BY KUNLE SOLAJA
Avid sports promoter and owner of Nigeria Premier League football team, Remo Stars, clocks 57 this Thursday.
The Ikenne-born business man and member of the Interim Management Committee of the Nigerian Premier League has made a success in virtually all endeavours and he is well known for his cheerful disposition, humility and generosity.
He is also known as a game-changer whose support is not limited to football.
Last year, through his Bet9ja outfit which is easily the most popular in the gaming business, he sponsored the South East Bet9ja Badminton Championship where close to 60 players featured.
The championship brought up budding badminton players some of who later made marks at the last National Sports Festival in Asaba.
Before then, the self effacing sportsman through his ValueJet airlines which was then in its formative period, sponsored an international road race in Ogun State in 2019.
In an era where private ownership of football clubs is becoming a high risk, he raised the bar with his Remo Stars which has become a model football club in Nigeria.
Equipped with its own all-covered stadium, the club boasts of easily the best turfs in Nigeria. He piloted the club to international level, featuring in the 2022/23 CAF Confederation Cup.
That was the first time in more than 30 years that a one-man owned football club featured in a continental competition.
His club structure features a football academy which is the nursing ground for Nigeria’s football stars. The 1998 Africa Footballer of the Year, Victor Ikpeba was full of awe when he made a tour of the facilities of the academy where players of Beyond Limits are housed at two per room.
“Oh, I wish these were available in my formative years, the sky would have been my limit”, Ikpeba remarked to Sports Village Square.
The residential buildings at Kunle Soname’s outfit have 56 rooms for junior and senior players accommodating 112 footballers.
It has five semi-detached blocks of 10 units, two bedroom coaches accommodation, a restaurant for players and officials as well as an administrative block comprising of offices, conference room, training classroom and reception.
The block is equipped with panoramic lift to first-floor which is the table tennis centre.
Others are sports centre block of the Remo Stars Stadium facility comprising of a gym, clinic, swimming pool, hydrotherapy chamber and a 30-room hotel with panoramic lift.
Also at the model arena is a tournament pitch with 10,000 capacity covered pavilions, three training pitches, 2,000 capacity car parks and good internal road.
Soname is possibly the only Nigerian that runs two clubs locally and in Europe, as he is also the owner of Portugal’s Clube Desportivo Feirense which is commonly known as CD Feirense.
He remains one of the silent billionaires in Nigeria who has contributed immensely in promoting sports in the country. He has touched the lives of many youths.
Three months ago, one of the products of his Beyond Limit team, Ebenezer Akinsanmiro signed for Italian giants, Inter Milan.