By Isaac Salima:
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has been challenged to broaden its revenue streams in order to ably carry out its duties.
TNM Super League club representatives made the remarks on the sidelines of an annual general meeting (AGM) at Mpira Village in Chiwembe township, Blantyre.
This followed remarks made by Sulom President Tiya Somba- Banda that 90 percent of their income originates from share of gate collections.
“For instance, we failed to hold this AGM in February this year because we could not raise about K25 million required. This was because of the Covid pandemic which caused suspension of games and at sometimes games were played without spectators, thereby negatively affecting our revenue,” Somba-Banda said.
He further said that they get about K6 million from league sponsors TNM for administration, a development that makes them rely much on gate collection. Sulom gets 10 percent of gate revenue.
“Sulom continues getting a big chunk of gate revenue. A minimum of eight games are played in a weekend, meaning that Sulom gets 80 percent of gate collections from all those games while a team only gets 25 percent. There is a need for Sulom to find other means of getting funds,” Mighty Wanderers’ Clement Stambuli said.
His colleague Humphrey Mvula said Sulom should come forth and explain what teams are really benefitting from the league.
“If Sulom is struggling and teams are not doing well financially, who is really benefitting? How much are the league sponsors getting for sponsoring the league? Teams should know,” he said.
However, Somba-Banda said discussions with league sponsors to make some improvements are ongoing and that the increase in prize money for champions from K15 million to K40 million this season is an example of what they are doing.
The president also asked teams to work together on the issue of broadcasting rights so that they can maximise their revenue from that.
“Currently, we have 3,600 active subscribers on Zuku’s Mpira Channel. Our target is to grow the subscribers base to about 10,000. This can only be possible if we work together. It is, however, not true that we are getting a big cut from gate revenue because, if you go by previous records, you will find out that teams got more than what we received,” he said.
Delegates also agreed that league games should not be suspended during Malawi National Football Team’s engagements and that only teams that contribute over three players should be exempted.