The Chairman of the 2011 local Premier League Board (PLB), Rodney Michael aka ‘Super’ has told Awoko Sports that he is very happy with the successful conclusion of the one round Africell-sponsored Sierra Leone Premier League. He stated that he is happy because of the successful manner the league ended.
Never mind he has been at the helm of affairs, but he said he thinks the praise for the success of the league should go to all Sierra Leoneans because everyone of them contributed in their own little way to ensure the league ended well.
Rodney also thanked the clubs for their patience and understanding, the Sports Ministry, SLFA, the media, supporters and fans of all the 14 Premier League clubs.
“They were able to put in place a decentralization mechanism which brought together people from all the four corners of the country that we gave responsibilities and they executed these responsibilities with flying colors,” he said
He also stated that they made sure that the Premier League clubs do not face extreme constraints to honor their fixtures and that was why money was provided for the away teams to honor their matches in Freetown and the provinces.
The PLB Chairman also revealed that they also introduced new Match Commissioners who have little or no business with football organization, but proved to be up to the task.
“This shows that people know the problems affecting local football but are not given the opportunity to be part of the solution,” said PLB Chairman.
Chairman Rodney Michael admitted that there were some obstacles faced during the league such as the late appointment of the Premier League Board, considering that they only had three months and in April they could not do anything in Freetown because of the Golden Jubilee celebrations. This caused some teams to play four matches in ten days.
He said another obstacle is the poor structure of some Premier League Clubs which, according to Rodney, some division one teams have better structures than some teams in the premier league both financial and structure wise.
He went further to say that he is not challenging the authority of these clubs but they want to help them improve on their status, become efficient and professional football clubs in future.
He also revealed to Awoko that players playing in the Premier League in this country still receive as little as one hundred twenty thousand Leones as monthly wage, and that 60% of the players don’t even have any professional contract with their clubs, especially those in the provinces.
Rodney believes the SLFA has a major role to play in that direction to ensure that our players get professional contracts because those countries facing the same problems like ours, are now giving their players professional contracts and are paying them between four and five hundred dollars.
He went further to note that in that vein, his priority now is to secure meaningful sponsorships not only for the Premier League, but also the clubs so that we can have a professional league.
When asked if called upon again to head the PLB whether he would accept the offer, Rodney Michael said; “I love football and when ever called upon, I am ready to give up my best. In fact, I have written to the SLFA asking them to confirm our mandate for the next league, we are just waiting for their reply”.