Netball club loses sponsorship


Mary Waya-coached Alliance Capital Stars Netball Team has suffered a setback after losing its sponsorship from Alliance Capital Limited (ACL), which has since blamed Netball Association of Malawi (Nam) for the withdrawal.

ACL, which hiked its sponsorship for the Blantyre netball club from K6 million to K11 million this season, has accused Nam of poor administration, saying it frustrates budding teams. Some 16 players will be jobless following ACL’s exit.

The bone of contention is Nam’s Disciplinary Committee’s ruling that Stars should go back to Tigresses to discuss transfer terms for shooter-cum-defender, Lauren Ngwira.


ACL Marketing Manager, Charity Mhango, said Nam frustrated the company’s efforts to build a strong team, which they took over in 2014 with an initial sponsorship package of K3 million.

“We conducted trials and employed a good coach, but we noticed that the team could still not compete with big teams. We decided to beef up the squad with

above-average players. We read the constitution and learnt that there is a provision which allows players to move from one club to the other,” she explained.


“In that regard, we started the processes, only to be frustrated by Nam which claims that the player cannot switch clubs because she is still contracted to her former club. Does this mean that Nam’s constitution is just but a document? Does the transfer window period only apply to players who are not on contract?”

Mhango said they failed to resolve the transfer wrangle with Tigresses in seven months, hence it was pointless to go back to them as advised by Nam.

To make matters worse, Ngwira and Thunder Queens’ shooter, Sherratie Kaiche, who were also hired at ACL as brand ambassadors, have lost their jobs.

“Just as a matter of clarity, the two were offered contracts at Alliance Capital Stars and were working at Alliance Capital Limited on secondment. They are not contracted to the company,” Mhango added.

She added that they faced resistance from Thunder Queens when trying to sign Kaiche.

“At least, Thunder came up with a price tag of K2.5 million, which we felt was on a higher side considering that she is not even a national player. However, we were also frustrated that we had to pay K1.5 million as a bond to Sports Complex where she was working. Put together, it meant paying K4 million for her,” Mhango said.

According to the termination clause in Stars’ sponsorship contract, ACL will serve the team a two-month notice until December 31.

Stars’ Chairperson, Dalitso Chinyama, confirmed that ACL notified them verbally about the withdrawal. Initially, Woget used to sponsor Stars.

“It is really painful but there is nothing we can do because they have to protect their business and brand interest. It is unfortunate that the ruling did not consider other factors. The contract in question does not have an exit clause. This is inhumane. You mean we cannot buy out her contract?” Chinyama said.

Nam General Secretary, Carol Bapu, yesterday reserved her comment, saying she had not received official communication. Nam also lost Standard Bank sponsorship due to poor administration.

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