The Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has said the latest episode of the Blantyre derby at Kamuzu Stadium did not attract a full house as claimed by Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers.
Sulom treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda was reacting to claims by Bullets acting general secretary Kelvin Moyo and Nomads general secretary Mike Butao that the gross revenue from the match should have been far much more than the K22.8 million ($32 900.43) which was realised since the gate charges were hiked by 100 percent.
“The stadium was not filled to capacity probably due to the K2 000 ($3) entry fee which kept some fans away.
He said: “I am [also] not sure on who are the complainants from the teams because both GSs, treasurers and even chairpersons for both supporters and executive committees, acknowledged that the stadium was not full due to the hiked gate charges.
“Talking to the stadium manager just before the end of the game, he made an assessment that the stadium was almost half the capacity which tallied with the revenue out turn.”
The Sulom treasurer also faulted Butao’s comparison of the latest derby with a similar fixture last season which grossed K27 million ($38 961) even when the entry fee was K1 000 ($1.44).
“In that particular match, the crowd spilled to the restricted areas of all the cordoned off stands and they were filled to capacity, the situation was not the same this time around,” he argued.
The stadium supervisor Charles Mhango defended the Sulom treasurer, saying the stadium was not full.
“Let’s be honest, the crowd which turned up for the latest derby cannot be compared to that of last season. This time around, it was far less because of the K2 000 fee.
“That time we had people standing behind the perimeter fence because every space, including the cordoned off areas, was filled. , otherwise they know the truth,” he said.
However, Butao said the explanation by both Somba-Banda and Mhango was not convincing.
He said: “Even in a situation whereby the [latest] derby’s turnout was lower, it still doesn’t add up because considering that the fans were paying double as much [K2 000], the gross revenue should have still been much more.”
From the gross, clubs pocketed K4.68 million ($6 753.25) each.