FAM and Sulom have taken a huge step in the crusade to implement the Fifa-initiated drive to commercialise the Super League by putting in place a number of measures.
The development follows a meeting which the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) and the Super League of Malawi (Sulom) held with flagship league clubs on Monday at Chiwembe Technical Centre in Blantyre in the quest to start implementing the 2009 Lilongwe Declaration that was initiated by the world football governing body.
FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda and Sulom general secretary Williams Banda confirmed that among other things, the meeting endorsed that from the forthcoming season, all teams will be required to have contracts with their respective players.
“And, therefore, no player will be registered by Sulom in absence of a contract. This has been done to ensure that the interests of both parties are protected and the status of a player should be clearly outlined to avoid disputes.
“It was further agreed that all Super League teams will be required to submit financial statements and copies of their constitutions to Sulom and that the duration for executive committee’s tenure of office should be four years to be in line with those of FAM and Sulom.
“It was also agreed that we need to explore ways to ensure that teams benefit from marketing and media rights,” said the FAM CEO.
Banda said in the same vein, it was agreed that teams should have a secretariat to ensure smooth operations.
“It was also agreed that games should be outsourced in order to enhance corporate governance and that payment should be made through cheques.
“We also agreed that the minimum gate-entry fee for Super League games will be K200 whereas the maximum has been pegged at K500,” said Banda.
The Sulom GS said the meeting further agreed that whenever the national team has assignments, any team that has contributed four or more players to the national team, should be exempted from fixtures in line with the rules and regulations.
But this was in contrast to what Nyirenda told The Nation that there will be no local competitive games whenever the national team is involved in an international fixture.
“This will also ensure that misunderstandings that were there in the past regarding some teams having an unfair advantage over others is avoided.
“To that effect, it was further agreed that in the event that a team contributes three or more players to the junior national teams, that team should also be exempted from competitive fixtures,” Nyirenda said.
Nyirenda said stakeholders at the meeting agreed to revert to midweek fixtures in order to avoid fixture congestion.
“It was further agreed that only coaches that have C licences will be allowed to coach Super League teams.
“It was also agreed that coaches that do not have such minimum qualifications, will only be allowed to coach for a maximum period of one month,” he said.
And in a bid to ease the problem of venues in the Southern Region, the meeting agreed that FAM should negotiate with government to speed up the process of reopening BAT Ground for Super League and national cup games.
“We’ll also be meeting management of Surestream Academy to allow us to use the stadium for a game per week provided that the match should not be of high risk to the facility as it would defeat the whole purpose of the stadium which is to gloom and nurture young talent,” said Nyirenda.
He disclosed that Chiwembe Technical Centre ground will be available to host games during the second round when an artificial turf would have been laid.
Big Bullets general secretary Higger Mkandawire described the meeting as fruitful.
“It was a very beneficial meeting in that it was the first step towards implementing the 2009 Lilongwe Declaration.
“It is high time we professionalised the league and hopefully we’ll be having frequent follow-up meetings in order to ensure that the targets that were set are met,” said Mkandawire.
Mighty Wanderers general secretary David Kanyenda also described the meeting as cordial and fruitful.
He said number of issues were tackled and FAM promised to enhance professionalism.