Malawian players may be undervalued locally and sold for a pittance to foreign teams, but on the international transfer market, they are worth millions of kwacha.
For instance, take Limbikani Mzava’s K8 million (about $24 000) move from Escom United to South Africa’s Premier Soccer League (PSL). To date, that fee stands as the country’s highest transfer deal.The right back, who is in his second year at Bloemfontein Celtic, is valued at 50 000 euros (about K23 million) by a United Kingdom Fifa recognised website on players’ transfers and valuation of the football market, www.transfermarkt.co.uk.
Flames striker Chiukepo Msowoya has the highest market value among Flames’ players as he is pegged at 325 000 euros (about K154 million).
However, the estimated value takes into account the fact that his contract with Orlando Pirates was due to expire in June this year.
This could mean his value dropped following the termination of his contract with Pirates in September last year and his subsequent return home to rejoin Escom United.
According to South Africa-based agent Charles Martin, the estimated value takes into consideration their earnings during the period of their contract.
“It considers the actual transfer fees as well as a player’s earnings for the period of the contract which includes sign-on fees, monthly salaries, game bonuses and trophy triumph bonuses and other incentives the player will earn during that time.
“It also looks at how much that player can bring to the club in terms of selling merchandise, the age of the player, his form at the time of valuation as well as his international games record and accumulated agents’ fees.
“Msowoya had a lucrative deal with Pirates and all his earnings during the three-year contract could have come to that amount, but with the player now at Escom, his value has dropped,” he said.
This means Platinum Stars midfielder Robert Ng’ambi could be Malawi’s most-valued player with a market value of 250 000 euros ( about K119 million).
He is followed by midfielder Joseph Kamwendo, who is about to sign a deal in Mozambique, at 225 000 euros (K107 million).
Flames captain Peter Mponda comes third at a value of 200 000 euros (about K95 million).
The others are Atusaye Nyondo of Supersport United at 175 000 euros (K83 million), unattached James Sangala and Peter Wadabwa of Thanda Royal Zulu 150 000 euros (K71 million), Harry Nyirenda of Black Leopards , Tawonga Chimodzi of Santos and Dave Banda of Red Lions are pegged at 100 000 euros at (K47 million) each. Robin Ngalande of Bidvest, Essau Kanyenda of Polokwane City, Simplex Nthala and Zicco Mkanda of Liga Maculmana, Jimmy Zakazaka of Thanda are each worth 50 000 euros (K23 million).
The website did not place any value on Sweden-based Russell Mwafulirwa, who has just joined IK Sleipner.
Football Association of Malawi commercial manager Casper Jangale, who is responsible for international players’ transfers, said the values are valid, but only applicable on the international market.
“Locally, the players cannot have such values because they don’t earn a lot. Local clubs have also been excited with foreign deals and have not done research to know the real value of their players before selling them,” he said
He added that the values would be appreciated if there were no secrecy in handling of international deals.
“Fifa has established an international electronic transferring system where all transfers and the fees are registered in the system for an international transfer certificate to pass so there will be no hiding of fees.
“Local teams have sold players to South Africa at huge fees, as high as K20 million (about $60 000), but only disclosed they had sold them at K3 million (about $8 823) so that secrecy has also made us not to appreciate real values of players,” said Jangale.