Good morning Fellas,
So here we are. End of a season. End of another trophy-less season. I’m not looking to ruffle anyone’s hair but it’s important to point out that for a club that views success by the number of trophies won, for the third year in a row, we are a failure.
It does seem harsh calling this just concluded season a failure. But using the club’s success symbols, it’s nothing short of an absolute failure. We were in the running for at least three trophies, we ended up with none of them. The League, the Federations Cup and the CAF Confederation Cup.
It would be unkind and unfair to rate this season as a failure. And my earlier assertions were based on the club’s own parameters for measuring success. In other words, we cannot keep measuring success by trophies won. Nowhere in the world is success measured by trophies won.
An overemphasis on winning and competition, instead of practice and development, is detrimental to the long term future of a soccer club. There are a few other things like increase in the fan base and brand of the club. New markets, more income into the club. These define success.
Who are we fooling? The foremost success symbol is in the profitability of a football club. What does the record books say? How much profits have we made? Are we able to consistently pay our bills or have we remained at the place where someone else is paying our bills? And when we need crayfish or maggi, we run to the Government.
The school I got my Masters degree in, has an average of 20,000 people at their football games. The ticket sells for $16 (approximately N5,700) per person. On each match day, they cough in about 113 million Naira. A school. Yes, the environments are different but we have 3 things in common.
1. Similar fan numbers.
2. The passion for our teams.
3. A willingness to pay whatever to watch the team play.
Enyimba has the raw materials to become one of the most profitable clubs in Africa. And to become this, we cannot rely indefinitely on the government. Until we begin to do things differently, our true successes cannot be seen.
Open your eyes and see guys, hiding behind trophies won starting from CAF Champions League won nearly two decades ago will not suffice anymore. “Unknown” clubs are standing up to be counted. They are able to do the things that we were famous for in years past – winning the League. Rangers, Plateau United and now Lobi Stars. Who’s next? Nasarawa or Kaduna United maybe.
This season saw us get to the semifinals of a Continental competition. That’s a potential route to boost the brand of the club. But yet again we let that walk us by. No where in the world do you have more demand for club merchandise than willing fans. In organized climes, there are items waiting to be purchased, ours is the other way round.
I write this today with a passion in my heart for a new way of doing things. Some people have branded us enemies of the club for these things we write. If these ideas and the reasonings behind them represent enmity toward Enyimba, we gladly take that tag.
And oh, on the two different basis for measuring success, the club’s and the universally accepted one, this season had the potential to be successful but again we failed to live up to the billing.