Ministry of Sports and Culture has issued a directive that the 25 percent realised from gate revenue at football matches played at its stadia should be deducted from the gross.
Under the current set-up, government gets 25 percent from the net revenue realised from State-owned Kamuzu and Civo stadiums.
This is arrived at after paying allowances and fees for security, medical and cleaning personnel.
In the meantime, the Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has said there is need for stakeholders in the football industry to discuss the matter before the directive, which threatens to negatively affect the teams’ finances, is enforced.
The ministry’s spokesperson Christopher Mbukwa confirmed the directive on Thursday, saying it is aimed at generating more revenue for maintainance of the sports facilities.
“We are the ones who struggle to raise money for the maintenance of the stadia. We believe that the new arrangement will make it easy for us to rehabilitate the sports facilities,” he said.
Mbukwa said the directive will also be operational during Malawi national team matches.
But responding to the directive, Sulom general secretary Williams Banda said it will hurt clubs that do not own grounds.
“I think the best way is for government to hold a meeting so it can also hear the views of the clubs and other football stakeholders.
“Thiswill help it to appreciate why we reached at the decision to pay the stadium fees from the net,” he said.
Banda, who said Sulom had not received communication, said the reason the stadium fee is not paid from the gross is because government also benefits from the services as its workers are paid from the gate collections.
“If government says it wants to be paid from the gross what it means is that as one of the major stakeholders, it will not be involved in paying for the security personnel, cleaners and all other workers that make the match happen,” he said.
But in response, Mbukwa defended the move saying: “Normally when someone is holding an event you don’t expect the owner of the venue to provide security. It is the organisers that hire security and other services.”
He said the directive will come into effect as soon as the clubs have been communicated.
Azam Tigers FC chairperson Sydney Chikoti described it as a big setback towards football development.
“It is a retrogressive step in as far as football development is concerned because it means the meagre resources that teams earn from gate collections will dwindle further. It is a cause for worry and I hope this issue will be discussed by all stakeholders before the move is implemented,” he said.
Malawi National Council of Sports executive secretary George Jana yesterday said he could not comment as he was attending a meeting. n