In the wake of a leaked letter of contract suspension of Players and Technical crew of Akwa Ibom based NNL side Vandrezzer Football Club, the team’s management has insisted they simply acted according to exigencies of the moment.
In a telephone chat with Complete Sports, VFC’s Chief Operating Officer, Engineer Kingsley Ogbonna disclosed that the management, having duly considered the indefinite suspension of the Nigerian National League matches by the Management of the League, coupled with the uncertainties posed by the COVID-19 global pandemic, decided to suspend all contracts until further notice.
“Our club is renowned for taking players and staff welfare seriously. The letter was a confidential document explaining
our latest decisions,”Ogbonna told Complete Sports.
“Despite inactivity caused by the suspension of NNL matches from December 2019 till date, the Management continued to keep to the terms of contract by paying salaries of all staff, in anticipation of the resumption of the League.
Recall that the league 2019/2020 season which went on two weeks break on December 22, 2019, has been unable to resume till date.
After almost three months of inactivity, the Nigeria National League via Circular 86 dated March 12, 2020, announced an *indefinite* postponement of the resumption of Nigeria’s second tier football league for reasons which the League Management described as “caustic situation bedevilling Nigerian football”.
According to Ogbonna, suspension of Contracts of the Players and the Technical Crew was borne out of necessity, to prevent the further erosion of investors funds, in the light of its current exposures; and to position the club to be able to return once the league announces a resumption date.
Read Also: Sports Ministry Launches ‘I Choose Life’ Campaign’ Against Drug Abuse
“We are a privately owned club, operating solely on private investors money. We registered for a league, paid all registration fees, started the league only to have it abruptly cut short by the NNL,” Ogbonna added.
“Sadly, the reason we set up the team has been frustrated, missing out for over a quarter of the year! So we had to take a decision that will ensure survival of the club, and guarantee the possibility for more investors monies to be accessed once football returns. The players and technical crew were verbally informed about the situation which calls for all to make sacrifices in order to have a club to return to, before the letters were sent out.”
While commending the Minister of Sports in Nigeria for his contribution to the sports industry since assumption of office, the Vandrezzer boss however urged the Minister and the NFF to take a cue from other countries and offer bailouts to Private Football Clubs, noting that the significant delay due to the postponement of league matches in the second tier of Nigeria’s football league and the current pandemic caused by the COVID-19 has put several private football clubs into extremely difficult economic conditions.
”These conditions he insists “may eventually cause private teams to fold-up, even as the league season will stretch far beyond what the clubs had budgeted for.”
The Lions of Naija, as they are nicknamed, is currently placed 4th with six points and four points behind top placed Bendel Insurance on Group B2 table, with two league matches outstanding, and has within six months from the date of its incorporation, been able to distinguish herself from other clubs.
The club has continued to endear itself in the heart of its fans due to its modern approach to the game of football. It’s style which is akin to what is obtainable in football clubs in UK and Europe, has earned the club the highest social media following for a football club in Nigeria.
Findings indicate that VFC has invested heavily in its players and training equipment, but has decided to put a peg on its spending and further exposure until the NNL confirms the resumption date for the 2019/2020 league season.Copyright © 2020 Completesports.com All rights reserved. The information contained in Completesports.com may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without the prior written authority of Completesports.com.