A report of the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) 2014/15 season activities has been released with the communique of the 2nd Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the League Management Company (LMC).

A major highlight of the communique shows that towards encouraging clubs to embrace a robust youth football development in the 2015/16 season, the LMC has introduced financial incentives for clubs that field players of 18 years and below.

This was among several other financial incentives proposed by the LMC and which were approved at the AGM that held at the Le Meridien Ibom Golf Resort and Hotels in Uyo, Akwa Ibom State on Friday, February 5.

The approval formed part of an 18 point resolution contained in the AGM Communiqué which also included the adoption of an LMC proposal for the restructuring of the league’s sponsorship structure to allow for increased participation of qualified corporate bodies in line with evolving global industry practices.

The new bonus/incentive structure to be implemented by the LMC in the new season includes payment of N500, 000 to any club that wins away from home while an away draw will earn the visiting club N200, 000. This represents 100% increase from the N250, 000 and N100, 000 paid respectively for the same results last season.

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The financial incentives also include the payment of N250, 000 to a club whose home fixture is attended by 5000 fans and above while all the 20 clubs will receive a monthly stadium maintenance allowance of N200, 000.

On youth football development, the LMC sought to encourage the clubs establish an enduring youth football culture that will see them set up nursery clubs from where players will graduate to the senior squad and ensure a replenishment line for ageing players.

Towards this end, any club that lists three players of 18 years and below with one of them having a playing time of up to 15 minutes will earn N100, 000 while when any of the three players is fielded for at least 45 minutes, the club will earn N200, 000. Already, the regulation allows each club to register five youth players in their squad in addition to the regular 35 allowed. Such players are to wear jerseys number 36-40 to clearly indicate that they are youth players.

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The AGM also approved the establishment of new sponsorship categories that will permit multi-level sponsorships that will be classified as Elite Sponsors, Official Partners, Official Supporters, Official Suppliers as well as initiating and implementing a robust merchandising program.

LMC Chairman, Shehu Dikko said the body will continue to introduce innovations that will accelerate positive changes in the domestic league to make it not only appealing to sponsors but also create greater opportunities for social cohesion.

“These are some of the innovations we have introduced to ensure a succession line for our football talents and we are also working on acquiring from FIFA, the software for the Domestic Transfer Matching System (DTMS) that will lead to the introduction of a central transfer accounting clearing system to ensure the operation of a robust and transparent transfer of players within the NPFL and specifically the eliminations of thirds party ownership and ensuring our clubs received their transfer revenues directly” Dikko explained.