Liberia: Alvin Poure puts Heaven Eleven Football Club up for Sale

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The founder and president of Liberia First Division side Heaven Eleven Football Club, Alvin Poure has announced that the Club is up for sale.

Mr. Poure officially made the disclosure on the sports show of a local radio station (Radio Sehnwai) based in Sanniquellie on Saturday, 16 July.

He confirmed in his explanation that the club is available for sale, but with preference given a Nimba or Yekepa-based buyer or buyers.

“Yes, it’s true that we’re selling [Heaven Eleven] the club, but option as to who buys the club are firstly available to the people of Yekepa and to the people of Nimba County.” He said in a statement.

The president however said if there are no offer from anyone in Yekepa or Nimba, then they will be opened to enter business with a potential buyer from other parts of the country.

He said: “If we can not find a buyer from Yekepa or Nimba and there be an interested person from outside the County [Nimba], we’ll be left with no other alternative but to sell the club to an outsider.”

The sale of the club according to Poure is being triggered by misinformation constantly spew in the public that he is rigid and self-centered in terms of decisions making and running the affairs of the club.

He feels this is demeaning to his character considering the sacrifices and resources he has invested over the years to get the club at this level.

Heaven Eleven Football Club was established by Mr. Poure in March of 2016 with the aim of providing opportunities for young people and helping them develop into professional footballers and to also pursue their academic careers.

Poure says the problem is that majority of the people on the club especially players, do not want to discipline themselves to stay in the confined of the club’s code of conduct.

He said despite the huge salaries paid to players yet most of them have refused to disciplined themselves to their duty by staying in Yekepa where the club is based.

According to him, this was one main factors that resulted to the club’s poor performance last season.

“Last season, we suffered a lot and even at certain point played with exact eleven players without a single substitute.

“Players who are being paid with the least [salary] amount of hundred United States Dollars are not willing to stay in Yekepa and be committed to playing for the club.” He complained.

“While it’s true that we have the passion to develop football in this part of the country [Yekepa] the players themselves have to encourage us as we spend our hard earned resources behind them.” He furthered.

Before the start of last season, their historic second division title winning coach Ikeeboy Saygbay abandoned his role for the entire 2021/22 1st Division season over some undisclosed disciplinary issues.

Heaven Eleven managed just four wins while drawing eight games alongside ten defeats in 22 league outings last season—a run that saw them finished second from bottom in the standings, but only survived in the modified regulation playoff.

The modified relegation playoff was a format introduced by the Liberian football governing body in order to increase the number of teams in the topflight from 12 to 14.

The Club which started as non-division or children team in Yekepa has grown over the periods to become one of Liberia’s best soccer clubs.

They qualified to the Liberia Second Division in their first year appearing in the third division championship in 2018.

Heaven Eleven came through following a dramatic 4-4 draw in a second-leg clash against Paynesville FC of Montserrado at the ATS in Monrovia. Both teams had earlier played out to 1-1 draw in Ganta, therefore the Yekepa giants qualified on away goal advantage.

The Yekepa boys finished as runner-ups to Muscat FC at the championship final in Buchanan, Grand Bassa.

They defeated fellow Nimba-based club Visa FC (now dissolved) before loosing to Muscat FC in the final.

The team eventually gained promotion to the Liberia First Division League in style having been crowned champions of the Liberia Second Division League in the 2020/2021 season making them one of few teams from Nimba to achieve such feat in Liberian football history.

Heaven Eleven Football Club posted for a pre-match photo at the ATS in Monrovia during the 2020/21 Second Division League
Heaven Eleven Football Club posted for a pre-match photo at the ATS in Monrovia during the 2020/21 Second Division League season

Mr. Poure has invested in the team all these years alongside his co-founder and vice president, Nathaniel Daywhea.

Meanwhile, the Heaven Eleven’s Chief Executive Officer (CEO) clearified that the team will paryicipate in the upcoming Liberia First Division League season under the current management if there is no potential buyer before the new season kicks off next month.

Heaven Eleven are expected to get their 2022-2023 campaign underway in a Nimba derby away at rivals Nimba Kwado on Sunday, 4th September at the Tomah Seh Floyd Stadium in Sanniquellie.

Both teams (Heaven Eleven and Nimba Kwado) are the only two Fisrt Division teams that are based in the northern Liberia County of Nimba.

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