Delegates to the Nyasa Big Bullets extraordinary general meeting (EGM) in Lilongwe yesterday overwhelmingly agreed to change the club’s ownership from a trust to a business entity to pave the way for sponsors Nyasa Manufacturing Company (NMC) to take over.
Bullets, registered as a trust, has been operating as a non-profit making club but the delegates hope that the new arrangement will ensure that the club generates much revenue for its sustenance.
In a vote on whether to maintain or amend the constitution to change the ownership to a limited company, the delegates, mostly consisting of supporters drawn from across the country, voted 48-0 in favour of the amendment.
Interpreting the EGM’s resolution, lawyer Yasin Domasi has said the move means that Bullets trustees, executive and supporters committees will no longer have any say in the club’s management.
“The implication of this is that trustees will not exist, executive committee will also be dissolved while supporters committee will no longer have a role in decision making. In fact, no supporter will be allowed to oversee games’ gate collections,” said the lawyer, who is also Bullets legal adviser.
The EGM was called to find a solution to the financial challenges facing the club arguably with the largest fanbase and most delegates believed that commercialising the club was the best way.
Said supporters committee secretary Mabvuto Chibambo during the deliberations: “We cannot implement commercialisation initiatives, if the club continues to be under a trust. This is why we need ownership change.”
Most delegates we interviewed said the trustees could not be trusted to successfully put the club on the right financial path.
The board of trustees comprised Kinnah Phiri, Malinda Chinyama, Ruth Chenda Mkandawire, Jim Kalua, Victor Msowoya and James Busile.
Reacting to the vote, Chibambo said: “It is a historic day for the team. We have waited for this day for so long. We just hope that the process will be concluded as scheduled.”
In the meantime, the delegates have voted chairperson Noel Lipipa to be in charge of the ownership change which, according to the EGM, must be finalised in 60 days.
Lipipa has also been empowered to appoint a team he wants to work with during the project.
He has since said that, among other things, his team will set conditions for NMC or any other investor that wants to be in charge of the club.
“Some of the things we want are a stadium and a team bus. We want NMC or if it fails to take over, any other investor that wants to be a majority shareholder, to give us a time frame as to when the club will have such facilities in place,” he said.
But, overall, Lipipa was of the view that the change of ownership will be good for the club’s commercialisation.
The EGM has also tasked Lipipa to formulate a proposal officially asking NMC to take over the club and initiate a fully blown commercialisation drive.
One of the trustees, Kinnah, on his part, also welcomed the change but advised NMC to ensure that it brings on board business partners if the club is to be successful. n