Sulom has expressed fear that lack of steady sponsorship and inexperienced coaches might see the three Super League debutantes Mponela United, Mzuzu United and Evirom failing to finish the league or getting relegated.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) president Innocent Bottomani said the financial crisis is so deep at the teams that they sometimes fail to pay game bonuses and upkeep allowances to their players.
“We have a very big problem and, as Sulom president, I am doing everything I can to find funding for the teams. Since I am based in Mzuzu, I am familiar with how Mzuzu United are struggling to fulfill fixtures,” he said.
Bottomani said the challenges have affected performance on the pitch; hence, his appeal to companies to help the teams.
“For the growth of the game, it will be bad for football if all the three teams are relegated. It means football is stagnant,” he said.
Evirom and Mzuzu United officials confirmed in separate interviews that they are in deep financial crisis.
“At Evirom, we have no sponsorship and I use my personal money for the team to fulfill fixtures. I have knocked on the door of every company in Zomba, but to no avail. No one is willing to help us.
“We are doing badly in the league because the players are not motivated financially,” said the club’s director Emmanuel Viola.
Evirom players get K5 000 game bonus and K8 000 monthly upkeep allowance. They are also entitled to K2 000 training allowance a week, but Viola admitted that he is failing to fulfill the contractual obligations.
“All I can do now is to help the team fulfill fixtures. [I cannot pay upkeep allowances or game bonuses] and I owe players a lot. But once I source some money, I will pay them. So, you can see there is nothing to make the players give their all,” said Viola.
He said the subvention TNM gives to Super League clubs does help much.
“We have to pay K560 000 affiliation fee to Sulom. This means the K600 000 we got from TNM in the first round went straight to Sulom coffers. The second tranche of K600 00 from TNM will be given to the clubs in the second round. This is tough for us,” he said.
Viola said it will be hard for his club to finish the season, but they are determined.
Mzuzu United general secretary Ollens Msonda on Thursday admitted that things are bad at the club.
“Our players are greatly affected by the [finacial challenges] and it shows on the pitch. We require not less than K460 000 to fulfill an away fixture and, to a team that relies on few individuals, it is a lot of money,” said Msonda.
Mzuzu United players are entitled to K4 000 game bonus, K10 000 monthly allowance and K2 000 training allowance per week.