Football contracts in the NPFL: A Big Deal?

It is far becoming a usual affair in the top flight but can the Nigeria Professional Football League really change its ways?

The NPFL is not on the right path in so many ways – which is a fact. The league began over 40 years ago but the standard of football is still quite poor, the facilities are in bad shape or non-existent, clubs can’t account for the number of their fans, the welfare package for the players is also terrible, the fans don’t get value for their money, most of the coaches are without the right qualifications, etc.

Asides the above listed, another absurd practice is the movement of players or the exodus of players. In the space of five seasons, some players may have played for about five to six clubs and questions about their contracts suddenly pops up.

In 2016, FIFA announced and the League Management Company also confirmed that the NPFL would be implementing the Domestic Transfer Matching System [DTMS]. Upon effective implementation, the DTMS will be used to monitor domestic transfers, eliminate transfer disputes among other things.

Sadly, players are still being owed and financial settlements of former players are not being met by erring clubs in the league despite the introduction of the DTMS. The initiative is quite good but its enforcement has been the biggest problem of all – rule or guidelines with no implementation is no rule at all.

At a point in time, clubs like Rangers and Sunshine Stars were sanctioned for not paying the salaries of their players. Honestly, it is quite difficult to comprehend how players go on strike for lack of payment of salaries and go as far as begging their respective state governments for what should be their entitlement – so sad.

The clubs sign players mostly on a free at the end of every transfer window; this alone doesn’t say it all, the players with or without contract are always at the receiving end of maltreatment by these unconcerned, non-football loving and nonchalant administrators. This particular issue needs a serious attention as the players don’t get reward for the work and input they have made.

It is also quite amusing that players are being signed by the NPFL clubs; get clearance from the LMC but the details of the contracts are left unknown. This practice isn’t good and the football administrators know but nothing has been done over the years.

Most NPFL clubs at the end of every season sign players in excess as well as letting a dozen of them leave at will without most of the players receiving any compensation for their services. Unfortunately, the players do have their own share of the blame to take – signing for clubs without an intermediary and right contract terms is criminal.

In as much they [players] want a career in football, playing in the NPFL should be an opportunity to exhibit the right practices. Furthermore, the players must see the need for an intermediary or agents to negotiate contractual agreements on their behalf.

Sadly, we have the NPFL frame work and rules but its implementation has been the bane of so many problems we have found ourselves. We cannot continue to run the Nigeria Professional Football League this way; things need to change and the concerned individuals should play their role accordingly.


Do you see the contract situation in the NPFL improving in the near future? Share your thoughts in the comment section below.

Follow Samuel on Twitter: @Undisputed_Jsam

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Samuel Areo
Samuel Areo, popularly known as Undisputed Jsam, is an undergraduate of Civil Engineering in Nigeria's Premier University, the University of Ibadan. Sam is a football enthusiast and content provider, with special interest in the Nigerian league.

4 thoughts on “Football contracts in the NPFL: A Big Deal?

  1. From what I read:

    1. The Administrators knowing and not doing anything about it all is even more proof that the system is faulty. There’s only so much that can be improved upon if it stays this way.

    2. The players need to be enlightened. Yes, most of them go for “the now” not bothering what may happen in the future. That’s why they keep signing for clubs without an intermediary and right contract terms.

    All in all, was a great read which reveals that there’s plenty of work still to be done.

    1. Thanks for the compliments man.

      I simple believe if the DTMS can be enforced, all these issues would be a thing of the past.

  2. It saddens my heart that our administrators see clearly what is applicable in other climes but have refused to replicate same practice here in Nigeria.
    The main problem is from the administrators, the players have little negotiating power in my own opinion as they can’t really be strict as regards contractual agreement because they usually see clubs signing them as a favour. Only very few players have the reputation to request for such agreement.
    Me I dunno what the LMC and the Legal department of the NFF is doing about it, Shameful.

    1. Thanks for reading Samad.

      I absolutely agree that the administrators have majority of the blame but the players should be held responsible as well. A player goes into a new cub and fails to sign a proper contract with an intermediary present. The importance of an intermediary can’t be overemphasized.

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