The chaos in Nyasa Big Bullets camp took a new twist yesterday when the main supporters committee challenged the club’s sponsors Nyasa Manufacturing Company (NMC) that they can pull out if they so wish.
In a letter addressed to NMC board chairperson Konrad Buckle which The Nation has seen, the committee gave the sponsor an ultimatum of up to 5pm yesterday to pay the players their salaries for last month or pull out from the partnership agreement.
“We would like to mention that if NMC fails to pay the players before 5pm of 7th March 2017, [then] we are of the stand that NMC should pull out from the partnership,” reads part of the letter signed by the entire supporters committee.
And speaking at a press briefing in Blantyre yesterday, the committee’s chairperson Stone Mwamadi and secretary Mabvuto Chibambo accused NMC of taking advantage of the problems within the club to dodge their responsibilities.
Said Mwamadi: “The announcement about their sponsorship suspension was only made yesterday [Monday] and yet they have not paid players salaries for last month.”
And speaking on the sidelines of the press briefing, Mwamadi claimed that a prospective sponsor has already been identified and is waiting in the wings.
“As I speak to you, we already have a prospective sponsor who is prepared to invest K200 million per season,” said Mwamadi, but could not give the identity of the prospective sponsor.
Mwamadi and Chibambo also brushed aside suggestions that the supporters committee is at the centre of the mess because they have been allowed to wield too much power and instead pushed the blame on the sponsor.
“That observation is not correct, to the contrary all this is happening because they [sponsors] are trying to use short-cuts to advance their interests of taking over the team. They are using divide and rule at the expense of the team and we are saying enough is enough,” said Chibambo.
Asked where they were getting the powers from to give the sponsors an ultimatum when the sponsorship deal was signed with the executive, Chibambo said: “But it is them [sponsors] who said during their press briefing on Monday that they do not recognise the current interim executive. Apart from that, there are no trustees since almost all of them resigned.
“So, we took it that we are the only recognised body which they can deal with. Besides that, according to the constitution, the chairperson and secretary of the supporters committee become automatic executive committee members.”
Buckle yesterday said he could not comment as they were still going through the letter from the supporters.
“We are currently in a board meeting and once we are through, we will let you know about our position as regards the letter from the supporters committee,” he said.
The club’s interim chairperson Noel Lipipa could not be reached for comment yesterday, but Bullets captain John Lanjesi said as players, they are concerned with the situation.
“Our job is to play football and we are training normally, but to be honest we are a bit disturbed with the situation, especially the suspension of the sponsorship because this is where our bread and butter comes from. Let’s hope all this will be sorted out amicably,” he said.