The strained relationship between relegated side Fisd Wizards FC and Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (Fisd) has taken a new twist with the sponsors demanding that the team unconditionally relocate to Lilongwe.
The upshot comes after the club’s owner Peter Mponda asked the sponsors to come out clear on the future of the sponsorship while insisting the team cannot relocate to Lilongwe as demanded by the sponsors.
“We would like to thank you for your support in the just ended [TNM] Super League 2015-2016 season. It was an amazing experience playing in the league, even though we did not win the fight against relegation but we have gained wealth of experience both on and off the pitch.
“At the start of our partnership, we had agreed that Fisd will continue sponsoring Wizards once the club remains in the Super League. Looking at where we stand now, we definitely did not meet that condition of our agreement.
“We have read and heard about your intentions to continue sponsoring the club in the media with a condition of relocating our base, but that is not reassuring to us as those are informal channels. We would like to humbly request that you formally inform us of your stand at this point,” Mponda’s letter reads in part.
In their response, Fisd have insisted that it’s either Wizards move to Lilongwe or they have no choice but to look for another club.
Fisd managing director Frank Mwenechanya confirmed that he had responded to Mponda’s letter.
“We have given them our position. According to our agreement, the contract we signed with them expired and we have to sign a new one. But before we do so, there are some issues that have to be addressed. One of them is that they should relocate to Lilongwe. It’s either the team moves to Lilongwe or we have no choice but look for another Lilongwe-based side to sponsor,” said Mwenechanya.
He also claimed the club was told of relocating to Lilongwe at the time the sponsorship deal was signed.
“This issue of moving to Lilongwe is not coming just now. We told them last season. Even if the team was to remain in the Super League, we still wanted it to be based in Lilongwe for logistical reasons.
“But if they don’t want, then it’s okay. We are willing to sponsor them even in the lower league. But if they stay in Blantyre, we will find another team that is based in Lilongwe to sponsor.”
“Unfortunately, the teams in Lilongwe are government sponsored so we may have to start from scratch until the team gets promoted to the Super League,” Mwenechanya said.
Meanwhile, Mponda has fired his entire executive committee.
“We will be writing a letter to Super League of Malawi (Sulom) and Southern Region Football Association (SRFA) advising them that all executive committee positions have been dissolved effective January 1 2016 and they will be advised of new office bearers who will handle the clubs business such as player loans or transfer clearances and official communication. This move is essential for our 2016-2017 season plans,” said Mponda.
Fisd stepped in with a K40 million sponsorship after the former Flames captain extracted the club from Surestream Academy following a protracted ownership wrangle.
Should Wizards relocate to Lilongwe, they will join the Chipiku Centra Region Football Association (CRFA) Premier League.n