Sulom has said it will only release the gate revenue report for the 2019 season at its annual general meeting (AGM) in March after an audit.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) treasurer Malinda Chinyama said the decision was made to avoid making mistakes that might come back to haunt the top-flight league runners in the future.
The development is a departure from the norm that sees Sulom annually releasing revenue records for half-way the season and for full season.
However, some TNM Super League clubs and a football analyst have queried Sulom for the move, saying such a development is a cause for worry as regards the organisation’s transparency and accountability.
Chinyama said: “I can comfortably release the report about the gate revenue once the accounts are audited and signed by the stakeholders and that would be at our AGM in March.
“It would be risky to release such information before the accounts are certified. As a professional accountant, I am trying to follow the right procedures; I do not want to look stupid at the AGM, where I would be queried on reports that could be hastily released to the public.”
He said when the report is released before the auditors and stakeholders assent to the same, interested parties at the AGM, especially clubs and referees, have different perceptions of what is on the ground other than the actual figures.
“This is my first term [as Sulom treasurer], so I do not want to make silly mistakes as if I have not been in an accounts office before. I want to only do the right thing,” Chinyama said.
But Nyasa Big Bullets chief administration officer Albert Chigoga and Be Forward Wanderers chairperson Gift Mkandawire on Tuesday said Sulom’s decision makes the clubs wonder if the handling of their gate collections is in safe hands.
Chigoga said although each individual club gets a report on how much gate revenue share it got, they expected Sulomto make frequent updates because transparency and accountability at every stage of the season gives stakeholders confidence in an organisation.
On his part, Mkandawire said although Sulom might have been frustrated by low patronage to the league games last season and could not release the report early, there is a need to have an overall update on how the gate takings were shared.
“This delay shows there is a bit of disorganisation at Sulom because, by now, figures could have been at their finger-tips. Failure to produce such important reports signals that the management is sleeping on the job,” he said.
But Football analyst George Kaudza Masina said despite Sulom being faulted for the delay, the clubs and Football Association of Malawi also need to be blamed for not taking Sulom to task to frequently account for the finances. “For governance and accountability, Sulom has failed to adhere to the good accounting practices. This might be due to the lack of a full-time secretariat to handle such things. No wonder they have been failing to honour the referees’ dues this season,” he said.