Be Forward Limited, sponsors of Be Forward Wanderers FC, are expected to decide on the future of their sponsorship within the week following negotiations the two parties had.
The development follows concerns raised by the Japanese second-hand car dealers which included training boycotts by players.
An inside source confided in The Nation yesterday that, among others, the sponsor told Wanderers leadership that they were not happy with negative publicity emanating from frequent boycotts and would only commit sponsorship upon being convinced that their concerns would be addressed.
“The sponsor has not officially committed to sponsorship renewal until their concerns are addressed and that is what the club has been working on,” he said.
Ironically, the development comes barely weeks after Be Forward withdrew its financial commitment towards the team’s CAF Champions League participation at the eleventh hour.
“They feel that the boycotts have resulted in bad publicity for their brand. What irked them most was that the players boycotted training just weeks before their Champions League preliminary round first leg tie against AS Vita [of the Democratic Republic of Congo]. They felt that demonstrated lack of seriousness,” he said.
But while confirming that the sponsor indeed raised some concerns, club general secretary Mike Butao played down the issue.
“For now, we are just tying up the loose ends and seeing how best we can address their concerns before making a formal announcement, but we are more than confident that they will stay on. We should have a clear picture within the week,” he said.
The Nomads GS also said the fact that they are already benefiting from the 2018 budget makes them confident that their marriage will continue.
On his part, club chairperson Gift Mkandawire said they have reviewed the players’ code of conduct as one way of addressing the sponsor’s concerns.
“We are serious-minded people. The first step will be to tackle the root cause of the problem.
“We have a lot of work to do, but we will convince them and move on,” he said.
The Nomads are one of the few teams that enjoy sound sponsorship in the TNM Super League alongside their age-old rivals Nyasa Big Bullets who are bankrolled by Nyasa Manufacturing Company (NMC). n