Ondo State government, yesterday, said there is no turning back on its decision to sell the state-owned football clubs, Sunshine Stars and Sunshine Queens, to interested persons or organisations.
Speaking on a radio programme monitored by The Guardian in Akure, the Commissioner for Youth and Sports Development, Bamidele Ologunloluwa, said the move became imperative for effective and proper administration of the two clubs.
According to Ologunloluwa, the government is already shopping for right investors before the end of the 2022/2023 season for the two clubs that are currently playing top-flight football in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) and the Nigeria Women Professional Football League (NWPFL).
He emphasised that after selling the clubs, the government might hands off its involvement completely or partner with the investors.
“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 team, are you saying we are not going to sell? We will sell immediately.
“It is not because we don’t like Sunshine Stars… we are privatising the club because it is even good for us as a state, it is good for the boys, it is good for sports development and because the government has no business in business,” Ologunloluwa said.
He affirmed that any organisation or person with a solid track record would be eligible to buy the club, adding that to not take its focus away from the ongoing Nigerian Premier Football League (NPFL), the club is currently not on the market.
“We just registered a company now: Ondo Sports Limited, Sunshine Stars FC, Sunshine Queens and Rising Stars put together. At the end of the season, we are going into full-fledged privatisation.
“People need to understand that if the right company takes over Sunshine Stars, there will be more jobs, instead of job losses. It has to be in the memorandum of understanding; the investors must have their offices in the three senatorial districts; they must have their ministry in the districts to harvest legs,” he stated.