Be Forward Wanderers have launched a fundraising drive in which they are targeting to raise K60 million towards their CAF Champions League campaign.
The Nomads will face AS Vita from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) in the preliminary round of the club continental showpiece.
The Lali Lubani Road outfit will host Vita in the first-leg between February 9 and 11.
In an interview with Nation on Sunday yesterday, club general secretary (GS) Mike Butao said: “We are targeting K60 million for friendlies and to complement our sponsor’s funding for the first two games.”
Dubbed ‘Be Forward Wanderers 2018 CAF Imenyedwe Campaign’, the Nomads—in collaboration with the Football Association of Malawi (FAM)—have launched five fundraising initiatives.
“We are setting up a fundraising task force and we will be working hand-in-hand with the FAM marketing department to ensure transparency and professionalism.
“These fundraising efforts are meant to complement our sponsors’ efforts. We believe this is a national cause and the initial effort has to come from ourselves,” reads part of a signed by Butao.statement from Wanderers
It states that all funds realised will be reported to both the public and the sponsors by the club and FAM, and that sponsors will be asked to come in and meet the shortfall.
“With this approach, we believe it should be possible for any team to participate annually in the CAF tournaments. We urge all Malawians to come in and participate in this CAF project. We intend to go as far as possible in this tournament.”
To that effect, the Nomads have opened an account with NBS Bank whose number is 18096398 for supporters and well-wishers to deposit money towards the drive.
“This account is ready and well-wishers can start making deposits immediately,” said Butao.
He said they have also opened an Airtel Money mobile account and have commissioned the mobile number 0999700070 for supporters who are on Airtel mobile network that want to contribute mobile money towards the campaign.
“The number is in the name of Wanderers and is also operational ready and well-wishers can start transferring cash immediately,” he said.
They have also launched a TNM E-Wallet mobile account and have commissioned the mobile number 0885986180 for those on TNM network which is also already operational according to Butao.
“We will also be running a promotion whereby supporters will answer questions about the club and some money will come to the club from the SMS’. The promotion will start on Monday [ January 8].
“Then we will also approach government, the corporate world and individuals for support,” he said.
FAM commercial and marketing director Limbani Matola applauded Wanderers for taking a bold step to participate in CAF competition.
“The timing can’t be any better on two standings. They have healthy sponsorship from Be Forward Limited and the team seems to have stable and visionary leadership and the 2017 TNM Super League championship just puts the icing on the cake.
“We are glad that they have chosen to do it the professional way in their quest to fundraise for the CAF exploits. And we would like to call upon all Wanderers supporters to rally behind their team in this noble and significant national assignment,” he said.
Matola said from the report FAM has been shared, the team needs at least K98 million for their two matches [against AS Vita] plus a friendly match.
“And their sponsor has committed 40 percent, meaning to say they have to source the balance of about K60 million.
“We strongly believe it shouldn’t be a tall order for a team of Wanderers calibre to mobilise it’s huge fan base to contribute towards this figure particularly with such good will created for winning the 2017 TNM Super League championship,” he said.
The FAM official said they will do their best to offer professional advice and guidance to help Wanderers have successful preparation “as their cause is national in nature”.
However, soccer analyst George Kaudza-Masina said while the idea is good, he felt it is coming at the wrong time.
“The problem with our clubs is that they are always reactive instead of being pro-active. For a start when did they know that they would be joining the CAF tournament and where were they all this time?
“Knowing our local football supporters, K60 million is a tall order and I do not see them [Wanderers] succeeding in this venture. Nevertheless, they should give it a try and maybe they could raise a little which could still make a difference.
And they should not bank on FAM marketing department as they have not succeeded in any fundraising venture,” he said.