Chukwu advocates privatisation of Rangers •Proffers solution to club’s financial challenges

By Maduabuchi Kalu on October 18, 2016

Views: 1,102

Christian Chukwu, former Rangers and national team captain and coach, has advocated the privatisation of Enugu Rangers FC, challenging the state Governor, Hon. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi to seize the moment and immortalise the team.

Chukwu in an exclusive telephone interview with Daily Sports said there was no better time than now to immortalise the club which he described as Igbo movement than now, saying Rangers are more than just a football club.

He said the goodwill and support the club is enjoying at the moment ought to be capitalised on and ensure that the Coal City-based football club is established for ever. In his opinion, Governor Ugwuanyi would etch his name in gold forever if he seizes the opportunity provided by the winning of the domestic league by the Flying Antelope after 32 year wait to ensure that the club is given a solid foundation by way of the state government quoting the club at the Nigerian Stock Exchange for interested Nigerians to buy its shares as it is done in the civilised climes.

He explained that he is not advocating that all government stakes in the club should be relinquished at once but that it should be done  in a piecemeal. He suggested that the state government can sell  50 per cent of its stake to the public by talking to prominent citizens of the state like the Deputy President of the Senate who is his friend and others, to key into the vision by acquiring substantial shares and push the rest to the public for interested persons to subscribe to. Chukwu explained that by so doing the issue of the funding the club will take a flight as the club will now attract sponsors from different quarters including check off dues by shareholders as it is done abroad.

Chairman as he is called said with government’s total grip on the club, the private sector would never look the way of the Flying Antelope as it does not make sense for someone to take water in a cup and pour it into the river in the name of trying to develop the river.

Chukwu said if the Enugu State government should divest from the club gradually, there are people across the country; who are interested in buying into the Rangers project including himself and several others.m

"The governor can equally convey a meeting of his friends and other stakeholders and table it before them and asked them to key into it. It is only in Nigeria that you see governments running football clubs. It is not done anywhere in the world and that is the reason sponsors can’t come but if it is privatised, sponsors will definitely come.

“Could you imagine what Rangers would be making assuming that about 10, 000 people subscribed to Rangers shares which I know would be more, imagine what the club would be making when they pay their monthly due of (N2, 000) every month as it is done elsewhere?

“The club could also venture into other businesses like it is done in civilised climes. The government can map out some expanse of land and name it Rangers Estate and ask people who are interested to come and buy and build houses. They can establish a transport line named it Rangers Transports Line, they can equally build a shopping mall and named it Rangers Shopping Mall and people will pick up shops there for various business, they can build a standard hotel and name it after the club. There are so many things that the government can do with name of the club and definitely people will key into it because Rangers is a good brand. As a matter of fact, there are so many things that the government can do to immortalise Rangers.

“They can as a public company, build Rangers Hall of Fame in recognition of the contribution of those who have served the club well in different capacities particularly the pioneer members of the club. They can equally build Rangers Club House, where people can go and relax and spend their money thereby generating money for the club.

“I don’t support a situation whereby money that ought to be channeled to the construction of roads, schools, hospitals, etc. will be spent in running the club while those things that will benefit the masses more will not be attended to due to unavailability of funds because of the running cost of Rangers when the club can effectively sustain itself and even generate money for the government,” Chukwu explained

“As I said there are many things that could come to the club if the government could either wholly or partially divests itself of Rangers. As far as government is involved no single sponsor would like to near the club.

“If the clubs go public, who says that we may not have a stadium built for the Club like the Emirate Airline built for Arsenal? It is doable but first let the right thing be done which is allowing the club to go public. This is my thinking and progressive way Rangers can run away from financial challenges,” Chukwu said.

•Photo shows Christian Chukwu.

Source Daily Sports

Posted October 18, 2016

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