Benson Chukwueke Benson Chukwueke Author
Title: NIGERIA FOOTBALL REFORM: Why IMC should Follow Thai Premier League Example
Author: Benson Chukwueke
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Worawi Makudi, Thailand FA President The Nduka Irabor led Interim Management Committee (IMC) saddled with the reformation of ...


Worawi Makudi, Thailand FA President

The Nduka Irabor led Interim Management Committee (IMC) saddled with the reformation of Nigeria Premier League (NPL) should get it right this time around. I think as a stakeholder I should point them to what Thailand football association is doing to grow the standard of their league in the recent years.

Thai Premier League like the case of NPL, was bedeviled with corruption - Match fixing, bribery, and administrative wranglings -  until the football association of Thailand President, Worawi Makudi, decided to champion a change. He set up a committee with a target to make the premier league one of the top in Asia.

So the committee decided to sign up the English Premier League (EPL) master strategist to help boost its standard and profile on the International scene. EPL Chairman, Sir David Richards took up the role of a consultant for the Thai football association.

"Sir Richards agreed to be a Consultant for our football association, to look at the organization of our league in particular and to boost our profile on the International football market." said Worawi, Thai FA boss.

Sir Richards is already bringing in other football experts around the world to Thailand,  The Country's league administrators and club managers are constantly receiving diverse trainings and some are now on internship in EPL clubs.

"The change has come." Worawi said the appointment of such high profile expert mirrors the growth of Thai football in recent years. "It is reflecting; our football league has grown considerably over the past few years. Our first tier league is now regarded among the top five in the continent and no 1 in South West Asia."


David Richards, EPL Boss

Sir Richards is also overseeing the business end. Helping to broker high profile sponsorship deals and TV rights for the Thai Premier League. He is currently consulting for the auction of 3 years TV broadcast right.

"The holder of the right, True Vision, is in the last year of its contract, with the auction for a new 3 years TV deal to be held in March 2013." said Worawi.

With Sir Richards as the driver, we expect to earn annual income of Bt600 million from the new deal, Foreign companies will join the bidding process, while several of the country's Cable TV operators have also expressed their interest."

"Each Thai Premier League team is expected to earn Bt15 million from television revenue in 2014 season plus Bt20 million each for the next two years.

I've severally recommended this option. You Can't under play what such men like Sir David Richards can contribute in the re-organization of NPL. The specialized training and internship opportunities. Attracting foreign investors and improving the profile of NPL on the International football market. It takes only for IMC to decide to break out of the Vicious circle and offer an exciting league to the over 80 million football consumers in Nigeria.



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