Karonga United and Chitipa United say the extended off-season is taking its toll on their financial standing as they are struggling to pay players’ salaries.
This comes after the TNM Super League failed to kick off last month following President Peter Mutharika’s declaration of State of Disaster on March 20, stopping all sporting activities including football because of Covid-19 pandemic.
Most clubs do not have sponsors and rely on gate revenue. With the league suspension, analysts, have warned most teams will suffer financial meltdown.
Karonga general secretary Ramzy Simwaka said they intend to pay players half of their March monthly upkeep using the K1 million redeemed from Football Association of Malawi (FAM).
To compete in the Super League, teams deposit the money as surety, but FAM declared that the clubs can claim the money in the wake of the coronavirus.
Simwaka said they have been relying on donations from the community, but feared the coronavirus effect will affect the flow of support.
“We use contribution, mostly from the business community. So with this coronavirus situation, businesses are going down,” he said.
Chitipa vice-general secretary Marshall Mwenechanya said they have made part payment of the March salaries
“We have partly paid them. We must admit that we are struggling due to this strange disease,” he said.
Mwenechanya said they sourced the money through “contributions which came from the community”.
Ntopwa FC technical director Isaac Osman was quoted in The Nation newspaper, saying players want to be paid their salaries, but the club does not have funds.
“Players are demanding their salaries but we don’t have money, where are we going to get it from? At least if the season was in progress we could have used gate collections to pay them,” he was quoted in the local media