In sub-Saharan Africa, 276 million people have been recorded watching English Premier League at the detriment of African leagues especially Nigerian league. This indicates that Nigerian football fans prefers spending their money to watch Premier League players they would never see one on one in their lifetime. Since 1992 that the English Premier League got its current playing format, matches have been broadcast in 212 territories to 643 million homes and a potential television audience of 4.7 billion people globally.
There is no doubt Nigerians are football fanatics and admirers of great clubs and players outside the shore. Despite the best league position attained and 24th best in the world in 2012, according to the International Federation of Football History, IFFH, Nigerians still prefer expending their money on EPL to NPL. Our research suggests that the preference for the EPL is more of cultural values of Nigerians.
Why Nigerians don’t like NPL?
Our analysis shows that being independent in thinking, desire for success, unknown situations and perseverance of Nigerians accounted for 7% of their interest in the Nigerian Premier League. A sign that many factors are impeding them in developing significant interest in the league. This result, is however, contrary to what we found when the Nigerian Premier League search interest on Google Trending was modeled along with the cultural values. We found 86.1% prediction of the identified values influencing Nigerians’ information seeking behaviour on the NPL.
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Nigerians are liking the EPL because they consider players good which is not obtainable in the NPL. This indicates that they are developing relationship with the players who have long time values and good in delivering them. When the players failed to perform to expectations, Nigerians are most likely to support them, Enterprations’ Analysts observe. On personal level, NPL is being seen as uninteresting, meaning that every football fan in Nigeria prefers associating with EPL because of its exciting moments. We are unable to discover collective behaviour as factor for perceiving the NPL exciting or not. Football fans feel more threatened by non-televising of the NPL’s matches and try to avoid missing football actions by following EPL league and watch its games. Nigerians’ desire for quality football is high. Hence, they cannot endure poor matches of the NPL because football provides an opportunity of meeting their self-achievement needs which is most likely linked with the players’ performances in the EPL.
In spite of the challenges facing the NPL, our investigation reveals that football supporters want significant improvement in the NPL administration. Over 71% of the country’s culture values accounted for the suggestion. They are optimistic about football administration enhancement and of the view that players in the league need to improve through personal efforts. However, they are being pessimistic about infrastructure upgrading especially pitches development and better training equipment provision. When additional money are spent on the NPL in terms of sponsorship, football fans believe that sponsors will get values for their investment.
Economic impact of growing NPL
To make NPL competitive and contribute tremendously to the economic growth as it is being obtainable in the EPL, Nigeria need holistic approach and sustainable plan towards infrastructure development and football management. Government and concerned stakeholders need to work on institutional framework related to the league administration. Our research indicates a negative association of the present administration of the league with the solutions offered by the fans especially access to finance by football-oriented businesses across the country in 2017. Failure to address these will affect the derivation of substantial revenue from the growing under 25 years’ (118,497,804) Nigerians who searched for the Nigerian Premier League in 2017, according to our analysis. Earlier analysis shown that most under 25 years Nigerians are not following the NPL because players are not good, the league is uninteresting, not televise and poor.
Enterprations’ Note: We gained insights about the secondary that from the NOI Poll’s 2012 National Survey on the Nigerian Premier League and the English Premier League.