LMC Takes Players’ Welfare in New Direction| to Introduce Insurance and Pension Scheme – to Secure the Future

It’s regrettable to see some of our ex-internationals that were once rich now wallowing in abject poverty. The reason is simple: they couldn’t manage their income and expenditures; they couldn’t make good investments from their earnings. Maybe they tried, but hardly would you find a footballer that’s also an investment guru. Often, they are carried away by the glamor of show-biz, as all their earnings evaporate like smoke into the thin air.

We find them all around Nigeria, at old age licking their wounds, with nothing or nobody to fall back on. It gives you idea of players that ended up in the local league. Their case is even more pathetic.

There isn’t money to squander anyway; their remunerations are very poor, yet their salaries and match bonuses are hardly paid in full. So you could imagine the state of ex-Nigerian league players. They could hardly feed from hand to mouth, especially those without educational qualifications or other skills to fall back to.

Many ex-players are seriously sick from the falls and injuries sustained during their playing days. But they are treated by society like outcast, even being reproached by younger football players today.

While the League Management Company (LMC) is doing all it can to improve the welfare package of players in Glo Premier League, they are also planning to take a step further to secure players future through insurance and pension scheme.

LMC may soon come out with a policy that every club in the Glo Premier League should make direct {Investment} deductions for insurance premium and provident fund from each player’s gross.

In case of fatal injury in the field or play, the player involved can receive indemnity from his insurance cover. And at retirement, a gratuity and monthly pension will be paid to the player – at least something to look up to each month.

I think it’s a laudable idea, but the challenge may be the fact that players are usually under contract and not permanent staff of the club per se. It’s rare to find a player that will remain in a club for say 10years, without moving; especially here in Nigeria where most contract span for only 1 – 3years and there is mass-exodus of players moving abroad.

It may be difficult to administer provident fund scheme, which require a players to contribute their premium for about 10years or so, before he can qualify for any meaningful benefit.

Most footballers in Nigeria are looking forward to migrating abroad and may not be willing to be involved in the pension scheme, since their stay in Glo Premier League may be short and not enough time to receive any benefit from their contributions.

In the following months, we’ll see how LMC tackles these challenges and work out a more embracing and transparent propositions that will be attractive to both players and clubs.

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