The Chifundo Charity Shield between Nyasa Big Bullets and Kamuzu Barracks (KB) raised a K256 500 net which was way below the K15 million target Football Association of Malawi (FAM) set.
FAM had planned to use the proceeds from the match to purchase items to donate to Kachere Rehabilitation Centre in Blantyre, but at the end of the day the association was left with a laughable surplus of K256 500.
The match realised K5.8 million from the ticket sales, but out of this, FAM spent K5 543 500 on match organisation expenses.
It was also the same scenario last year when the Charity Shield failed to hit the target set by the association.
The 2016 Charity Shield between Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers grossed K11.4 million in gate revenue.
But after paying service providers, the association was left with a meagre K1.5 million to buy trolleys to donate to Kamuzu Central Hospital (KCH). FAM ended up spending almost a year to donate patients’ trolleys using revenue from other sources.
FAM commercial and marketing director Limbani Matola said the event was facing challenges.
“So far, our experience shows that being a relatively new concept in Malawi, we are still facing some teething problems. Last year, for example, we managed to get K1.5 million net revenue and this year the figure is quite lower which is way below our expectation.
“In order to fulfil the charitable cause, FAM had to source funds from other sources to subsidise the purchase of hospital equipment which was donated to KCH. This year we are still consulting on how best we can assist Kachere Rehabilitation Centre,” he said.
Matola said FAM has learnt lessons from the experience.
“There is need to continuously engage all stakeholders on the whole concept of the Charity Shield. We noted that despite being charity, some of our stakeholders would want to benefit out of this noble cause. Elsewhere, all the stakeholders put aside their interests and instead contribute for the sake of improving humanity. We will continue to civic educate and engage our stakeholders as we move forward.
“Another factor this year was low patronage which affected our projected revenue. We understand because it was during Easter period and a lot of our football fans had committed their time to their respective places of worship. Going forward, we will ensure to properly time the fixture and intensify awareness,” he said.
On the failure to raise enough revenue for the cause, Matola said FAM will step up its efforts to get partners.
He said: “The other area we are looking at is strategic partnerships through either sponsorship or donations. This year, we had a partner who was ready to pump in over K10 million, but due to some challenges on their part they changed course last minute. This is the more reason that we shifted the fixture to April 15 from 8 as earlier planned. We hoped that we could find a replacement but time was quite a limiting factor.”
Fake tickets scandals
Within the two years it has been in existence, the Charity Shield has been hit by fake tickets scandals despite the association’s efforts to curb the malpractice.
Just like last year when patrons used fake tickets, the malpractice came back to haunt the Charity Shield this year.
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said efforts would be made to ensure future success of the competition.
He said: “Through the vigilance of FAM in the enhancement of security features on the tickets and heightened coordination with the Malawi Police Service [MPS], fake tickets for the open stands were noted to be on sale by non-designated selling points and persons. With the help of FAM officials supervising the ticket sales, police was alerted of the fake ticket sales and two men were apprehended in the act of selling and were found with booklets of the fake tickets which did not have the security feature of the FAM hologram.” n