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Clubs on Sulom’s neck over rights’ revenue

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Nyasa Big Bullets, Be Forward Wanderers and Silver Strikers have written to Super League of Malawi (Sulom) demanding outstanding dues from television and radio broadcasting rights.

The Daily Times has stumbled on the letter from Bullets General Secretary (GS), Albert Chigoga, Wanderers’ Mike Butao and Silver’s Thabo Nyirenda, addressed to Sulom GS Williams Banda.

“We have been mandated by our clubs and other clubs in the Super League to seek a response from Sulom on when clubs will be paid their television and radio broadcasting dues from last (2016) season and wish to advise you that until we get a satisfactory response, we will not allow our games to be broadcast or beamed,” reads part of the letter dated May 3.

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“While we wholeheartedly appreciate the efforts that Sulom took to broker all these TV/radio broadcasting rights deals, you also need to appreciate that our clubs are failing to benefit from these deals and we cannot keep participating in something that rips off our own clubs and enriches people who do not deserve it. This is an issue that has dragged on for too long and clubs have been patient but we are about to start a new season and we seek closure for once and for all.”

The clubs did not specify as to how much they are owed from the Beta Television deal but teams were expected to share 80 percent of the revenue (K266 million) with the remainder going to Sulom.

The letter from the clubs among others follows the flopping of the live broadcasting deal between Sulom and Beta, which last week, suspended the scheduled live beaming of the games, citing lack of sponsorship.

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Since signing the three-year agreement last season, teams let alone Sulom did not receive a tambala as Beta struggled with the expensive business of broadcasting games live with each match in Blantyre costing an estimated K500,000.

Nyirenda and Butao owned the letter and further said they would write to Fam seeking their share from broadcasting rights for cup games that are broadcast on radio and television.

“With Sulom, at least they made an effort that clubs should benefit from the broadcasting rights but with Fam, it is even worse as we do not receive anything,” Butao said.

Sulom Treasurer, Tiya Somba Banda, under whose jurisdiction the rights issue falls, on Tuesday accused the clubs of being economical with the truth.

“Surely, we seem to be going round and round with the teams over this issue. On the radio broadcasting rights, when we released the funds due to the respective clubs from the rights, the same clubs asked that we offset the rights with the long outstanding balances that the clubs owed Sulom,” Banda said.

“For instance, the Nomads owed Sulom over K3 million and this has reduced to K2 million because of the radio broadcasting rights. [It is] the same with Bullets and Silver. Their outstanding bills to Sulom were over K2 million but now they are at around less than K1 million because of the offset.”

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