Domestic football powerhouses Be Forward Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets are demanding a review of pre-ticket sales system in cup matches organised by the Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
However, FAM commercial and marketing director Limbani Matola said all this is coming up because some club officials are resisting change.
In a statement released by the two teams’ working committee at the weekend, they cited ticket sales for their recent Carlsberg Cup final at Bingu National Stadium as an example.
Nomads general secretary Mike Butao said they agreed to release a joint statement following a post-mortem they had last week.
“As clubs, we feel pre-sale of tickets before matches is shrouded in too much secrecy and not meant to benefit clubs.
“The case in point is a TNM Super League match between the same teams which grossed about K50 million. Match day tickets for this match were sold at K2 000 each while Mpamba tickets were pegged at K1 500 each.
“Mpamba pre-sales grossed about K4 million while match day tickets fetched about K46 million and the clubs got K10.5 million each,” reads part of the statement.
It further contrasts the league gross revenue with the Carlsberg Cup final which grossed K54 million.
“This was only K4 million more despite pre-sale of tickets costing 25 percent more at K2 000 each and match day tickets costing 50 percent more at K3 000. And the clubs got K10.6 million each which was less than K200 000 increase from the league game share even though the gross revenue went up by K4 million and yet this was a cup final with so much at stake.
“Now tell us, who is the system benefiting? Certainly not the clubs. We feel it is important to listen when clubs talk. No one person should claim monopoly of wisdom [because] football is a group game,” the statement further reads..
However, in response, Matola said there are some individual club officials who are fighting “against any measures to tighten the loopholes that give room to fraud.
“We do not understand why some people should resist involvement of banks to handle cash at the gates. We are very disturbed that in this day and age, people would want to be moving around with huge cash [in millions]. In this particular case, each team got over K10.5 million after 6pm, when banks can safely take custody of the same, thereby reducing all inherent risks.
“But again world over, the best practice is advance sales ticketing system where match day tickets are made available in advance and the value is directly wired into bank accounts,” he said.
The FAM official nevertheless said they still have a long way to go in enlightening and civic educating their key stakeholders “that the landscape is fast changing.
“This far, we continue to applaud the teams and fans that by and large, they are implementing the reforms we are implementing and the future looks promising.” n