TNM head of commercial Charles Kamoto confessed at Sunbird Capital during the prize giving ceremony of achievers in the 2011/12 TNM Super League season that his organisation was tired of the bickering between FAM and Sulom and was on the verge of pulling out sponsorship.
“We had talks with both parties on several occasions on the need for a harmonious relationship for the sake of the game and also for the image of us as sponsors. Now, that they have sorted out their differences and are pulling in one direction, we are happy. This is progressive and we will progress with them,” said Kamoto.
He added that good governance is another important aspect they considered in their decision to renew the sponsorship.
“Good governance is always another important aspect for sponsors to operate in. We also look forward to supporters and clubs supporting our products and patronising TNM games,” he said.
TNM also expressed displeasure with lack of vibrant advocacy for their services by Sulom last season.
“We had to do roadshows ourselves where we made it clear to soccer fans that they had to support our services if they are to enjoy our sponsorship,” said Kamoto.
TNM has since indicated that it will arrange a date to announce details of the renewed sponsorship.
Sulom admitted that cordial relationship now existing between FAM and Sulom is a catalyst for better things to come.
“Which sponsor could tolerate fighting between an affiliate and its mother organ? It was unhealthy and I thank TNM for being patient through out the six years. I am glad that now Sulom and FAM are working in partnership and focused on building the game of football,” said Sulom president Innocent Bottomani.
Bottomani also underlined the role of clubs and their fans and its obligation to doing business with TNM.
Malawi Government has since assured TNM of its support.
“TNM is a Malawian company, and sustaining Malawian football. In their six years of supporting football in the county, they have pumped in over K350 million [about $2, 095, 808]. As government, we will make sure that we assist in realising returns for their input,” said Minister of Youth Development and Sports Symon Vuwa-Kaunda.
The minister, however, said soccer fans as well as clubs have an obligation to TNM, through patronising its services.
“As government, we can do everything to create an enabling environment, but soccer fans and clubs who benefit directly from TNM must also play their part by transacting with the sponsors,” said Kaunda.
The minister, who was the guest of honour during the function, said he was honoured to again present champions Silver Strikers the TNM trophy, after he did so in the 2009/10 season.
“Three years ago, when I was in Cabinet, I had the privilege of presiding over a similar function and the champions then were Silver again. To be here today is a great honour,” he said.
By virtue of winning the trophy for the third time in the six years since its inauguration, Silver Strikers will keep the trophy for good.