Be Forward Wanderers are courting foreign investors to inject funds into their stadium project. This follows concerns that the fund-raising initiatives they launched earlier this year might not raise enough resources.
The Nomads general secretary Mike Butao said in an interview they have contacted two firms in India while their sponsors Be Forward Company Limited are also courting two potential investors in Japan.
“We decided to rope in foreign investors because we realised that it is unrealistic to rely on the fund-raising activities which do not generate enough funds,” he said.
Butao said the terms of the deal might include handing the stadium’s naming rights to the investor. He, however, could not name the courted investors.
“These are not done deals. We are just testing the waters. Stadium naming is a new phenomenon in Malawi and might not even work. So, we are very much at exploratory stage in our talks. It wouldn’t make sense then to divulge the names of the companies we are talking to at this stage,” he said.
Wanderers held a dinner and dance fundraiser in March this year which Butao said K6 million in pledged donations have not been honoured.
“The failure to honour pledges has been one of the key challenges in chasing this dream. This is another reason we have suspended the fund-raising activities and focused on wooing international investors,” he said.
Wanderers hope that owning a stadium will help them cut on expenses incurred by hiring training grounds for its senior, reserve and youth teams.
According to Nomads, the planned stadium will be complete with terraces, dressing rooms and ablution blocks, among others.
“Currently, we have been offered land in Chadzunda and Lunzu but we are still hunting for a piece of land near Blantyre City,” Butao said.
Meanwhile, football marketing expert Felix Ngamanya Sapao said for Wanderers to woo foreign investors, they need to broaden their income generation spectrum.
“The club has to show the investors that it has other revenue-generating activities. As it stands, Wanderers rely solely on gate collections. Having other financial alternatives gives investors hope that if one source fails to raise money another will still bring income to the club,” he said. n