Dwindling gate revenue due to poor patronage has brought panic among TNM Super League clubs.
Although clubs were not in good financial position before the Covid-19 crisis, Nation on Sunday findings of the first five weeks of the league show the financial situation is worsening because of dependency on gate takings.
Civo United accountant Andrew Tambala told Nation on Sunday in an interview that the capital city derby between Civo and Silver Strikers registered a drop in revenue.
He said the game played last year on September 28 at Civo Stadium grossed K3 105 950 million and each team got K586 308. Gate charges were K1 000 Open Stand K3 000 Covered Stand and K5 000 VIP.
“This time around the same fixture made K2 504 500 and each team got K495 125 despite raising gate charges with Open Stands charging K2 000 Covered Stand at K4 000 and K7 000 for VIP Stand,” said Tambala.
The game between Mafco and Civo United played at Chitowe last Sunday grossed K171 500 according to TNM Super League of Malawi gate collection summary.
Each team shared K32 498. The same fixture in 2018 made over K500 000.
Chitipa United are hit hard too and fear for the future.
Last week, Chitipa United got K43 000 from their away fixtures in the South against Red Lions and Ntopwa.
They got K23 000 against Lions and K20 000 against Ntopwa the next day, according to general secretary Duma Ngoma.
Last year against Ntopwa United the visitors received K51 000. “There is a big drop in revenue. Covid-19 might be the main reason or simply it’s lack of interest from fans. But the strange thing is we have managed to sell lots of replica shirts which are going at K15 000, but patronage is not as encouraging,” said Ngoma.
“We hosted Nyasa Big Bullets recently at Karonga Stadium on 6th December gross gate takings were K2.9 million, but it was much less than last year’s,” he said
Silver Strikers chief executive officer Thoko Chimbali attributed the low gate takings to Covid-19.
“Firstly, due to Covid-19 pandemic guidelines capacity has been trimmed to half. But patronage hasn’t even reached half capacity at match venues we have played our games. We feel fans are still afraid to take the risk to venture out and watch games,” he said.
Silver have made positive inroads on merchandise in replica shirts a thing which the CEO said is evident that fans still want to be affiliated to the club, but are afraid to go to match venues.
“The previous stock we brought in as a pilot project are all sold. We have now ordered another consignment of replicas because of demand. That’s a positive but match day revenue is alarmingly dropping,” he said.
Civo United general secretary Ronald Chiwaula is equally worried on gate revenues.
“On the positive side is that games have resumed and that is important. But what is worrying is playing in almost empty stadiums. You know most clubs we depend on gate collections to support operations,” he said.