Super League clubs Big Bullets, Escom United and Mighty Wanderers have expressed disappointment with Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) for keeping them waiting for results of their applications for sponsorship.
The clubs have since asked MTL to come in the open on the issue. The three clubs applied for the sponsorship together with Blantyre United.
â€œMTL are a big company, but the way they have handled this issue has been disappointing and unprofessional. Just imagine, it has been a year since they received the proposals, but up to now nothing has been communicated,â€ said Bullets general secretary Higger Mkandawire.
Wanderers general secretary David Kanyenda echoed Mkandawireâ€™s sentiments.
â€œThere has been total silence. They need to break the silence and tell the nation the truth. This is painful and unfortunate coming from a big company such as MTL. The season is half-way, but we have heard nothing from them. They could have at least communicated so that we know what is happening,â€ said Kanyenda.
Escom chairperson Fanuel Nkhono said MTL as a commercial company should be able to make decisions â€œat lightening speed to keep up with competition, as such, it is puzzling that they keep the clubs guessing.â€
â€œThey have already demonstrated lack of commitment. We urge them to come into the open and say if they are sponsoring any club or not. They asked for bids and as clubs who submitted the bids, we are not supposed to approach them, but they should come forward and announce their position publicly. There is need to close this chapter,â€ said Nkhono.
But MTL marketing manager Wanangwa Thindwa on Thursday said the clubs will have to wait a little longer because the company has not yet decided the way forward on the matter.
He admitted that it was wrong for them not to update the clubs on the progress on the matter.
â€œWe are meeting on the issue as a company and are yet to make a decision. Once we make that decision I will come back to you,â€ said Thindwa
His comments are a complete departure from his earlier interview with The Nation, when he cited devaluation of the kwacha as one of the reasons for the delay in announcing the results of the bids.
â€œDevaluation has affected our budget and as such we are revisiting the sponsorship to come up with realistic figures,â€ Thindwa told The Nation on June 1 2012.
But three months down the line, MTL are still keeping the clubs guessing.
â€œThis is unlike job application, because if they do not call you, you know you do not have the job. But this is different as the company made a pledge and we had to submit the proposal physically knowing there is hope, but they have decided to keep us guessing. It is like they are playing with us (clubs), which is not amusing,â€ said Mkandawire.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom), said the issue of MTL sponsorship will be on the agenda at its annual general meeting (AGM) this month.
â€œThe issue is a serious one and we have to discuss it at the AGM and see how we can engage MTL over the matter,â€ said Sulom president Innocent Bottomani.
Currently, Mighty Wanderers and Big Bullets are enjoying a one-season Carlsberg Malawi sponsorship while competing for a long-term one from the firm.