As clubs groan over a punishing gate-collection sharing system, it has transpired that Malawi government is dragging its feet on a new arrangement stakeholders agreed on last year.
Last June, during a Capital Hill meeting, the Super League of Malawi (Sulom), FAM, the Sports Council, Malawi Police Service (MPS) and the Ministry of Finance resolved to hire out stadia at fixed respective fees, depending on the games’ profile.
FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda said they have been pressing for the new arrangement that was to have games categorised as social, youth, league or internationals.
“We wanted to start the new arrangement during the Ghana game in October and see if this could be extended to the Super League. But we are still waiting for the ministry, which was to ask for quotations from various ground owners,” Nyirenda said on Thursday.
Sports Council executive secretary George Jana referred the matter to government where director of sports, Jameson Ndalama admitted that the agreement should have been implemented by last year.
“We agreed with this arrangement to reduce manong’onong’o (speculations), but there are many things to be addressed. For example, if they hire, who will be responsible for what? It was a challenge to just roll out without consultations. Let me assure that it will start July latest,” said Ndalama.
The current system leaves clubs with little earnings as they share 50 percent of the net. FAM and Sulom get 10 percent each, council gets five percent while the line ministry pockets 25 percent.
Other stakeholders such as the police receive their dues from gross. Under the new arrangement, Nyirenda said they agreed to engage other service providers such as the police on contracts as opposed to paying them per game.
Big Bullets have since vowed to lobby other teams to shun next season’s league unless the gate-collection sharing system is revisited.
The stadium owners are as follows: Kamuzu Stadium (Ministry of Youth and Sports), Civo Stadium (Office of the President and Cabinet), Silver Stadium (Reserve Bank of Malawi), Nankhaka Stadium (MPS), Zomba Community Centre (Zomba City Council), Mzuzu Stadium (Mzuzu City Council), Kalulu Stadium (Illovo Sugar Limited) and Chitowe Stadium (Dwangwa Sugar Corporation).
A source close to the negotiations claimed that there are interested parties who stand to lose under the new arrangement; hence, “while FAM wants to be independent, government wants to control it because it is interested in the little resources the association realises.”