Stakeholders in the football business in Ogun State has advised government and managers of football in the state to look inward and put sincerity of purpose in place for football business to thrive in the state and for the state-owned Gateway United Football Club (GUFC) to take its rightful place as one the leading clubs in the country.
The stakeholders who believed that for the state-owned GUFC to take its rightful place in football in the country, there should be a procedural law that will be followed to the letter to protect it from external influences while also advising the leadership of the club to be transparent in their day to day activities.
The stakeholders gave these advise at the 2019 stakeholders forum of Gateway United football Club held at the VIP lounge of Moshood Abiola Stadium, Kuto Abeokuta.
Leading the charge, Special Adviser to the Governor on Job Creation and Youth Empowerment, Hon. Lekan Olude explained that Sport is very important to the State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, which is why sports infrastructures in the state will be revamped to aid its development in the State.
Olude who explained further that the time has come for some rules to be set for GUFC, so as to make sure that the club from its present state saying sport should be seen as a business and not a sort of government empowerment program.
In his keynote address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Youth and Sport, Mr. Peter Kolawole Fagbohun advocated for alternative source of funding for the club as the government cannot do it, while advising its leadership to look inward into expanding its fanbase by making civil servants key into the programmes of the club through buying of souvenirs and attending matches.
The Chairman of the event and Proprietor of Remo Stars Football Club of Sagamu, Mr. Kunle Soname, pledged to assist Gateway United football Club by making sure there is synergy between the Club and other Football Clubs in the state while making it clear that sport development is the key to bringing about the desired change of all football stakeholders in the state.
Soname further explained that Sport should be seen as more of a business while also canvassing for capacity development of young players to be a major part of the operations of the club.
He pledged to see to the rehabilitation of some facilities of the club and also assist the club with some players while also calling for the rebranding of the club to be accepted by all citizens of the state as a state wide football club and not be seen as a sectional club.
The stakeholders forum is an event to restrategise for growth and to chart a pathway to success for the state-owned Gateway United Football Club, with this year’s event witnessed large turnout of former handlers of the team, former commissioners of Youth and Sport in the state like Bukola Olopade, Afolabi Afuape, Dignitaries like Honourable Justice Soremi (Rtd), former Nigerian International Ike Shorunmu, Member of the Ogun state House of Assembly, Hon. Abdul Oladunjoye, Retired Permanent Secretaries of the Ministry, among others.