Samuel Chilunga, who was ousted as Nyasa Big Bullets chairperson at the weekend, admitted during the club’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM) held in Lilongwe that the domestic football powerhouse was in a deep crisis.
In his 12-page report marked ‘strictly confidential’, which The Nation Online has seen, Chilunga attributed BB’s woes to what he described as greed and ignorance on the part of some stakeholders.
“Whilst the team has done well this season by winning the Presidential Cup, there are several issues affecting the club. Some of the issues are self-created mainly due to ignorance and greed.
“If these issues are not resolved they will affect the team’s performance, relationship between the sponsor and the executive and trustees and, ultimately, the brand of the team,” reads part of the report.
In the summary of his report, the former Bullets chairperson further said that the problems were “due to greedy motives notably the present agenda ‘sale of the team’ through the disguise of club ownership.”
He further stated that players and the supporters were ignorant of the implications of ownership through sale of the team, further suggesting that there are better ways of sorting out the ownership challenge.
“This is very suicidal as the effects are long lasting,” he said.
Chilunga stated that while the issue of ownership ignited several calls from the players and supporters, “it is an issue which is not simple and needs to be looked at exhaustively. In addition, only informed minds with all the expertise can decide on the subject matter which requires legal, financial and accounting minds/acumen.”
He said there were a number of issues that needed to be considered such as the team’s legal status.
“It is, [therefore], embarrassing for a club of this stature to be thinking shallowly and ignorantly as this can lead to embarrassing outcomes. I fully support the notion of investments being made into the trust and not selling the club.”
Chilunga also blamed the situation on negative publicity from some quarters of the media as well as the sponsors (Nyasa Manufacturing Company).
“This is mainly from the sponsors. My analysis of the situation indicates that it is a reaction to views of some people in the executive on the ownership of the club. One would have expected the sponsor to raise the issue with the executive or the trustees in writing or through meetings as provided in the sponsorship contract, but none of these have taken place.
“While this may seem the best way of handling issues of ‘football politics’, it has far reaching consequences on both parties and the ‘brand’ in particular. Interestingly, the bad publicity has come from only one local daily and from the same journalist.”
In his report, Chilunga also states that the team’s current debt stands at K59.3 million.
“A debt of K61 million was inherited [from the previous leadership]. Some of these debt figures have no supporting documents and will need to be vetted by the finance committee.
“In the period under review, the team has accumulated debt amounting to K3 million and paid off K4.7 million, leaving a balance of K59.3 million
“It is being propagated that the team can be sold by paying the signing-on fees and the debts. In my wisdom, this is the biggest joke I have ever heard. The club needs investors and not jokers,” the report further reads.
NMC board chairperson Konrad Buckle yesterday said it was difficult for them to comment as they were yet to see Chilunga’s report.
However, the club’s main supporters committee chairperson Stone Mwamadi yesterday said as supporters, they still stand their ground that sponsor’s takeover would be the ideal solution.
“It doesn’t matter that I and indeed several supporters might be part of those that were branded greedy and ignorant, but the fact is that the team was still sailing in debts and failing to pay players’ signing-on fees despite securing sound sponsorship.
“This was testimony on lack of planning on the part of the ousted executive committee as even with such huge sponsorship, they could not meet their obligations, let alone fulfil their promises.
“This club is as poor as it was 49 years ago when it was formed, it has not made any progress and that is why we are propagating for Nyasa [Manufacturing Company] to take over ownership as an investor because of its sound financial base. Otherwise, the situation will remain the same,” argued Mwamadi.