The Ondo state government has announced that the state-owned Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) club, Sunshine Stars, won’t be sold contrary to an initial assertion.
In April, Naija News reported that Ondo state commissioner for youth and sports development, Bamidele Ologunloluwa, said during a radio interview that the state government was planning to fully privatize the club.
Then, he was quoted as saying, “At the end of the season, we are going into full-fledged privatization. It is better for us as a state, but some people don’t understand this. Once it happens, they will thank Mr. Governor.”
But at a press conference in Akure on Thursday, June 1, the commissioner insisted that the state government is not planning to sell the NPFL club who have qualified for the league’s Super 6.
According to Ologun, the government just wants to collaborate with investors to successfully run the club.
The commissioner claimed that running the club as a partnership would be very advantageous to the state and members of the club.
He said, “We are not selling the club, what we are saying is that the government can’t be sponsoring the team 100 percent. It needs partnership, we need investors to partner with.
“Mr. Governor (Rotimi Akeredolu) is a sports-loving person, he can’t sell the club, what he is saying is that in the partnership agreement, the name of the club must not be changed, the venue and location of the team will remain Akure. It can’t just be sold like that.
“I’m using this opportunity to call on individuals and corporate bodies to join hands with the government to develop sports in all facets.”
The commissioner reaffirmed his management team’s commitment to doing everything legally possible to ensure that Sunshine Stars performed well in the NPFL Super Six, which will take place in Lagos and determine the league’s champion as well as the three teams that will represent Nigeria in the continent next season.