Some Super League clubs want Sulom to negotiate for the review of the prizes with sponsors TNM before the start of next season.
TNM sponsors the flagship football league to the tune of K65 million and the money that goes directly towards team prizes is less than K20 million.
Newly-crowned champions Big Bullets, immediate past champions Silver Strikers and Civo United yesterday said the K9 million winners’ cheque and the subsequent prizes are not satisfactory compared to what teams spend on the marathon.
Bullets general secretary Harold Fote yesterday said his team has already started lobbying other teams to push for the hike.
“We are not trying to suggest that the sponsor [TNM] should reward the champions an equivalent to what they spend throughout the season, but they should consider raising it to something more substantial,” said Fote.
Bullets spokesperson said they will revive the bid by mobilising other teams.
“We spend over K50 million [about $100 000] on Super League games and the prize money ought to reflect the eminence of the league.
“I remember Silver Strikers led the crusade not long ago and the concerns were presented to Sulom, but despite giving us an assurance that they would take it up with the sponsor, we never got a concrete feedback,” said Fote.
He said while they are aware that it is a contractual issue, Sulom can still negotiate with the sponsor to consider some amendments for the good of the league. He further said the target is to raise the issue with Sulom at the next AGM before the league kicks off.
Silver’s chairperson McDonald Mafuta-Mwale yesterday said he tried to lobby other teams such as Bullets, Mighty Wanderers and Kamuzu Barracks during an AGM earlier this year, but the campaign fell through.
“Looking at the expenditure we pay for things like transport and accommodation, the prize money is too little.
“Of course, they [sponsors] don’t need to cover everything, but they should offer something satisfactory in the ranges of between K15 million [about $30 000] and K20 million [about $40 000] to the champions,” said Mafuta-Mwale.
He added: “When we introduced this issue at first, we did not get the required support probably because of our dominance in winning the league, but we are happy that it is coming from Bullets because they now appreciate what we meant.”
The Bankers’ boss said in his view, it is not the sponsorship package that is small, but rather the reallocation of the money within the K65 million.
Civo United general secretary Rashid Mtelela said the prize money needs to make a difference considering the investment that teams make in participating in the league.
“We believe the prize money has to be adjusted because it is not enough to motivate us, the clubs. We know the sponsor’s argument would be that they make up for the deficit through the Sapota Mapeto promotion, but we need more improvements on the prizes,” he said.
Soccer commentator Kelvin Moyo said while he agreed with the clubs’ concern, they too are not doing enough to generate more revenue on their own.
“The issue here is twofold. The prize money is indeed on the lower side, but are clubs themselves doing enough to explore other avenues of generating income?
“TNM showed them the way by introducing the Sapota Mapeto Promotion and they can capitalise on that and they can also embark on other ways of generating income,” said Moyo.
Sulom president Innocent Bottomani conceded that the issue has been outstanding as the clubs initially raised the concern about a year ago.
“It is not like we gave them a cold shoulder, we did raise the issue with the sponsor and they are aware, but issues of contract are delicate and we need to be careful in the way we handle it.
“Nevertheless, we are meeting TNM very soon and that issue will be raised again,” said the Sulom president.
TNM public relations and marketing manager Limbani Nsapato said he could not comment until they get communication from Sulom.