Nchalo United have pulled out of the TNM Super League due to financial constraints just 13 weeks into the 2018 season.
In a letter addressed to Super League of Malawi (Sulom) secretariat dated July 9 and signed by the club’s general secretary (GS) Beston Malunga, the Lower Shire Valley outfit says it cannot manage to fulfil league fixtures and any matches starting this weekend.
The rookies, who just got promoted back to the top-flight league last season, were expected to play Kamuzu Barracks on Saturday and Civil Sporting Club on Sunday at Civo Stadium in Lilongwe.
But this development throws into doubt these fixtures as the team says it is not travelling to the Central Region.
“The executive committee of Nchalo United Football Club would like to inform you that the club will not be able to honour its fixtures for this weekend and beyond.
“The regrettable decision has been necessitated by the financial challenges the committee is facing in running the daily affairs of the club,” reads the letter in part.
The club says it is saddled with debt and cannot sustain its operations.
“As it is currently, the club has no money and already deep in debt. Efforts have been made to try and sustain the running of the club, but the club is at a point where it cannot continue anymore. There is no money for salaries, game bonuses, equipment and travel expenses.
“Until the financial situation changes for the better, the club will not take part in the TNM Super League or any competition. Nchalo United regrets any inconveniences this may cause,” said Malunga.
Sulom GS Williams Banda confirmed receiving the letter from Nchalo, but said they have not yet made a decision.
“We are looking into the matter and we will respond accordingly at an appropriate time,” he said.
However, Sulom constitution provides rules and regulations in case a team pulls out of the league.
Article 14 subsection 7 of the rules and regulations states that if a team disbands during first round, then all points that were accumulated by playing that disbanded team should be deducted while subsection 8 says if a team pulls out in the second round, then all remaining teams should get three points and two goals. There are also fines for pulling out of the competition.
In this case, clubs will lose the points they got from the matches against Nchalo. This means that leaders Silver Strikers will drop three points from 27 to 24 following their victory over Nchalo.
Second-placed Nyasa Big Bullets, who also beat them, will move from 25 to 22 points.
Third-placed Be Forward Wanderers will drop to 18 from 21 points. But this will not affect the top three positions.
Nchalo are on position 14 with nine points from 12 games. They have won three matches, drew three and lost six.
Last season, relegated Blantyre United nearly pulled out of the league also due to financial problems until Capital Oil Refining Industries (Cori) came to their rescue through their Kukoma cooking oil brand while in 2016 Max Bullets also dumped the flagship league.