History was made on Tuesday following a change of baton in the management of the state darling football club, Kwara United.
Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq through the Secretary to the State Government, Alhaji Mamman Saba Jibril in a statement announced a seven-member board for the club led by former Kwara Football Academy (KFA) boss, Clement Kunbi Titiloye. He is to be supported by Hamidu Olowo (Secretary), Bashir Badawi (General Manager), Yahaya Jibril Usman (Team Manager) and Abdulkadir Mohammed Saheed (Welfare Officer). Other members of the board included; Hamid Alege Olanrewaju and Ajadi Bamidele Ganiyu.
Titiloye and his team take over the club from Prince Oladimeji Thompson, an administrator who had proven his mettle in his seven years sojourn at the club. Thrice, Thompson helped the club secure promotion to the elite division but had a bitter experience in the Nigeria Professional Football League (NPFL) last term due to paucity of funds from the last administration.
For the new management in place, a lot will be expected from their paymasters (the state government), the players and officials, the supporters of the club and the general public. One mandate is clear; the new leadership of the club is expected to ensure the immediate return of the club to the NPFL and it does not really matter how they go about this task.
Though the new management of the club has passion for sports development and impressive track record in football administration however they need to realise it’s a different challenge managing a club as ‘complex’ as Kwara Utd.
Titiloye and his team will need to first solicit the support of all stakeholders and probably tapping from the experience of their predecessors. The former Abuja Football Academy boss will do well by taking notes from some of the steps and decisions made by Prince Thompson that helped the club regain promotion to the elite division under his stewardship thrice.
To achieve the onerous task of promotion, Titiloye and his team must run a transparent administration and they must ensure the coaches (Ashifat Suleiman and Taofeek Babatunde) recruit the best available legs for the team. They must also see to the welfare of the players and coaches in terms of prompt payment of salaries, bonuses and allowances plus proper travelling arrangement.
Also, the present board must start considering how to rebrand the team especially in terms of performance, followership and being financially independent from the state government.
In addition, the new management must intermittently sensitise the supporters and fans of Kwara United to avoid any act that can impede the promotion of the team. This is the time for the fans to cheer the team on even if result appears not in favour of their darling club whether at the Ilorin Township Stadium or on the road. They must support all the players signed by the club regardless of ethnicity and they must desist from imposing any player on the coaches. The supporters must more importantly avoid crowd violence which is a recurring decimal in our domestic league.