Sports

Sponsors demand Wizards LL relocation, pre-condition for sponsorship

Relegated TNM Super League football exhibitionists, Fisd Wizards, face difficult choices as their sponsors have set relocation to Lilongwe as a pre-condition for continued K45 million-annual sponsorship.

Foundation for Irrigation and Sustainable Development (Fisd) managing director, Frank Mwenechanya, yesterday said they were still reviewing the sponsorship terms but there have to be changes if they are to continue their sponsorship.

“We gave them a condition of staying in the league because we thought that there was no value for the sponsorship in the lower league. We are yet to conclude discussions with the club but, if we are to continue sponsoring the team, it has to move to Lilongwe so that we can manage it easier,” he said.

Mwenechanya added that they would come up with a decision regarding the sponsorship by the end of the week.

“We want to engage the Ministry of Lands to help us secure space where we can construct a ground. It does not make sense to sponsor a team without a ground. We also need to have our own sports complex. We are looking at long-term plans for the team. Therefore, there are a lot of things we have to look into before making another commitment. If we don’t get the space, it will be hard to continue the sponsorship because we don’t want to make short-term commitments,” Mwenechanya said.

Wizards anchor the league on 21 points from 27 games.

The Lilongwe-based nongovernmental organisation, Fisd, initially set a target of Super League survival if they were to continue sponsoring the Peter Mponda-led team.

Wizards FC chairperson, Mike Tembo, yesterday said they would wait for the sponsors’ determination before strategising on the next move if the team moves to Lilongwe.

“The sponsors will reveal everything to the executive soon because they have shown commitment to remain in football. There will be conditions attached to the sponsorship with several changes in the structure of the club. We will then implement the sponsors’ agenda from a football point of view,” Tembo said.

Wizards’ technical director, Peter Mponda, yesterday said he would wait for Fisd’s offer before making a determination on the future of the club.

Relocating to Lilongwe would also require Wizards to transfer from Southern Region Football Association to Chipiku Central Region Premier Division, Super League of Malawi (Sulom) general secretary, Williams Banda, noted on Wednesday.

Banda added that Wizards have to engage the Central Region Football Association on the way forward if the team relocates to Lilongwe.

“They can buy a team in the Central Region League and beef it up with their players. This was the case with Master Security which came from Duli Rangers. If they decide to stay in Blantyre, they can also merge with Max Bullets,” he said.

Wizards were relegated last Sunday after losing 3-1 to Be Forward Wanderers. Over the weekend, Mponda indicated that he was willing to sell some players.

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