Most of the Super League clubs have proposed a significant hike in subsidy and prizes as Sulom courts TNM plc this Friday to step up sponsorship renewal negotiations.
The annual K90 million sponsorship for the domestic top-flight league is due to expire at the end of the 2020 season and Super League of Malawi (Sulom) and the integrated information and communications technology provider are already negotiating for a new deal.
In an interview, Be Forward Wanderers chairperson Symon Sikwese yesterday said they expect Sulom to negotiate for a comprehensive package with emphasis on subsidising travel and accommodation.
He said: “Obviously, the expectation is that the prize money will be revised, but our emphasis was that there should be significant subvention on travel and accommodation so that clubs do not suffer.”
On his part, Civil Service (Civo) United general secretary (GS) Ronald Chiwaula also touched on subsidy and prize money, but added: “In our input, we also suggested the need to improve the quality of the kits and consider including boots as well.
“Much as we appreciate that the economy is not good, perhaps Sulom can consider courting co-sponsors for other needs.”
In a separate interview, Nyasa Big Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga said apart from subsidy and prizes at all levels, they proposed that the sponsor should stop controlling jersey branding “to allow clubs earn revenue through their partners”.
He said: “We also proposed the introduction of player and coach of the month awards.”
Silver Strikers chief executive officer Thoko Chimbali said apart from branding, they also raised the issue of prize money, which they feel is too little.
He said: “Our view is that TNM should open up and allow other sponsors, even in the same industry, to come on board.”
Ntopwa FC owner Isaac Jomo Osman said Sulom did not consult his club for its input.
“It could be that they approached only big teams, otherwise they did not reach out to us. Nevertheless, our expectation is that they will negotiate for a better subvention to at least K5 million because it has been on K1 million since the sponsorship was introduced and it all goes towards player registration,” he said.
Karonga United GS Ramzy Simwaka said they also proposed subsidy on travel and accommodation.
“For a team like ours, subsidy would be key, considering our location as we cover long trips and it is costly for a team that does not have sponsorship,” he said.
Sulom president Tiya Somba Banda yesterday confirmed having completed the consultation process with the clubs, saying: “We have received clubs’ input and we are consolidating the same.
“However, it will be premature for us to take a position at the moment, but it is our responsibility to ensure that we have a package that has a true value of football and at the same time provides the sponsor a leverage and positive return on the investment.”
On co-sponsorship, the Sulom president said: “The issue of co-sponsors has always been there and in the past two seasons, we had Lilongwe Beverages Limited sponsoring man-of-the-match awards. Therefore, we will continue with the same principle of opening up to multiple sponsors in areas we believe will drive their business strategy.”