JJD and the NPL Mess

WHEN Johnny Johnson Doeumlseb took over as chairman of the Namibia Premier League in 2009 amid much enthusiasm, he could not have envisaged that his tenure would come to an end in a bitter conundrum five years later.

Doeumlseb announced last week that he will not stand for another term when his current tenure ends in July.

Jostling for the position has already begun, with representatives of several of the ‘big clubs’, who have long plotted his downfall, having planned a meeting to nominate his successor later yesterday.

Doeumlseb claimed that his main reasons for leaving were a lack of professionalism by clubs, backstabbing by unspecified individuals “in high positions in football” and a general lackadaisical attitude towards the aancement of the NPL goals by the executive.

However, despite Doeumlseb’s assertion of feeling isolated by the clubs in the quest to turn the Premier League into a professional entity, it appears there is more behind his decision to quit than he lets us know.

The Namibian Sport understands that Doeumlseb and his crew are struggling to find solutions to the shortfall in this year’s NPL budget.

They budgeted over N$20 million while MTC have only committed N$13 million. After finalising negotiations, the NPL failed to adjust their budget downwards.

The NPL have had problems with paying the N$60 000 monthly grants to the clubs, while also having to keep aside funds for prize monies and the season-ending awards function.

MTC is said to have stood its ground and ordered the NPL to give them feedback about how they intend to raise the balance.

As a result, there was a delay in the disbursement of the monthly grants to clubs until the morning of 6 March 2014.

BLURRED LINES

Doeumlseb is also believed to have become overwhelmed by further pressure from MTC with regard to branding and exposure in the Biest Namibia Cup competition.

MTC, who double as league and club sponsors, have complained that corporate entities who invest “far less than us” get better brand exposure and have threatened to revoke their sponsorship.

The telecommunications company feels “disrespected” because the three premier division clubs – Orlando Pirates, Black African and Eleven Arrows – who have forfeited their monthly grants due to their allegiance to FNB Namibia, all bore their main sponsor’s logo on the front of their jerseys instead of the FA Cup’s sponsor, while the MTC endorsed teams did not.

The backstabbing that Doeumlseb alleges in his resignation notice is construed to be in reference to outgoing head of the NPL Management Committee’s Finance, Audit and Risk Board Committee member Lukas Nanyemba, whom he accuses of keeping him in the dark about financial matters and is blamed for the league’s failure to adjust the budget in relation to their reserves.

Nanyemba, who last week also gave notice of his intention to vacate his position at the end of the season, was a key figure in many a high-profile negotiations for the NPL and often spoke on Doeumlseb’s behalf when the latter was unavailable.

The Namibian Sport understands that Doeumlseb also had a fallout with another of his trusted lieutenants Tim Isaacs, during which he threatened to resign as NPL chairman.

Isaacs, an employee of the Namibia Football Association, was in charge of running the Biest Namibia Cup, including procurement of the playing gear which did not have MTC branding.

Doeumlseb and Isaacs’s relationship has soured to the extent that they are believed not to be on speaking terms at the moment.

Meanwhile, a board of governors’ meeting has been called for 22 March during which the MTC sponsorship and the handling of the shortfall are expected to feature prominently.

BLUNTED AMBITION

Other issues that irked Doeumlseb relate to the newly reviewed NFA constitution. It appears an agreement was reached by the NFA, Fifa and the NPL that the NPL will get an automatic seat on the NFA’s executive committee by virtue of being the highest league.

The NPL would also get more votes as opposed to the one that they enjoy at the moment. Doeumlseb had assumed he would get that NFA position automatically by virtue of being NPL chairman. However, it has been mooted that the NPL board of governors would have to elect its representative on the NFA executive, which ruled out Doeseb as an automatic choice.

Given that he had very few allies within the executive and his term was coming to an end, Doeumlseb knew he stood little chance of being the Premier League’s choice.

This foiled ambition is believed to be the primary reason for his fallout with Isaacs, who was his chief aisor on matters related to the NPL’s relationship with the NFA.

Source : The Namibian