Debts in excess of K30 million incurred during their participation in the CAF Champions League, have started taking a toll on Be Forward Wanderers FC.
A source has confided in the Weekend Nation that the TNM Super League champions risk being dragged to court for missing a seven-day deadline to settle a K24 million debt with an airline travel agency.
Said the source: “When they [Wanderers] were travelling to the DRC [Democratic Republic of Congo], they acquired return air tickets from TNT Travel Agency on credit on the understanding that they would pay the money after their return match. Unfortunately, that did not happen.
“Efforts by the travel agency to persuade the club to settle the debt proved futile and they sought their lawyers’ intervention who wrote Wanderers a letter, giving them a seven-day deadline which has since elapsed and they are now seeking court redress.”
TNT Agency could not be reached for comment.
Apart from the travel agency, the Nomads are also being taken to task over unpaid hotel bills totalling to about K7.6 million.
In an interview on Wednesday, the Nomads chairperson Gift Mkandawire confirmed the debt, saying they are struggling financially.
“We are in deep problems. We are currently courting well-wishers to bail us out and the situation is not good.
“The amount [owed to some service providers] is just too huge, but we are trying to find a solution and our trustees are also trying their best,” he said.
Asked why the club went on to take part in the continental showpiece when they were not certain about funding, the Nomads boss said: “The consequences of withdrawing would have been far-reaching.
“We would have lost more in terms of penalties, including being banned from taking part in any CAF tournament for two years. We were also looking at the pride of football in Malawi.”
Meanwhile, as desperation takes its toll on the Nomads, they recently took their begging bowl to government by approaching the Minister of Finance, Economic Planning and Development Goodall Gondwe.
Gondwe confirmed having been approached on the matter, but said he referred them to the Malawi National Council of Sports (MNCS).
“Yes, somebody indeed raised that issue with me, but I advised them to go through the Sports Council because that is the norm,” said the minister.
MNCS executive secretary George Jana said he was not aware of Wanderers “having approached the minister or anybody else”.
Two weeks before their trip to the DRC, the Nomads wrote the Football Association of Malawi (FAM) informing them about their intention to withdraw from the CAF tournament, but made a U-turn barely hours later.
This was after their Japanese sponsors Be Forward Limited withdrew their commitment to pump in K53 million towards the preliminary round games reportedly after being put off by some unpleasant issues within the team.
Part of the letter which the club, through its general secretary Mike Butao, wrote to FAM, reads: “We are sorry but circumstances have forced us to withdraw from 2018 CAF Champions League with immediate effect. Please advice CAF of this withdrawal. We regret the inconvenience this will cause.
“Please advise us on the penalty associated with such withdrawal.”