Ondo ‘abandons’ Sunshine as club’s financial crisis worsens

Posted on Dec 19 2017 - 7:02am by admin

Peter Dada, Akure

Ondo State Governor Rotimi Akeredolu has ordered the Ministry of Sports and Youths Development and the Ondo State Football Agency to seek ways outside the government to fund Premier League club Sunshine Stars, our correspondent has learnt.

The Akure outfit, who escaped relegation on the last  day of the  2016/17 Premier  League  season,    are facing a severe financial crisis.

Sunshine are reportedly owing their players salaries, forcing some of them to dump the side  for other clubs.

  The Premier League kicks off on January 14  but  Sunshine, who  will travel to Owerri to take on Heartland, are allegedly unsure about honouring the encounter as the  team’s financial crisis worsens.

  It was learnt that the Ondo State Government, who owns the club, has not  given Sunshine  enough money for  preparations ahead of the upcoming season.

A source close to the Club told our correspondent that the  governor had informed the management of the club through the sports ministry that  the state government  would no longer fund  Sunshine  100 per cent.

The source said Akeredolu had directed the sports ministry to  find other sources of   funding  the team.

The source said, “The state is having financial problems and the development has affected  Sunshine Stars too. But the governor has ordered the ministry of sports to find ways to raise money to  run the team.

“The governor has made his declaration and the rest is now left for the ministry to generate money for the team.”

Commissioner for Sports and Youths Development, Mr. Saka Yusuf-Ogunleye,  confirmed the development.

He said, “It is very clear that the funding of sports is about government, individual donors and international agencies contributing. The last Federation Cup competition was sponsored by AITEO, it was not government.

“All over the world government partners individuals and international agencies to sponsor sports. What the Ondo State Government is doing is in line with sports rules.

“If the Federal Government should partner  a company to sponsor  the FA Cup, then how can we not partner  individual organisations?”

However, Yusuf-Ogunleye said   Sunshine  had been  preparing ahead of the league season, adding that the team’s  target was  to win the competition

The commissioner said, “We are prepared, and the team is ready. After the Christmas break,   we will begin camping. Some players have gone and new ones have come, we are trying to do our best for the team.”

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