Big Bullets might have missed the TNM Super League championship on mere goal difference, but for all their sweat, the players did not get the 50 percent cut from the K4.5 million (about $12 000) runners-up prize money, at least for now.
The figure translates to K2.25 million (about $6 100).
One of the senior players, who asked for anonymity, claimed that while management settled part of their outstanding dues in form of game bonuses, they were not paid their share from the league prize money.
“We had a meeting with management and they informed us that due to crippling budgetary constraints, we’ll not be paid our 50 percent cut of the prize money. Instead, they only paid us outstanding game bonuses and the highest got K73 000 (about $182) whereas the lowest received K5 000 (about $12).
BB’s financial hiccups
“However, they have omitted bonuses for the games against Kamuzu Barracks and Kabwafu which they claim to have given us, but they did not. Then we are yet to be paid part of the signing-on fees and upkeep allowances for a number of months.
“We are very disappointed to say the least, considering the effort that we put in last season,” said the player.
While confirming the development, the People’s Team general secretary and spokesperson Higger Mkandawire attributed the development to financial hiccups.
“We have paid the players all the outstanding game bonuses, but we indeed owe them other outstanding dues such as their cut from the league runners-up prize money.
“We pleaded with them to bear with us because we also had debts with banks and Sulom [Super League of Malawi] which we had to settle. However, we undertake to pay them their remaining dues from fund-raising initiatives and our appeal to them [players] is that they should be patient,” said Mkandawire.
The BB spokesperson could not be drawn to disclose how much the club owed Sulom and banks, but an inside source claimed that they had to settle a bank overdraft amounting to K2.5 million ($6 400).
BB in fighting
Meanwhile, after weeks of sickening in-house fighting characterised by physical confrontation, calm has finally returned to the People’s Team following a meeting involving the club’s stakeholders.
Mkandawire, board of trustees secretary Kinnah Phiri and supporters committee secretary Frank ‘Nyau’ Msiska confirmed having had a fruitful meeting in Blantyre at the weekend where it was also agreed that elections for both the executive and supporters’ committees should not be held to ensure continuity.
Said Mkandawire: “I am pleased to announce that we had a very fruitful meeting with other stakeholders that included representatives of the board and the supporters.
“During the meeting, it was noted that the in-house fighting was as a result of communication breakdown, but from now onwards it has been agreed that the executive committee should work closely with the trustees and the main supporters’ committee to ensure smooth operation.
“To that effect, the board and the supporters mandated us [the executive] to extend our tenure to ensure continuity. It was also agreed that, to avoid confusion, only the GS and the chairperson will have the mandate to speak to the media on behalf of the club on administrative issues and that other stakeholders would have to seek authority from management,” said Mkandawire.
He also said the team’s leadership was asked to list down the club’s property and present it to the trustees.
Kinnah, who attended the meeting together with fellow trustee Fred Kwacha, confirmed that the board mandated the executive committee to continue.
“All the bickering that was happening in the recent past was a result of lack of proper communication among the stakeholders. But it is true that having been satisfied with how the current executive committee has run the club, we have mandated them to continue to ensure continuity.
“So, as trustees, our position is that we have faith in the current leadership and we have given them the mandate to run the affairs of the club up to the end of the season,” he said.
BB had one of their most successful seasons in recent times and, apart from winning the Presidential Cup, the People’s Team failed to clinch league honours because of an inferior goal difference having tied on points  with champions Silver Strikers.