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Nomads players demand dues

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All is not rosy in Be Forward Wanderers’ camp as players refused to travel back to Blantyre from Lilongwe on Sunday night, demanding their outstanding game bonuses amounting to K5 million.

Hours after their 1-0 loss to Nyasa Big Bullets at Bingu National Stadium (BNS), the players refused to check out at Chilambula Lodge in Lilongwe as they demanded their bonuses, reportedly for more than 10 games in all competitions.

Some senior players, including Joseph Kamwendo, Jafali Chande, Richard Chipuwa, Stanley Sanudi, Yamikani Chester and Rafik Namwera, were spotted stranded outside the lodge yesterday morning.

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The players eventually left for Blantyre after having their dues deposited into their bank accounts.

Looking dejected, the players refused to grant The Daily Times an interview. Sources confirmed that the players were unhappy as the Executive Committee was reluctant to release money after the game.

According to the sources, the players were told they would be paid their bonuses from the derby’s proceedings, but management did not fulfil its promise.

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“You do not disturb the goose that lays golden eggs. It is sad that the committee has let the situation go out of hand. The issue might affect the momentum of the team because the players need to be motivated to fight for the league title,” the source said.

For a win, Wanderers players get an estimated K30,000 each in game bonuses. Bullets players pocketed K100,000 each in game bonuses for Sunday’s win.

The usual game bonuses for Bullets players is K25,000 each.

Wanderers and Bullets received K10.4 million each from the gross of K49 million gate revenue.

But soon after getting their share, Wanderers paid the supporters K1.2 million as part of their gate revenue share—the money enough to cater for the players’ bonuses for two games. Bullets also paid their fans K1 million.

The two giants claim the fans are paid for their role in managing gates at match venues. However, this does not happen in any civilised football league. Club officials in the country are so afraid of fans who wield so much power as they put in office Executive Committee members.

“Players should be given priority, not the supporters. The supporters were paid their money soon after the game,” complained the source at Wanderers.

Wanderers Vice- Chairperson, Gift Mkandawire, Monday confirmed that the club owes the players but said they pay them through proper channels.

“We agreed to do things in a professionally way and not pay the players as casual workers through handouts. But there is nothing really worthy getting worried about at the moment. It was just a matter of understanding each other,” Mkandawire insisted.

Eventually, Wanderers General Secretary, Mike Butao, yesterday claimed that Football Association of Malawi and Super League of Malawi (Sulom) remit 12 percent to the Supporters’ Committee from each game from the Nomads’ allocation.

Having gone 10 years without winning the league title, Wanderers are among the favourites as they lead the TNM Super League table with 28 points from 12 games .

Meanwhile, from Sunday’s gate takings, BNS, Sulom and Fam pocketed K4.1 million each whereas gate management firm got K3.1 million.

Bullets Interim General Secretary, Albert Chigoga, said: “We are happy, but we can do more in future. We need to close all gaps so that we can realise more money during the games.”

Wanderers Vice- Treasurer, Chulu Mkangama, and Sulom Treasurer, Tiya Somba- Banda, also expressed satisfaction with the revenue.

“We put in a lot of hard work in reviewing gate management process from end-to-end. From the advanced Mpamba sales, we collected K36 million, which, surely, is a milestone for advanced ticketing,” Somba-Banda explained.

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