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Clubs cry foul over bonanza revenue

Super League teams that participated in the Wafawafa Big Four Bonanza have cried foul over the gross gate revenue realised at Bingu National Stadium, Lilongwe over the weekend.

Some K40.5 million was realised from the two-day bonanza involving Nyasa Big Bullets, Be Forward Wanderers, Silver Strikers and Kamuzu Barracks.

The money was on the lower side compared to the K47 million collected from the Luso Television Bus Ipite Bonanza matches between Bullets and Wanderers in January this year.

Some K25.7 million was collected on Saturday whereas K14.8 was the gross for Sunday. It means the teams shared K10.4 million, whereas K30 million went into other pockets.

Each team received K2.6 million from the overall gross whereas the stadium owners pocketed an estimated K10 million.

The clubs had targeted K100 million from the event. But some clubs believe an invincible hand contributed to the low gate revenue.

Silver General Secretary, Thabo Nyirenda, said as organisers of the bonanza, they were disappointed with the gate proceeds.

Nyirenda blamed Football Association of Malawi (Fam) for insisting on pocketing 10 percent from the revenue despite that the games were meant to raise funds for the clubs.

“Firstly, we are not happy with what we raised in two days. We did not even surpass half of the targeted amount. We suspect something happened. But on the other hand, Fam is milking a thin cow and it is exploiting clubs by getting gate share from every game,” Nyirenda said.

Wanderers General Secretary, Mike Butao, said the arrangement to have Blantyre teams play against each other on the first day contributed to the poor earnings.

“I think pairing Bullets and Wanderers in the first fixture reduced the excitement on the second day. I cannot say that the figure is justifiable or not because the stadium is still new and it is difficult to estimate how many people watched the games,” Butao said.

Bullets Interim General Secretary, Albert Chigoga, concurred with his counterparts.

“I think some people are using clubs as hoes. It is not making sense to get K40 million in two days because people came in large numbers to watch the game on the first day,” Chigoga said.

KB General Secretary, Michael Chamaere, was unavailable for a comment yesterday.

Gate revenue has been a major problem in Malawi football due to the absence of electronic ticketing gadgets and deeply entrenched fraud in match venues.

Fellowship Association of Malawi manned the gates during the bonanza which Wanderers won 2-0 after defeating KB, courtesy of Mike Kaziputa and Ishmael Thindwa’s goals.

Bullets finished on third place after seeing off Silver 5-4 on post-match penalties in an early Sunday kick-off.

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