeria to play for clubs like, Manchester United, Chelsea, Barcelona, Real Madrid… in Europe.

Europe is the green pasture, where the windfall for football professionals and clubs. Europe is where professional football players have opportunity to make money and become mega rich. It’s also where they can enjoy lots of fame.

The question we should ask is why is it that many Nigerian players abscond from their clubs without permission? Maybe, the players already know from experience what club management would say.  Usually, Nigeria football clubs refuse to grant their players permission because they have crucial league engagements and they cannot afford to play the games without such key players. It’s a bit complex. I don’t really blame the clubs for refusing to give the players leave. Neither do I blame the players from absconding afterward.

The clash of interest between the players and club management is caused by the football season calendar. While most league in Europe has ended the season and the transfer market window open, Nigeria Premier league (NPL) is still on. And in such crucial stage of the league, NPL players are invited to try out in Europe.  Personally, I feel there’s no use punishing them from absconding. NPL administrators should realize two important things in football business.

·         First, Europe transfer market can be a huge source of funds for Nigerian clubs. If players are allowed to go for trials and are properly transferred, the Nigerian club involved can make a lot of money from transfer fees.
·         Second, NPL can also make money if the player is legally cleared and International Transfer Certificate (ITC) issued to the foreign club for a given fee. The reverse is usually the case. Players are illegally cleared by some skimmers and both the local club and NPL gets nothing. It’s not good for business.

NPL administrators must understand the importance of UEFA calendar in the football business. Many countries and their football associations in Asia, America, Australia, and Africa have already aligned their league season with the UEFA calendar. NPL administrators should consider FIFA Calendar, CAF, NFF and UEFA calendar when scheduling the league fixtures. They should plan to start and end the league season almost the same time with European football countries’ such as English Premier League, Spanish la’liga, Italian Serial A and German bundesliga…

They should also open the transfer market window from June – August and from December – January. Aligning the league season will make for easy and smooth transfer of players. Clubs abroad can begin to collaborate with Nigerian local clubs. It’ll be ultimately beneficial for both Nigerian clubs and NPL. Then, the controversy between players and club management will reduce.

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