Gov. Ugwuanyi at a meeting with Board, Management, Staff and Players of Enugu Rangers International Football Club, this evening took decisive decisions aimed at revitalizing and repositioning the Club.
The governor’s address reads:
“Before I came into office as the Governor of Enugu State, Rangers International Club of Enugu, was tottering on the brink of collapse. For 32 years, it had won no trophy and had lost all but its iconic status as one of the nation’s most respected clubsides.
However, fully conscious of what the Club represents, not only for Enugu State but the entire Igbo race, I decided to take up the challenge of revitalizing the Club and restoring it to its hitherto pre-eminent position in Nigerian and African soccer circles.
To achieve this objective, the State Government invested a huge sum of money in the club which among other things, was used in paying all outstanding players’ and staff salaries and allowances, purchase of new players, purchase of vehicles, kits and other essential equipment and the provision of necessary logistics for the operations of the Club. I even injected my personal funds and also encouraged friends and supporters of government to support the Club.
By the grace of God, these efforts yielded the desired results as the Club lifted the 2015/2016 Nigerian Premier League Trophy- the first time it was doing so in 32 years and much to the relief and excitement of the Club’s supporters and Igbo people everywhere in the world.
But no sooner did this happen, than the club was plunged into crisis. Bitter infighting, indiscipline and players’ discontent crept in. Revelations were made of illegal sales of players and money therefrom, pocketed by private persons and also, of the fact that some of the players we believed were bought in the 2015/2016, were actually on loan. All these culminated in embarrassingly, poor performances of the Club at the beginning of the 2016/2017 season.
Faced with this ugly situation and the need to save the Club from relegation being mindful of the dreadful implications of such a development both for Enugu State and all Igbos, I summoned a meeting of Rangers Stakeholders on the 30th of January this year after which, I found it expedient to effect changes in the management and the technical crew of the club with the expectation that such changes would usher in a new era of peace and progress in the club.
We also made other quick and urgent interventions to help the club out of its difficulties. However, we certainly cannot allow things to continue the way they have been in Rangers.
I am in receipt of a letter Ref No: SRB/DDXVII/021, dated 30th August 2017 from the Secretary of the Board of Rangers Management Corporation, Mr. Nicholas Okibe titled: Request for Thorough Assessment and Overhaul of Administrative and Management Practices in Rangers Management Corporation.
All these and more, underscore the incontrovertible fact that all is still not well with the Club.
Therefore, in order to ensure the total revitalization and repositioning of the Club for future challenges, I have decided to take the following measures:
1. The Board and Management of Rangers Management Corporation are hereby dissolved.
2. The appointments of all contract staff of the Corporation are hereby terminated.
3. All staff earlier seconded to Rangers Management Corporation, are hereby returned to their parent establishments.
4. The appointment of the Club Physician is hereby terminated with immediate effect and all Corporation/Club property in his custody should be returned forthwith.
5. A panel of inquiry for a diagnostic investigation of the problems of Rangers FC will be set up shortly.
6. The Panel above will also articulate a Road Map for Rangers FC.
7. The Rangers Management Corporation Law will be amended to align it with the said Road Map and must specifically enthrone the following:
(a) Robust Governance structure with clear reporting lines in keeping with international best practices.
(b) Transparent accountability framework.
8. A new Board and Management of Rangers Management Corporation will be constituted with clear and complementary roles for delivery of the strategic goals of the Football Club as would be enshrined in the proposed amendment in Rangers Management Corporation Law.
9. The new Rangers Board and Management must hunt and recruit good players directly without any intervening football club. Rangers players must henceforth, be wholly owned by Rangers FC.
10. The new Board and Management will identify and engage a competent technical crew.
11. The timeline for attainment of the above objectives will be six weeks.
I wish to thank the members of the previous Board and Management of the Corporation for the services rendered to the Club and to the State in their respective capacities.
We also use this opportunity to thank our players in whom we are well pleased and reassure them that they are not part of the matter in issue and their salaries/allowances will be paid as and when due.
We are grateful to the good people of Enugu State, the entire Igboland and indeed all the great fans and supporters of the Rangers Football Club for their patience and abiding faith as we watched the developments in the Club.
I promise you, most solemnly, that we will do all that is necessary to positively change the Rangers narrative in the next soccer season.”