The coach of Gombe United, Zubair Aliyu, claims that his team’s performance during the abridged 2022–2023 Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) was affected by lack of financial motivation.
Aliyu said this after Gombe suffered a 1-0 loss to Akwa United on the final day of the regular season at the Pantami stadium in Gombe State.
In the NPFL game, James Ajako scored the game-winning goal in the 30th minute to give Akwa United the away win.
During the season, Gombe United recorded 7 defeats, 7 draws, and only 4 wins in 18 games. The terrible stats left them in the 7th spot, five points above the relegation zone.
At the end of the challenging season, coach Zubair Aliyu told reporters that the team went through the season without proper funding.
He said, “I haven’t said this before, this team is not motivated, not a single bonus is paid to them.
“We started the first round picking points on the way. Once players realize they are not getting anything for winning matches, you will start seeing diminishing returns, the performance will start dropping. Along the line, we thank God the team is still in the NPFL.”
He added, “By motivation, I mean incentives, financial motivation. This is my third season in this club, I can boast that we got not more than three bonuses. Can a team be motivated in such a manner? We thank God, our supporters, and the government despite the lack of motivation, but retaining our place in the NPFL was the most important.”
“My advice is for the government to support the team financially, which is most important. Without finance, no football.”
Unlike other top 6 clubs who will be in Lagos for the NPFL Super 6 in June, Gombe United will have to wait until August (when the 2023-2024 NPFL season is expected to commence) before they will return to competitive football.