Super League of Malawi’s (Sulom) income from gate collections share, promotion and broadcasting rights dropped in 2019 season resulting in a fall in its overall annual revenue.
This is reflected in the financial statements which Sulom issued to the clubs at its annual general meeting (AGM) held in Lilongwe recently.
The document shows that Sulom gate collections’ share stood at K34.9 million in 2019 while in the previous year it pocketed K41.2 million, representing a 15 percent drop.
The promotion revenue fell from K5.6 million to K3.8 million while rights income dropped from K25 million to K23.2 million.
However, the top-flight division governing body made significant gains in affiliation fees through which it collected K29.3 million in 2019 against K24.4 million the preceding year.
The processing fees also jumped from around K27.4 million to K31.9 million, according to the financial statement prepared by auditing film Crowe J & W, shows.
Sulom’s other gains were made through Football Association of Malawi grants. It was awarded K9.2 million which was significantly higher than the K3.3 million it got in 2018.
Overall, Sulom’s annual revenue dropped from K144.4 million to around K142.2 million.
Sulom president Tiya Somba-Banda, in an interview yesterday, attributed the poor gate revenue to elections and political instability.
“The 2019 Tripartite Elections took away fans from the stadia as well as media coverage and, thereafter, the almost weekly demonstrations that were being held in the country,” he said.
Somba-Banda attributed the affliation fee growth to their decision to effect an “increase in the fees with a small percentage”.
On the drop in broadcasting rights revenue, Sulom vice-general secretary Zacharia Nyirenda said it was a result of strict measures they imposed on broadcasters.
“Previously, radio stations used to owe us a lot in unpaid rights deals. Last year, we were very strict so much that those that didn’t pay instantly were barred from broadcasting the matches. This might have resulted in some being discouraged to secure the rights,” he said.
Meanwhile, Chitipa United vice general secretary Marshall Mwenechanya said there is no need to panic over the revenue drop, saying it was understandable.
“The reasons Sulom has given make much sense. The environment for football was not conducive. With the Covid-19 pandemic, we expect the patronage to drop even further. Our hope is on the sale of TV broadcasting rights which Sulom has already embarked on,” he said.