Some Super League clubs say they are concerned with President Peter Mutharika’s bias after promising to buy team buses for Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers while shunning needy teams.
The offer comes after the President also promised to build stadiums for the two Blantyre-based teams.
Mutharika made the pledge to donate buses in Blantyre on Saturday when he presided over the launch of the estimated K7.8 billion stadium projects for the two privately owned outfits.
In an interview yesterday, Karonga United general secretary (GS) Ramzy Simwaka said they are disappointed that Mutharika is only interested in supporting Blantyre-based Bullets and Wanderers.
“Our request is not that the small teams should be favoured, but as a President for all people he needs to balance up things,” he said.
Simwaka, who said his club has transport challenges and would appreciate to benefit from the buses donation, added: “It is not good for only two teams to be enjoying his support.
“Let the President support all of us without bias.”
Bullets and Wanderers have arguably sound sponsorships from Nyasa Manufacturing Company and Be Forward Company Limited, respectively.
Additionally, the two giants get the lion’s share of gate collections because of their huge fan base. In the 2018/19 season, for example, Bullets got K56 million while the Nomads received K41 million.
In sharp contrast, Green Warriors (formerly Mzuni FC), got K5 million and a couple of teams fell within that bandwagon.
TN Stars of Kasungu said such cases should make the President to consider assisting less-privileged clubs if football is to improve.
TNM Stars chief executive officer Jones Banda said: “These are the clubs that have a huge following which means the amount of cash they gross at the gate is not equal to what TN and Chitipa may get.
“Secondly, these two teams have sound sponsorship. What government could have done was to make sure that all team benefit equally. We are also part of the initiative that is helping the same government by employing over 30 young men.”
He said to ensure equality, government can support other Super League teams by allowing them to own the already existing community facilities.
“TN Stars uses Kasungu Stadium, Mighty Tigers uses Mulanje, Karonga uses Karonga Stadium. Government can let these clubs run these facilities under the same terms and conditions given to the so-called big teams. This can help the clubs financially,” he said.
Savenda Chitipa United vice-general secretary Marshall Mwenechanya said the presidential preference will kill the spirit of competition.
“What we are seeing here is that the rich are getting richer while the poor clubs continue to suffer. Unless, the President and others end this bias, football will continue to be dominate by a few privileged teams,” he said.
But Presidential press secretary Mgeme Kalilani claimed that Wanderers and Bullets equally have challenges that needed urgent government intervention.
“Government has made a decision to support the two clubs. They are in problems. They are oldest teams,” he said.
Kalilani said there are still plans to support other teams in future once resources permit.
“We can’t support all of them now. So, let us focus on these two clubs because they have a large following. Later, we will take on board other clubs,” he said.
On the issue of buses, Kalilani could not give details regarding how they will be bought and the sources of funds.
“Since the President is busy today with whistle-stops. I might not be able to get a response from him today,” he said.
Mutharika yesterday held rallies along the M1 Road on his way to Central and Northern regions from Blantyre.