Big Bullets legends Patrick ‘General’ Mabedi and Peter ‘Mjojo’ Mponda have cautioned that the wrangle over the control of the club between rival camps has the potential to affect their bid for the ultimate Carlsberg Malawi sponsorship.
The two revered former Bullets captains said this in the wake of reports that chaos has resurfaced at country’s football powerhouse between camps loyal to the incumbent executive committee and the club’s board of trustees that led to claims by the trustees that they had dissolved both the executive and supporters committees.
The two camps are up in arms again, at a time when the giant brewer is about to determine which club they will sponsor between Bullets and Mighty Wanderers based on performance, discipline and fairplay.
Mabedi and Mponda said it is unfortunate that all this is happening at a time when the People’s Team has had an impressive season.
Said Mabedi: “All the stakeholders need to realise that the team is recovering from a background of lack of sponsorship and the current situation is not healthy for the team, especially coming at a time when they are hoping to land sponsorship from Carlsberg.
“The situation has the potential to affect their bid and I would urge the warring factions to sort out their differences amicably other than wash their dirty linen in public.”
Mabedi, who is also the club’s ambassador in South Africa, said both parties are led by respectable people who are capable of sorting out their differences at a roundtable, citing board of trustees secretary Kinnah Phiri and club chairperson Malinda Chinyama.
On his part, Mponda wondered why the differences keep on resurfacing.
“These are people from the same family and it is very unfortunate that they cannot see the danger the current situation poses on the future of the team, especially the sponsorship bid.
“I would appeal to all parties to make peace because no potential sponsor would be willing to be associated with such chaos.
“At the end of the day, it is the club and, in particular, the players that might suffer the consequences,” said Mponda who captained the team to CAF Champions League last eight qualification in 2004.
Soccer commentator Charles Nyirenda also said it is unfortunate that the bickering is coming when the Carlsberg Malawi sponsorship is delicate.
“The corporate world does not want to be involved in trash and they [Bullets] need to appreciate where they are coming from.
“In fact, when you are succeeding, that is when you agree more. I, therefore, fail to understand why they cannot sort out their differences amicably,” said Nyirenda.
Chinyama on Wednesday reiterated that it is Kinnah who is to blame for the situation.
“The thing is that some of the trustees are the cause for all this confusion. The team did very well last season and instead of starting from where we stopped last season, we are busy trying to pull each other down.
“It is some of the trustees that are at the heart of this confusion and we are failing to understand why. They cannot even appreciate where we have taken this team from to be where it is and I partly agree with the fears being raised by our former players that the situation has the potential to affect our sponsorship bid,” said Chinyama.
He also stated that the club’s constitution does not empower the board of trustees to dissolve either the executive or the supporters committees.
“If anything, the board of trustees is supposed to be put in place by the executive committee. So, I turn to wonder where they are getting all those powers from,” said Chinyama.
Kinnah yesterday insisted that they decided to dissolve the committees in order to bring back sanity into the team.
“The thing is that the supporters who own the team want the constitution to be respected by among other things calling for elections and the interim executive is clinging to power and that is why we decided to dissolve both committees as one way of addressing the issues,” said Kinnah.
BB trustees chairperson James Busile could not be reached for his comment. The other trustee who attended the meeting was Fred Kwacha.