Amid the confusion that has engulfed local football powerhouse Nyasa Big Bullets FC camp, trustees board chairperson James Busilley yesterday announced his resignation.
And as if that was not enough, the People’s Team was thrown in fresh turmoil following main supporters committee’s U-turn on the resolution made at a meeting with the trustees in Lilongwe on Saturday regarding executive committee elections.
Confirming his step-down, Busilley said: “I wouldn’t describe it as a resignation as such, but rather retirement. I have been trustees board chair for over five years now and I think it is time I took a bow to pave the way for others. Pressure of my personal business is also taking its toll and that has also contributed to my decision.”
Asked if his decision is related to the recent disagreements within the team, Busilley said: “Not at all. Actually I had been thinking about this for quite some time. Problems and disagreements will always be there at a big club like Bullets, we have had bigger problems before.”
In his parting shot, Busilley, who did not attend Saturday’s indaba, appealed to the warring factions to bury their differences for the sake of the club.
He thanked fellow trustees, officials, supporters and players for their support during his tenure and wished the team well.
However, trustees secretary Jim Kalua expressed ignorance on the issue.
“It’s news to me. In fact we spoke this morning [yesterday] regarding the direction we want the team to take and he did not mention anything about that,” he said.
Main supporters committee chairperson Stone Mwamadi said they cannot accept Busilley’s resignation.
“He is the father figure at the club and we all look up to him for advice and guidance, he is a symbol of unity. So, even before he officially communicates, we will sit down with him to try and persuade him to stay on.”
Meanwhile, barely two days after agreeing with the trustees to scrape off some positions in the executive committee, the main supporters committee yesterday changed its tune, saying elections will cover all the positions.
Mwamadi and secretary Mabvuto Chibambo accused the trustees of trying to mislead them.
Said Mwamadi: “We agreed to the move after they [trustees] claimed that if we did not take that direction by March 1, then the club risked being fined K5 million by FAM [Football Association of Malawi] for failing to meet club licensing system (CLS) requirements.
“So, today we went to FAM offices where we met the general secretary [Alfred Gunda] and CLS manager [Casper Jangale] who enlightened us on how the system works as regards club administration. According to their explanation, a team can employ an accountant and an administrator while maintaining the executive committee.
“And based on that clarification, as an elected committee that represents the supporters, we are saying all the positions will be contested for at the March 18 elections as provided in the constitution.”
On his part, Chibambo argued that other teams such as Silver Strikers, Be Forward Wanderers and Blue Eagles have administrators and have maintained the executive committee set-up.
The FAM GS confirmed meeting members of the Bullets supporters committee yesterday, saying: “Basically, they were seeking clarification on club licensing, specifically on club administration set-up. They wanted to know if the abolishment of executive committee is in line with club licensing.
“And we explained to them that the club licensing system requires that a team should have a secretariat complete with an administrator and that the issue of whether to maintain the executive committee or not is purely a governance issue on the part of the club.”
However, Kalua had not responded to our questionnaire on the matter, but on Saturday he justified the move, saying it is in line with the club’s commercialisation and club licensing drive.