- Only K16 million realised from BT derby
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has instituted an investigation to establish what transpired for the Blantyre derby between Big Bullets and Mighty Be Forward Wanderers played at Kamuzu Stadium on Saturday to gross a meagre K16 million ($28 169)—almost K11 million ($19 366.20) short of what was realised in the first-round encounter.
Despite a massive turnout at the stadium that was filled to capacity, the gate collections tell a different story and the league runners suspect massive pilfering at the turnstiles.
Ironically, the first-round encounter between the two giants at the same venue grossed almost K27 million ($47 535.21).
The Carlsberg Cup final match between the two sides played at a much smaller Civo Stadium in August grossed K29 million ($51 056.34).
Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said they had instituted an investigation into the matter and heads would roll.
“Whoever is found to be in the wrong will have to face the consequences,” Banda said. “We are involving the police and the law will take its course.”
Banda said preliminary investigations already indicate that there was collusion at the gates between supervisors, cashiers and other stakeholders.
“We have already instructed the firm that was managing the gates, Joka Investments to submit a report,” Banda said.
“The aim of outsourcing the game was to make sure that such a thing does not happen. They must explain how they allowed this to happen.”
Sulom printed 18 000 tickets and despite the stadium filling to capacity, some tickets were not sold, suggesting that tickets were not issued.
In total 66 supervisors, cashiers from Sulom, clubs and the stadium were deployed.
Sulom also hired 160 police officers, but still money is suspected to have gone into individuals’ pockets.
“We suspect that there was collusion at the gates. But this is outrageous because they have betrayed the two teams who could have benefited more from the gate collections and not individuals,” Banda said.
Bullets and Wanderers got K3.050 million ($53 697.18) each unlike in first round when they got about K7 million ($12 324) each.
The two clubs have since expressed concerns over the way the gates were managed and say they will wait for the Sulom investigations.
“As Bullets the amount collected is an insult. We did not expect the game to gross K16 million after the same game at same venue at same charges grossed K26 million,” Bullets vice-general secretary Kelvin Moyo, whose side was the host team, said yesterday.
“As hosts it is Bullets supporters committee that picked the gate management firm Joka. Sulom is investigating the matter but we will also institute our own internal investigations.”
Wanderers vice-general secretary Chris Kananji said the low gross revenue mirrored glaring shortcomings in the gate management system.
“We cannot say much since we were not the host team, suffice to say [that with what] happened at the stadium on Saturday in terms of ticket sales is anything to go by, then I am afraid we have a long way to go.
“Imagine those that were manning the gates could not produce the counterfeits so as to balance with the tickets. There is a lot of pilferage that takes place. All things being equal, over K20 million should have been made because tickets were sold out and those managing the gates turned to counterfeits,” said Kananji.