Domestic football powerhouses Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers on Saturday night took Football Association of Malawi (FAM) to task over production of different revenue sheets for the Airtel Top 8 semi-final match at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
At first, a sheet indicating K39.3 million was produced by the football governing body, but the two teams queried FAM after another sheet, indicating about K44 million, emerged later on.
Nomads vice-general secretary Chulu Mkangama said they suspect that some FAM officials connived to siphon the K4.7 million difference.
“It was a racket gone wrong, otherwise how do they explain different amounts?
“It just confirms that there are syndicates involved in stealing money from gate proceeds and FAM needs to come out and explain the anomaly. Honestly, we are not amused,” he said.
“It is a shame. They [FAM] are not serious and act like a kangaroo organisation, and in the process, spoil reputations for some people at the association.”
Mkangama said upon the emergence of the sheet that had a higher figure, each team demanded their 25 percent cut from the K44 million gross.
This led to the clubs and ground owners getting K9.47 million each while FAM and Malawi National Council of Sports were supposed to get K7.57 million and K1.89 million, respectively.
Bullets chief executive officer Fleetwood Haiya had not responded to our questionnaire at press time, but FAM commercial and marketing director Limbani Matola confirmed the abnormally, saying the K4.7 million shortfall was from unsold tickets.
“There were parallel figures that came up and we have asked the bank that was handling the cash to relook at their figures.
“But we are [also] disappointed that only K39.3 million cash was realised because it does not reflect the patronage. This was a record turnout and we are drawing comparisons with the K53.4 million gross revenue that was raised from last year’s final between Wanderers and Silver Strikers and, therefore, the gross should have been more,” he said.
Matola attributed this to a breakdown in gate-management.
“Our preliminary findings were that a lot of people entered into the stadium for free because Glory Gate Management Company was overwhelmed and incapacitated at times. We have since asked them to come up with a report.
“There was also chaos where the money was being counted and as a result, the environment was not conducive for proper work to be carried out as some of the fans were drunk and unruly. This was disappointing because we always ask clubs to assign supporters that are responsible,” he said.
Matola said they drew some lessons which included creating segregation of duties “as in some instances, teams were carrying out roles which are not meant for them. We will also continue to engage other stakeholders”.