Nyasa Manufacturing Company ’s (NMC) decision to suspend Nyasa Big Bullets sponsorship indefinitely caught the club’s leadership off guard yesterday.
The People’s Team was left searching its soul after the cigarette manufacturing company dropped a bombshell and announced during a press conference held in Blantyre that they were suspending all finances until the turmoil is resolved and formally informed by the board of trustees on the way forward.
Club chairperson Noel Lipipa and his main supporters committee counterpart Stone Mwamadi appeared to have been taken unawares by the development yesterday.
Said Lipipa: “Really? I am not aware about that…it’s news to me. Let me get in touch with the sponsor and thereafter, I can competently comment on the issue”.
However, Lipipa admitted that considering the storm that hit the team’s camp, leading to the resignation of the entire board of trustees, he expected the sponsors to take a tough stand.
On his part, Mwamadi said: “They have suspended sponsorship?…well the problem is that they [sponsors] are issuing the statement through you the media. In normal circumstances, they would have called us, this is very unfortunate. That is all I can say for now.”
During the media conference, NMC board chairperson Konrad Buckle said as sponsors, they were concerned to learn through the media “that some, if not all trustees, including the chairperson, had resigned.
“Furthermore, we have learnt that the interim executive committee, appointed by the board of trustees, has been fired by the main supporters committee and its chairperson [Mwamadi].
“We h a v e [ a l s o ] b e e n informed that the supporters committee and its chairperson have appointed a new [interim] executive committee to manage the club.”
He said NMC entered into partnership with the club structure that determines a clear guideline regarding the control, ownership and management of the club which is stipulated within the club’s constitution.
“[But] no consultation has taken place with the sponsor regarding the current turmoil, including the appointment of the new executive committee which is contrary to the sponsorship agreement,” Buckle said.
Asked what time frame they would give Bullets to normalise the situation, Buckle said: “Let me put it this way. We as NMC made a pledge to sponsor Big Bullets, so we are saying the quicker they sort out the mess, the better. We love the team, but we cannot accept our name to be associated with all this.”
Commenting on the development , soccer commentator George Kaudza Masina said Nyasa’s decision was expected. “It was just a matter of time. Bullets are paying the price for allowing the supporters to have too much powers. The current situation only deepens the crisis,” he said.