Good morning All.
Everyone has been asking about the state of the Enyimba Stadium and I’m wondering, if I blog about it today, would it ensure that I’m spared endless questions about it? Virtually on all our feedback mechanisms, that’s all you see for every blog post, every day. “What’s the latest on our pitch”, “Have they finished work on the stadium? “. Let’s handle this matter and get it out of the way.
When we started this blog, the intentions were to fuel support for the club. That has not changed. That will not change. Enyimba is bigger than any human being regardless of their positions in the world and it is the one thing that binds us together. You may not like the captain or coach at the club but because we are all committed to the success of the club, we stay together, supporting the club.
That said, It is very difficult to see a positive with the state of our pitch. The fact is, as at 5 days ago when I last visited there, there isn’t anything new to report on the progress of the work. About a year ago, the new governor ordered work to begin on our deteriorating pitch. The government had opted for the most expensive and topmost quality of contractors as he was convinced it was for the best interest of the club.
The work was to take less than three months and we were to play our Champions League games there. In fact the contractor told me specifically that we will only play one home game away from home and that subsequent matches would be played on our newly completed pitch. I feigned disappointment, asking, why won’t it be finished in time? I asked. If only I knew then that one year afterward, the work wouldn’t be finished yet.
So what is the problem? Why has this dragged for so long? I don’t know anymore and I can’t even say. It has dawned on me that it is no longer in my place to try to make sense of the shortfalls at the club. Nobody assigned me the task so why do I hand myself such difficult responsibility? Normally I would have come out to say the governor has too much to do, or there’s no money in the treasury or whatever other excuse I can come up with but it’s a silly role to give myself.
Truth is, I even can’t anymore because I’m not sure what’s going on. There’s a reason why the work hasn’t been completed but I don’t know what it is. We lamented how much we spent in hotels and renting stadiums last season. We lost so much income and revenue possible from gate takings last season. We denied our fans an opportunity to see the team and some like us had to travel horribly long distances to watch the team play home games away from home.
A new season is less than a month away and unless work starts in the next couple of days, chances are we would be playing home games either in Umuahia or Calabar or Owerri or Port Harcourt. Calabar looks tasty in that there’s a better pitch there for us to use but there’s no way we can get 20,000 cheering us on match days there. We need to come back home.
I don’t think there has been a more challenging period in the history of our club as this. The worry is, if these things are not carefully handled, these sort of things have the capability to drown a team. When a team goes on relegation, it’s always because of off the pitch issues that weren’t sorted. Enyimba is the one feature that puts us on the world map. It’s our jewel, our little baby, our pride. We love the club, we want the best for it.
As a person, my solution for every occasion is divine guidance and direction. I think you could in your private place add a few words of prayer to God for our club. Wisdom for our leaders, guidance to go around these issues troubling the club.
So for all those asking, this is the current state of things with the pitch as at 5 days ago. If the League starts this weekend, we would play home games away from home as the pitch is still yet to be completed. I hope with this blog post today, I’ll be spared more questions on the state of the stadium. The moment work resumes, you’ll learn of it here. And just to be sure, I’ll be at the stadium again this evening to confirm things.
That’s all we’d serve today. Sorry it wasn’t good news like I prayed it would. I’ll be back tomorrow.