Amaju Pinnick, President of the Nigeria Football Federation, on Tuesday admitted that his federation approached the NIKE sponsorship deal from a weak point.
Pinnick said incessant crises in the country’s football and the Super Eagles failure to qualify for the 2015 Nation’s Cup put the federation at a disadvantaged position in the contract negotiation with NIKE.
He said this at an interactive session with the media in Abuja.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the NFF had secured a $750,000 kit sponsorship deal from the kit manufacturing company, NIKE, without a retainership fee.
The NFF had on September 11, 2014 made a retainership proposal of $12.5 million per annum for a minimum term of six years to NIKE, but the company later called for a review.
Pinnick, however, pleaded with Nigerians to accept the current NIKE contract, noting that the deal would be reviewed at its expiration in three and a half year time.
He said: “People are talking about the NIKE contract.
“I kept that contract to myself for a long time before I decided to say I want to share it with the secretariat.
“I wept when I signed a document purchasing jerseys for Nigeria.
“The best period of Nigerian football history was in the last three years.
“Now, we are supposed to be a choice candidate for sponsors.
“I know how many times I went to NIKE without the board knowing.
“If you know me, you will know that in terms of finance, my image is as clear and clean as crystal.
“I am moved by passion to serve this country.
“I love this country and I am only driven by it.
“I am not telling you that I don’t like the good things of life because I was born into it, but it is just that we (the NFF board) have a clear-cut vision.”
Pinnick said the current board inherited a lot of debt, which hampered carrying out some of its activity.
According to Pinnick, getting quality results in terms of football administration will mean quality preparation, which translates into spending huge amount of money.
He added: “It’s not about going into the coffers of the federation to take money.
“We know how much debt we inherited when we came into office.
“It was a lot of money.
“Not that the former board was reckless but because they wanted to offer quality preparation to our teams.
“If the Eagles are coming to town today, they must stay in the hotel for one month, feeding, transportation inclusive and this is huge expenses on the part of the federation.
“The Eagles game, for example if you are inviting 20 players, you know how much you pay for ticket alone because one person tenders about $8,000 ticket for refunds.
“For 20 players to be in camp, cost between N90 millionto N120 million.
“How do you get the funding?
“We don’t have anything to hide.
“It is global economy affecting corporate Nigeria.
“Are they reducing their sponsorship?
“These are questions we should ask before one can say yes, we are getting what we want.”
NAN reports that Pinnick also used the occasion to clarify his foreign trips to England, noting that it was mainly for medical checkup and not primarily for football business as widely reported in sections of the media.