With the view to ensure that Heartland FC doesn’t struggle ahead of the new NPFL season, one of the strong stakeholders of the Owerri darling club have urged the Imo state Government of Sen Hope Uzodinma to return the monthly subvention of the NPFL for easy running of the team and for optimum performance.
The Sports Writers Association of Nigeria SWAN, Imo State chapter who made the call as part of their “7 point” advice on way forward for Heartland FC in their communiqué released after their emergency meeting also among many other suggestions called on the authorities and the club management to revive the marketing department with professionals who can help attract investors to lesson the burden of financing the club on the government.
Parta of the communiqué thus reads;
“Aware that Heartland FC finished the just concluded league season in the 13th position with 48 points from 38 games despite the quality of the technical crew and players at its disposal.
“Imo SWAN commends the Management, Technical crew, Players as well as the Fans of Heartland FC over their role in ensuring that the team avoided relegation at the end of the just concluded season, the body as a critical Stakeholder has analysed various factors that led to the team’s erratic performance during the season and the way forward for the club in forthcoming 2021/2022 Nigeria Premier League Season and came up with the following suggestions.
“Knowing that the league season has just ended and various clubs are taken stock of the season, Imo SWAN is admonishing the management of Heartland FC to do a sincere assessment of the players of the team in the recently ended season and to professionally disengage and settle with those whose services may not be needed ahead of the forthcoming season to avoid future litigations and bickering.
“Imo SWAN is grateful to the Imo Government for the recent part-payment of Heartland FC debts but we however urged the State Government to consider as a priority the restoration of the club’s monthly subvention to enable the club’s management move into swift actions regarding the payment of players , coaches outstanding debts and other necessary expenses.
“We implore Imo State Government to at the earliest make funds available to the management of the Club to ensure they fortify the squad with new quality players and also extend the contract of the retained players knowing that the NPFL transfer season is in full swing and other clubs have started making use of it to beef up their squad.
“We the Sports Journalists as a critical stakeholder will like Imo state government to set definite goals or targets for the Heartland FC management and technical crew at the beginning of the season and also provide the enabling environment that will make it possible for a proper and hollistic scrutiny of the club when the season ends. These will stand as a litmus test for our assessment as well as constructive and objective criticism.
“Imo SWAN is also appealing to the Heartland FC management to have a synergy with the government representatives at the club before the league commences while ensuring that all existing conflicts within the club are resolved before the start of the new NPFL season.
“We urge the Heartland FC management to take the media department of the club more seriously to foster mutual relationship with media stakeholders and thus deter all the shenanigans of successive seasons on the media practitioners.
“Imo SWAN is also beseeching the Heartland FC management to ensure its marketing department is reinforced and made to become more viable to drive sponsorship to the club and reduce the heavy burden on the State government.