Professor Patrick Omo-Osagie, the United States based academic, has described the interest shown by UK businessmen to invest about 1.5 billion in the Nigeria Professional Football League as deceitful and a complete lie.
Earlier on Monday, the country’s sports minister Solomon Dalung had announced the willingness of a consortium of investors from the United Kingdom in investing the huge amount in the Nigeria Professional Football League.
But the sports consultant, who spoke from his base in the United States, said the flashy investment idea was not realistic in the country’s domestic league, citing several reasons.
“It is somehow, UK investors coming to invest 1.5 billion in Nigeria,” Professor Omo-Osagie began.
“How does the English Premier League make every year. Four billion and you want to come and invest a quarter of that income into Nigeria football. The EPL that make four billion dollars is the richest league. This is deceitful.
“Just the numbers tells you that this is a complete lie. We say sports are a big exchange earner for any country. Can anyone mention any country that sports earn them a foreign exchange? There is no country that does.
“American is the largest sports economy in the World. I’ve you ever left Nigeria to watch the super bowl. The NFL is the largest sports league in the world. It has a turnover of about 13 billion dollars in America.
“The NFL is rich because people have extra money they spend on sports. That the same reason why NBA and Hockey are rich in America.
“These some of the things that aren’t people studying these things. Let not people a get carried away by emotions because it disrupts what people can eventually do.
“Two years ago, it was the same thing happened with NBBF [Nigeria Basketball Federation]. They signed a contract with the largest sports management company in the world. They signed a 20 years contract with IMG to supposedly come and take over Nigeria Basketball.
“I laughed at people because IMG is on USA stock exchange. They make money for people that busy shares in them. There are not going to bring a dime to your basketball.
“They will do some consulting work and if they make any success from it, they will take money out of your system.
“People will say this man has bad belle. I’ve been teaching sports for a long time. And my biggest interest today is the financing, the marketing and not really the playing anymore.
“Because I see that if you If you cannot sell or monetize it, then it is of no use. You’re must learn to turn what you do as an individual into money.
“That’s what we don’t seem to understand. We run everything in Nigeria on our emotions and not with our brain or our head. Sports can be better, but it is not by mouthing it up.
“To invest 1.5 billion dollars in Nigeria football? The LMC has talked about this in the last few years. I was told 300-500 million naira is required to run a club in Nigeria League.
“500m per team multiply by 20 clubs which is equal to 10 billion naira every year. At 500million per club then it is equal to 28 million dollars and we are talking about 1.5 billion dollars.
“1.5 billion? Where do they hope to get that from? We have to start to look at things in the way things normal works. Same time, how many teams are ready to put money in Nigeria Stock Exchange. They should try not play on people’s emotion.
“People say sports is a business. But do people understand how the business of sports works? And people must consider that it deals with numbers, profit, and loss of it. You must have people that can afford to buy”