Bayo Olowoake, the Global President of Stationery Stores Football Supporters Trust, says that the bane of football supporters clubs in Nigeria was lack of defined structures.
Olowoake made the assertion in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Sunday in Lagos while commenting on Stationery Stores Supporters Club’s plans to get the football club back to reckoning.
“We have a big challenge in getting our young ones to follow the indigenous clubs. It’s a bit challenging getting the minds of the young blood off the foreign clubs.
“This following for foreign clubs is at the detriment of the local clubs, in fact, it is a disservice to the indigenous clubs. However, indigenous clubs must also re-package themselves to make themselves attractive.
“I believe that if our indigenous clubs should package themselves in an attractive manner, the youth will develop interest in them. They should have defined structures.
“The clubs should make use of the social media to attract the attention of youths as most of them are always on the social networks. They need to create interest in themselves for the youths,’’ he said.
Olowoake said Nigeria could copy from the models adopted by other African clubs that have traditions of arousing the interest of youths.
“They can take a cue from other big football clubs in Africa in countries such as Tanzania, Egypt, South Africa and Zimbabwe where they have traditions of getting spectators to watch their matches.
“These clubs always have their matches beamed live, but in spite of that, the stadia are always packed full of spectators; this is what is called right packaging.
“Stationery Stores have this type of tradition, whenever we are playing, we attract a lot of spectators who came in their numbers to
“What the young people want is good attractive packages. Supporters club can provide support in businesses, micro-credits and job opportunities,’’ he said.
Olowoake said that the club had one of the largest numbers of fan base in Nigeria and Africa, adding that it was a thing of pride to have attracted such a huge number of fans.
“Stationery Stores has one of the largest fan base and not only that, a well-structured base and we are still increasing the fan base.
“As at now, the Stationery Stores Football Club Supporters Club has 32 chapters all over the world with eight domiciled outside Nigeria.
“We have fans in China, U.K., Kenya, and recently the fans in Kenya inaugurated another chapter in Tanzania.
“We are the only football club in Nigeria that has a database of all our members and we can conveniently account for their whereabouts anytime and anywhere,’’ he said. (NAN)