By Abimbola Fashakin, Lagos
A Lagos based company, NASD OTC Securities Exchange and the League Management Company (LMC) have signed an agreement that will open up the potential of the capital market to the professional football clubs.At the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) between the two on Wednesday in Lagos, the parties expressed commitment to a mutual and partnership that will see bring innovative financing solutions for football clubs through listing at the stock market.
Managing Director, NASD Plc, Mr. Bola Ajomale, said the partnership marks the beginning of merging of financial and sporting interests in an unprecedented step.
He noted that football clubs have rising and falling fortunes and can live or die depending on the foresight of the managers, which underlines the need to not only look at the passionate side of soccer but also the business side.
â€œAt a time that state and federal government are seeking to reorder their expenditure patterns, it is appropriate for the LMC to look at allowing private and public investment play a bigger role in the financing of the most popular sport in Nigeria and indeed, the rest of the world.
â€œWe at NASD share the belief that Nigerian football clubs can harness the power of the capital market and the passion of sport-loving Nigerians to develop reliable funding channels,â€ Ajomale said.
League Management Company (LMC) Chairman, Shehu Dikko, said the signing of the MoU was a historic step that signposts its vision of providing strong structures for Nigerian professional football clubs.
According to him, there is the need to standardise the football clubs in line with the global trend, in a partnership that will pursue joint interest in development and promotion ofÂ professional football league and create financing opportunities for the football clubs.
He said the deal will lead to a deeper engagement of the private sector, which is the backbone of football sponsorship in advanced leagues of the world while the NASD will also facilitate the creation of special products including fans-based cooperatives and provide the football clubs the platform to trade their shares openly and transparently.
â€œThis has the potential to position our clubs to offer attractive and competitive remuneration to players and attract competent marketing and administrative executives to improve the commercial operations of the clubs,â€ Dikko said.