By Oludamisi Ojo
The Ondo State Government has expressed its readiness to sell the state-owned football clubs- the Sunshine Stars Football Club and the Sunshine Queens Football Club both of Akure.
Both teams are currently playing in the Nigeria Professional Football League and the Nigeria Women Professional Football League.
The state Commissioner for Youths and Sports Development, Mr Bamidele Ologunloluwa who disclosed this on a radio interview programme in Akure the state capital said the state-owned football teams were open for sale or privatization to the right investors by the end of the ongoing 2022/2023 league season.
The commissioner noted that the clubs needed to be privatized for proper administration, a situation which may lead to the government handing off the clubs completely or partnering with investors.
According to him, if a bigger organization showed interest in buying the club, it would be sold immediately.
He said The government is saying we need the club privatized, in that way the government may be funding the club, but it’s not going to be like this. It’s not going to be one hundred per cent, then the private organizations can come in and partner with the club.
“If a club like Manchester United for example says there is a club in Ondo State called Sunshine Stars and we want to have them as our feeder’s team, are you saying we are not going to sell? We will sell immediately.
“Not because we didn’t like Sunshine Stars, because it is even good for us as a state, it is good for the boys, for sports development, because the government has no business in business.”
He however noted that the club would be sold to any company or individual with a good track record. He also stated that no one had shown interest currently and that the club was not in the market for now in other not to distract it from the ongoing NPFL.
“We just registered a company now; Ondo Sports Limited, Sunshine Stars FC, Sunshine Queens, Risings Stars put together, at the end of the season, we are going into full-fledged privatization.
“It is better for us as a state, but some people don’t understand this, once it happened, they will thank Mr Governor. People need to understand that if the right company takes over Sunshine Stars, there will be more jobs, nothing like losing a job, it has to be in the MoU (Memorandum of Understanding), and they must have their offices in the three Senatorial Districts, they must have their ministry in the districts to harvest legs, ” he submitted.