One of Malawi’s top soccer teams Nyasa Big Bullets are already eating into their K100 million sponsorship meant for next season having drawn K25 million in advance.
The People’s Team chairperson Noel Lipipa has also disclosed that the club exhausted its K100 million annual sponsorship meant for the current season in August.
“There is absolutely nothing to hide here. We are paying the price for spending beyond our means. Instead of planning around the K100 million annual allocation from the sponsors, Nyasa Manufacturing Company [NMC], we got carried away and came up with a budget we could not sustain.
“Our monthly wage bill is between K10.2 million and K11 million [including game bonuses] against an allocation of K6.5 million per month as per contract agreement with the sponsors and this is what I and others protested against before I resigned as treasurer,” said Lipipa.
He said even the team’s share from gate collections is not enough to meet the club’s shortfall.
“This is an issue that seriously needs to be looked into, otherwise at the rate we are going, we could exhaust the entire [K500 million] sponsorship package meant for five years in just half that period.”
Giving a breakdown of the extra K25 million they have so far received from the sponsor, Lipipa said: “You might recall that we got a loan amounting to K43 million to pay players signing-on fees, some of which, with due respect, were exorbitant. And the agreement with the sponsor was that we would be repaying the loan for the next four years which means each season, they will be deducting K10 million.
“A couple of months ago, we asked for K8 million and just recently, they gave us another K7 million and if you add the figures it gives you a sum of K25 million. We have no any other option but to honour our contractual obligations.”
He said last week they had to borrow K7 million from the sponsors to supplement on players salaries, adding that they owe the technical staff salary arrears for one month.
Asked what plans they have to address the situation, Lipipa said: “We only have three games before we conclude the season and probably this issue can best be addressed at the AGM [annual general meeting].”
But while confirming the development, the club’s treasurer Alex Gondwe played it down, saying part of the money the club recently borrowed will not be felt as the season is heading towards the end.
“The period for the first allocation is almost over as the agreement came into effect in November last year. Sulom [Super League of Malawi] are also partly to blame for our current predicament because they still haven’t started paying us our cut from the Television rights deal with Beta TV,” he said.
However, NMC finance director Fleetwood Haiya, who is also the club’s finance committee chairperson, refused to comment when asked for their position.
“Talk to the club treasurer, he is better placed to comment. I do not think we should comment on that,” he said.
However, in May this year, the company’s managing director Dimitri Kalaitzis expressed concern with the team’s overdrawing of funds for its operations.