Dolphins Advised To Pay Players’ Salaries In 60 Days Or Forfeit 6 Points

Glo Premier League side Dolphins FC have been handed a two-month ultimatum to pay up its players’ salary arrears or be disposed to the statutory deduction of six points and further 3 points for every 30 days the breach of contract stood to be corrected.

The Port-Harcourt-based outfit has been charged with a “breach of contract” with all its players after it admitted to the League Management Company (LMC) that none of their players have been paid salaries.

This is on the backdrop of the very first complaint by a player, Emeka Atuloma, before the LMC on breach of contractual agreement by a Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) side, Dolphins.

Dolphins FC are Three-Time NPFL Winners.
Dolphins FC are Three-Time NPFL Winners.

After full investigation, which also saw the offending employer plead guilty of violation of Article B9.45 of the NPFL Rules and Framework for 2014-15 season in a correspondence to the league board dated 12 June, 2015, the LMC has now drawn the club’s attention to the implications of further inaction- with the cited provision within 60 days- after which the LMC will exercise its summary jurisdiction to deduct 6 (six) points from the club’s total accrued points so far in the league season.

The terms of a contract between a club and a player shall be strictly adhered to and where a club fails to pay remunerations and entitlements due to a player for a period of more than 60 DAYS such club shall be liable to a deduction of 6 (six) points and a further deduction of 3 (three) points every 30 days for which the entitlement remains unpaid… Article B9.45 (NPFL Rules and Framework for 2014/15).

“You are therefore required, to within 60 days from the date of this notice to remedy the breach, otherwise, the Board intends to exercise its summary jurisdiction and to impose on you an initial deduction of 6 (six) points and a further deduction of (3) three points for every further 30 days for which the entitlement remains unpaid,” read inter alia, a notification letter (dated 19 June, 2015) signed by the LMC Chief Operating Officer, Salihu Abubakar, to Dolphins.

The LMC noted that, aside the absence of any satisfactory plans for players’ remuneration in the shortest while, Dolphins had also failed to provide the mandatory Financial Performance Guarantee as required by law.

The Financial Guarantee was designed to safeguard the financial interest of players against insolvency in clubs as the amount owed players would have been drawn from the guarantee in proven cases of default such as we have with Dolphins… the LMCNPFL.

The strict implementation of the aforementioned statutes is expected to exemplify to other defaulting clubs the need to comply with contractual agreement, especially after an official complaint has been investigated and proven.

Hence, the LMC has proposed the transfer of States ownership to the fans through the Community Ownership model, as well as a possible transfer of Club Administration to the Governor’s office for ease of regular payment of players’ entitlements.

“We believe that Clubs would be better off having their charges under the Office of the Governor which has been found to have worked for some of the successful Governors,” the LMC added.

“This will reduce if not eliminate the hindrances in payment of players’ salaries and dues since the players are paid once the Government house workers are paid.”