A leading football club in Nigeria, Rangers International FC, is about completing the process of being floated as a public company on the Nigerian Stock Exchange (NSE).
This move is part of recommendations toEnugu State Government by the Administrative Commission of Inquiry on the football club. The commission was set up by the state government to assess the viability of the business as government investments.
The club would be first to achieve such feat in the continent.
Rangers International is a seven-timeNigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) champions. The club won the 2015/16 football season, 32 years after winning the title.
A member of the commission, Mr Norbert Okolie, told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Tuesday, October 31, 2017, that placing the club’s shares on the NSE was part of the major recommendations made by the commission.
Norbert said the move is to relief the sate government of the burden of sponsoring the club’s activities.
“This can only be, by lifting the burden of sponsorship from the state government,” said Norbert.
“Thirty-five percent of the shares will be reserved for the Enugu State Government, while 32 percent will be for the four states of Abia, Anambra, Ebonyi and Imo at 8 percent each.
“Twenty-five percent will be for the general public, six percent for the Amalgamated Traders Association, one percent for Rangers Supporters’ Club and one percent for Ohaneze Ndigbo.”
“This is what was suggested by the commission headed by Professor Gab Agu,’’he said.
Football clubs listing on Stock Exchanges is common in Europe, where the football is run as a business. At present, there are about 22 clubs on different exchanges across Europe.
Rome based club, SS Lazio was the first club to be listed on a stock exchange in 1999, which was followed by other Italian Serie A clubs such as AS Roma FC and Juventus FC. These three clubs offer about 20-30 percent of their shares to the public.
Other football clubs such as Manchester United, Celtic FC among others are also popular clubs shares being traded on European stock exchanges and tracked in the Stoxx Europe Football, the main index for European clubs.
In the later part of 2016, the League Management Company (LMC) and theNASD OTC Securities Exchange also started negotiation on the process of listing some clubs in the professional leagues on the OTC exchange platforms. This is to ensure they have access to funds and change football administration in the country.