By Johnkennedy Uzoma,Owerri
The State Chapter of Sports Writers Association of Nigeria (SWAN) has advised management of Heartland Fc, Owerri to carry out thorough assessment of players of the club with a view to disengaging those whoes services are no more needed.
This is ahead of the forthcoming 2020/2021 NPFL season in the country and to avoid litigations and bickering in the club.
The professional body in a Communiqué jointly endorsed by the Communiqué drafting committee chairman Afam Echi, the Secretary Tunde Liadi and another member Sampson Orji issued at the end of their emergency Congress held at Dan Anyiam Sports Stadium, Owerri commended the management, technical crew, players as well as the fans of Heartland FC over their role in ensuring that the team did not go into relegation at the end of the just concluded season.
The meeting on offered body to criticaly analyse various factors that led to the team’s erratic performance during the season and the way forward for the club.
Imo SWAN expressed their gratetude to the Imo Government for the recent part-payment of Heartland FC debts, however urged the State Government to consider it as a priority to restor the club’s monthly subvention to enable the club’s management move into swift actions regarding the payment of players , coaches outstanding debts and other necessary expenses.
The body implores the State Government to make funds available early to the management of the Club to ensure they fortify the squad with new quality players and also extend the contract of the retained players knowing that the NPFL transfer season is in full swing and other clubs have started making use of it to beef up their squad.
The Sports Journalists urged Imo state government to set definite goals or targets for the Heartland FC management and technical crew at the beginning of the season as well as provide the enabling environment that will make it possible for a proper and hollistic scrutiny of the club when the season ends.
According to them these will stand as a litmus test for our assessment as well as constructive and objective criticism.
The body appealef to the management of Heartland FC to have a synergy with the government representatives at the club before the league commences and ensure that all existing conflicts within the club are resolved before the start of the new NPFL season.
They urged the Heartland FC management to take the media department of the club more seriously to foster mutual relationship with media stakeholders and thus deter all the shenanigans of successive seasons on the media practitioners.
Imo SWAN also advised the Club management to ensure its marketing department is reinforced and made to become more viable to drive sponsorship to the club and reduce the heavy burden on the State governt
It would be recalled that Heartland FC finished in the just concluded league season in the 13th position with 48 points from 38 games despite the quality of the technical crew and players at its disposal.