The inaugural Airtel Top 8 Cup final involving eventual winners Silver Strikers and Be Forward Wanderers grossed a record K52.5 million in gate revenue at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe.
This is the first time a cup final has grossed such a huge amount. The two clubs pocketed K10.5 million each.
This means Silver have pocketed K25 million in total from the Airtel Top 8 Cup final with Wanderers getting K15 million.
Both teams expressed satisfaction with the final figure, saying there was a slight improvement in management of the gates during the final.
Silver General Secretary, Thabo Chakaka-Nyirenda, attributed the increased gate revenue to the hype created by various stakeholders in the run-up to the crunching final.
“We have broken the record and we are more than thankful to the fans for coming in large numbers. I should also commend gate management for the match. Kudos to FDH, Airtel and Football Association of Malawi (Fam),” Chakaka said.
Wanderers Vice Treasurer, Chulu Mkangama, also shared similar sentiments, saying the figure was a true reflection of the turnout of fans.
“But there will always be room for improvement and things can only get better. We should always aim at maximising the revenue,” he said.
Fam Commercial and Marketing Director, Limbani Matola, said several factors contributed to the record gate revenue.
“We applaud the teams for accepting to adopt advance match-day ticket sales system despite some heavy protests and resistance we received from the clubs. This was not without challenges but it is important at this stage to highlight that the gains outweigh the shortfalls,” Matola explained.
Wanderers General Secretary, Mike Butao, however, said there was lack of transparency on advance ticket sales, saying the clubs were not involved.
From the gross, K10.5 million was paid out as ground levy while Fam pocketed K8.4 million.
Malawi National Council of Sports got K2.1 million.
According to Fam, FDH Bank sold over K34 million while about K4.7 million was sold through Airtel Money.
Advance tickets were sold at K1,500 for open stands whereas spectators paid K2,000 on the match day.
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