The Nigerian Professional Football League (NPFL) is the highest level of the Nigerian football league system, for the Nigerian Club-football Championships. The Nigerian top-division has experienced dwindling fortunes since the late 2000s. It is fed into by the Nigeria National League.
Super Eagles and Heartland goalkeeper Ikechukwu Ezenwa has rubbished the notion that players in the Nigeria Professional Football League are mostly impoverished and live from hand to mouth has erroneous and must be discarded.
Ezenwa who was part of the Super Eagles squad that won bronze at the 2019 AFCON in Egypt says the reality is far different from what many Nigerian have been led to believe.
In a chat with Nigerian football league expert, Tobi Adepoju on Instagram Live, the Eagles mainstay said NPFL players earn good enough salaries to live reasonably comfortable lifestyles by Nigerian standards.
Professional footballers are often associated with lavish wages and stupendously expensive lifestyles but many Nigerians think the exact opposite of domestic players.
The overwhelming narrative around home-based players perpetuated by media reports is one of poor remuneration and months of unpaid salaries.
This reinforces an image in the minds of many Nigerians of domestic players who are barely able to make ends meet on what they earn.
Many Nigerians are also unaware of the League Management Company’s stipulation of a minimum monthly salary of one hundred and fifty thousand Naira for topflight players.
With no counter-narrative to challenge these stories, many Nigerians have come to accept the image of impoverished as true especially since the players themselves are loathe to disclose any financial details of their deals.
While some countries are ending their leagues, the case is different in Nigeria as the League Management Company are keen to see the season concluded
Like most other leagues in the world, the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPLF) was suspended owing to the Covid-19 pandemic.
Not just the NPFL, all football-related activities were placed on hold as the Federal Government of Nigeria imposed strict social distancing measures to limit the spread of the virus which has claimed thousands of lives globally.
With the lockdown in the country set to end on Monday, May 4, the fate of the Nigerian elite division is getting clearer.