Africa Sports General Posted on 2022-07-06 05:27:03
Football is a business. A self-generating money machine, if run properly. Sponsorships, TV broadcasting deals and match day revenue all contribute to a team’s purse, not to mention player transfer fees and competition prize money. The revenue received goes towards paying players, developing facilities and the overall growth of the Team. And so, like all businesses, money is essential to the growth of a football team and the league at large.
It should be no surprise that fans play the biggest role in the finances of a team. The bigger the fan base, the more attractive the team is to investors and the more TV time the club is afforded. The fan also play a direct role in generating revenue for Teams through a variety of ways labeled, "match day revenue". This consists of match day tickets, merchandise sales and the use of the team’s restaurants. To put this into perspective Arsenal Football Club accumulated around £100 Million from match day revenue alone in 2019 (according to Statista).
Nigeria, as we all know, is home to one of the most passionate Fans in the world. So, why aren't teams in the Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) taking advantage of this?
Firstly, the presence of fans attending NPFL games is mostly nonexistent. With no real buzz leading up to the games and no remote places to watch games, Fans either don't know when their teams are in action or have not seen enough of them to sacrifice a day from their weekend to attend the game.
The second reason is that reckless fan behavior continues to plague the league. Too often, some games are abandoned due to pitch invasions or fans hurling objects at officials and players. This makes the stadiums feel unsafe, it leads to fans being banned from the stadiums entirely, and the teams continue to lose valuable revenue opportunities.
With an estimated average stadium capacity of seventeen thousand, NPFL teams can easily make over $300,000 (161,000,000 naira) annually from match day revenue alone. Plateau United have the biggest stadium capacity for an NPFL team. The Jos International Stadium can house forty-four thousand persons. This means the Teams has an expected yearly match day revenue of over half a million dollars. This money can aid the general growth of the team and create more revenue opportunities.
However, while there are whole host of reasons why things are a bit slow on the part of the NFL, one can attribute the lack of growth to fan behaviours, lack of interest and frankly the lack of awareness how much power they actually hold is one of the major reasons why there has been next to no exceeding growth in the league.