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Silver Strikers to emulate Caf Champions League quarterfinalists

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MADHLOPA—We want to be a huge business

TNM Super League side Silver Strikers has unveiled plans to adopt business models of three top African clubs that are competing in the Caf Champions League.

The clubs are South African giants Kaizer Chiefs, African club of the century Al Ahly (Egypt) and crowd pullers Simba FC of Tanzania.

The three are currently in the quarterfinals of the continent’s elite club competition.

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Silver board Chairperson Victor Madhlopa said the two clubs’ respective business models are the ones his club will adopt as it continues to strengthen its commercialisation structures.

“We are looking for other potential investors who can help us become a self-sustaining entity,” Madhlopa said.

He was speaking at the club’s first-ever annual general meeting since becoming a limited company.

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The meeting took place in Lilongwe on Saturday.

At the meeting, the Reserve Bank of Malawi-sponsored outfit unveiled ambitious plans.

Madhlopa told delegates to the meeting that it was time for the club to start reaping rewards of turning into a business entity.

“Our goal is to build a brand that competes, not just at local level, but at the height where Simba FC of Tanzania, Al Ahly of Egypt and South Africa’s Kaizer Chiefs are.

“We want to be a huge business, a company that transacts, not just in player sales, not just competing for the Champions League title, but also to become an organisation that earns in foreign currency that is significant enough to be of valuable contribution to the national economy,” he said.

Silver enjoy a remarkable sponsorship of K500 million from the central bank and are among a few local clubs that have their own stadia.

According to Madhlopa, Silver have already started investing in structures that are at their stadium in Area 47, Lilongwe.

“We have billboards at our stadium. We also have perimeter boards and other structures at our home. We are investing in all these to make sure that we are getting returns from them. We are consulting on the naming rights of the stadium for a considerable income.

“We are also working on a shirt deal besides our branded merchandise that is already on the market. But, after all is said and done, the performance of our team on the field of play will be key to the success of these efforts,” he said.

The club seems to be on the right track after registering a K58.8 million surplus last year, having spent K474 million out of its K533 million income.

Sports analyst George Kaudza-Masina said Silver are proving that running a club as a business is possible in the country.

“Silver have demonstrated that they can operate as a business entity. Sooner or later, they will be a force to reckon with in continental competitions,” he said.

During the meeting, Silver also announced plans to compete in the Caf Champions League every year and also set up a football academy.

The Central Bankers are also planning to establish a women’s football team.

The club is also expected to unveil its own sportswear in Lilongwe next week.

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