The Premier League Board (PLB) Chairman, Alpha Timbo made the disclosure during the award’s night that it was tough start for the Premier League Board.
When some members of the board first received the call from the Sierra Leone Football Association(SLFA) to serve in the board, it was greeted with skepticism as it came at a time the FA was still to convince many people that it is a credible organization.
He mentioned that it is fact he should not hide but speak honestly about.
Timbo stated that members of the board asked questions like what kind of set up will they find themselves in, whether their image would be tarnished after many years of hard work.
After the board was unveiled the first thing they did was to draw up a road map of all the issues at hand and how to tackle them after the first board meeting the football fans put them under lots of pressure right from the start because they wanted to know when the season will kick-off
He went further that after the pressure from the fans he was assured by the board members that even though the task was enormous they would overcome them with enthusiasm and commitment.
Timbo stated that they met with the existing sponsors at the time, Africell, who expressed an interest to continue their sponsorship, but this did not work and this led to further delays
By then we were now in January and we were running out of time as we needed to start before the rainy season.
The board however did not relent while we negotiated sponsorship, and we were able to worked on other issues affecting the game,
Amongst the first we undertook, was a meeting with representatives of all the 14 clubs of the premier league, 8 in the Western area and 2 each from the Northern, Southern and Eastern Regions.
The main objective was to solicit their views and input on how they expected the board to conduct its affairs to ensure effective coordination and they got their corporation.
The next meeting was with members of both the print and the electronic media also to solicit their input but most importantly to appeal to them to portray a positive image of the competition
He said they also met with the referees committee and other standing committees of the association and stressed the need for us to collaborate effectively to achieve success.
Timbo also mentioned that they spoke about the conditions of the venues and the kick-off date and they also spoke about the possibility of conducting a seminar for the club officials, the media and match officials. These were part of our plans to spread the message that we wanted to succeed at all cost.
He stated that the next activity undertaken was to review the rules and regulations governing the competition which was done in record time and the rules distributed to all clubs.
In order to kick start the competition, the board met with the management of AFricell the original designated sponsor of the league but encountered a lot of difficulties.
With this development the board never relent and they were able to secure a consortium of sponsors led by messrs Comium(SL) Ltd the others includes First International Bank(FIB),Guarantee Trust Bank(GTB),United Bank of Africa(UBA), Sierra Leone Brewery Ltd(SLBL) and the National Aids Secretariat before we were able to kick start the league.