My First Million Naira Came From Kwara United, Zamalek Gate Takings – Ex COED Provost
Former provost, Kwara College of Education, KCOE, Ilorin, and seasoned soccer buff and administrator, Alhaji Jimoh Ayinla, PhD, has sensationally revealed that his first million ever made was from gate takings of a continental match between home team Kwara United and Zamalek Football Club of Egypt at the Kwara State Stadium.
The educationist and former grade one referee made the disclosure on Wednesday as part of remark made during small party in celebration of his 63rd Birthday at his home in Ilorin.Gracing the occasion were his beloved wife, Bola Omowumi, Prof Shuaib Oniyangi, who delivered a lecture on sports as unifying factor, Engnr. Kazeem Jato, who facilitate the program in honour of the retired provost and host many other close family friends.
Ayinla believes strongly that soccer can adequately run itself like a business.
Ironically, another sports administrator in Ilorin, Ibrahim Bako, Director of Sports at the state’s Sports Commission recently disclosed that soccer scouts/agents are making a killing from products from the state owned soccer academy at expense of the state government.
But Dr Ayinla’s revelations would show that poor maximisation of football into money making venture rather than money losing shambles as currently obtains didn’t begin recently.
“I counted my first one million naira from gate takings I made from Kwara United versus Zamalek of Egypt club Continental match, here in Ilorin,” explained the former college provost.
According to him, gate taking franchise for the club was given to him as part of measures to raise money for the local football club after many philanthropic gestures to the club.
“It all began from when the club was Kwara Bombers and each time they want to play match, they come to me for assistance.
“When I enquired from them what they do with their gate takings, I was shocked to learn that they make as small as N35, 000 to N40,000 per match.
“This was unacceptable for me. At the time, I was teaching at Command Secondary School Sobi.
“I asked and was given franchise to run the gate takings for the club. So with help of the army and police on horseback, I created a water tight ticketing system.
“In the first match I made N120, 000. In the second, I made about N200, 000 and remitted more money for the club,” Dr Ayinla said.
Speaking on Kwara, Zamalek match, the former provost said that the club needed funding while then late Governor Lawal was away from the state.
“I provided money for the club to prosecute the game and I was given the gate taking venture to manage.
“It was in that match that I made my first million naira ever,” he said.
But speaking on why it has been so difficult to make soccer a money spinning business, the soccer loving educationist said politics is to blame.
Going back memory lane again, the educationist stated that he was denied chance to run Kwara United despite his demonstrable ability to turn the club into a viable venture.
“During the second tenure of Bukola Saraki, I showed keen interest in taking over and running Kwara United.
“But as it turned out, everything was politicized. The position was given to Henry George. That was the time he was appointed chairman of Kwara United.
” As I learnt, I wasn’t given the appointment because I was too close to Late Governor Mohammed Lawal. Even at that, I didn’t distance myself from the government of the day.
” But then, at a stage, the then SA Sports to Governor Saraki, Zakari Mohammad, called me to ask if I would be considered for the vice chairman of of the club.
” I said no. I said I won’t take a vice chairman under someone I consider that has never been into sports.
“One of the proposals I sent to the governor at the time was that it sports should be self sustaining. I recommended that private sector should partner with government to run sports,” he recalled.
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