Confusion surrounds the merchandise agreement between Big Bullets and American firm Nsejjere as the People’s Team has entered into a similar deal with their sponsor Carlsberg Malawi Limited.
Carlsberg has rolled out a replica jersey deal with both Bullets and Mighty Wanderers, the clubs they are sponsoring on the domestic scene this season, to help them commercialise.
Carlsberg has agreed with both teams to provide them 500 jerseys each. The jerseys are selling at K5 000 (about $14) each and could see both teams make about K2.5 million (about $7 352).
While Bullets general secretary Higger Mkandawire on Tuesday dismissed the possibility of breach of contract with Nsejjere, country manager Jacob Chikoya claimed there is a potential conflict of interest.
Mkandawire said they are not in breach of contract because since they signed the contract with Nsejjere, the latter has not lived to its word to provide them with replica jerseys.
“The other thing is that, according to the deal, we would have been in breach of contract if Carlsberg were in direct competition with Nsejjere, which is not the case,” said Mkandawire.
He also claimed that both Carlsberg and Nsejjere do not have exclusive sponsorship rights for Bullets.
But Chikoya said there was an element of breach of contract as Bullets needed to formally seek Nsejjere’s approval before entering into the deal with Carlsberg.
“I am not aware that Bullets have entered into a deal with Carlsberg to be selling replica jerseys. I would have to find out.
“But my understanding is that, in accordance with the agreement that we signed, they were supposed to seek our input since they agreed to enter into an exclusive supply agreement with us that includes branding and commercialising products,” said Chikoya.
However, Carlsberg Malawi senior brands manager [alcoholics] Twikale Chirwa said they were only fulfilling their pledge to help the clubs commercialise.
“Part of the sponsorship agreement that we signed with the two clubs was that we would help them roll out commercialisation drive by providing replica jerseys for sale,” said Twikale.
The recent development comes barely three months after the Nomads were dragged to court by Nsejjere, which is seeking in excess of $1.5 million [about K480 million] for an alleged breach of contract.
The case is currently in court, but on the other hand, the Nomads claimed they will proceed with the Carlsberg deal having terminated the contract with Nsejjere.
Nomads general secretary, David Kanyenda said the Carlsberg replica jerseys are already on sale at their clubhouse in Blantyre.
Recently, Nsejjere pledged to buy Bullets a 60-seater luxury coach on condition that the club sells 500 000 replica jerseys next season.