Be Forward Limited, sponsors of Be Forward Wanderers FC, have turned down the team’s request to review the sponsorship in the wake of the Nomads’ financial struggles.
Wanderers’ current three-year sponsorship deal with the Japanese second hand motor vehicle dealer is pegged at $200 000 (about K150 million).
The Lali Lubani Road outfit is also entitled to a $20 000 (about K15 million) bonus in the event that they win the TNM Super League title.
Confirming the development in an interview, Wanderers chairperson Gift Mkandawire said: “We did ask the sponsor to consider reviewing our sponsorship [in the wake of our financial woes], but they told us to respect the contract.”
The Nomads owe players outstanding game bonuses for 13 matches, a situation that led to the players threatening to boycott their league decider against Mlatho Mponela which they won 3-0 to finish as runners-up to eventual champions and their age-old rivals Nyasa Big Bullets after being separated by a point.
Two senior players, who did not want to be named, last week confided in The Nation that the club owes them game bonuses for 11 wins and two draws, collectively amounting to over K6 million.
The Nomads players get K35 000 each for a win and half the amount (K17 500) for a draw each.
The standard squad for a match is 18 players of which the starting 11 and used substitutes get full bonuses while unused substitutes are entitled to half the amounts.
Wanderers are also in a predicament over players’ contracts as about 10 of them either have no contracts or are their deals due for expiry.
They also have a debt in excess of K50 million incurred during their participation in the CAF Champions League.
On efforts to hunt for a co-sponsor, Mkandawire said: “The search has always been there, but we can’t disclose anything before hatching.”
He said the club has two options to address the current financial predicament.
“First, we need to sell some players abroad and raise money to sign more players whom we want to keep at the club. Perhaps we can also get [an] advance [payment]from our sponsorship so that we can sustain the players without contracts,” said Mkandawire.
The Nomads chairperson also pleaded with the team’s followers to support fundraising initiatives such as the Noma Yathu SMS campaign and the sale of SPA Noma bottled water and other merchandise.
The club’s main supporters committee chairperson Melvin Nkunika said they have intensified the drive to reach out to their supporters through the zones to support the initiatives.
“We are trying to reach out to the fans through the zonal committees and it looks promising,” he said.