Be Forward Wanderers Chairperson, Gift Mkandawire, has said the club needs to appreciate the importance of living within its means if it is to avoid incurring crippling debts.
Wanderers have faced training boycotts for several seasons as players demand game bonuses and signing-on fees.
The players even threatened to boycott their last TNM Super League match against TN Stars as the Nomads’ financial woes worsened.
Speaking as he prepares to leave his post after serving the Lali Lubani Road outfit in different capacities on more than three occasions, Mkandawire said his biggest wish for the New Year is that the incoming Wanderers executive committee should accept the reality of a budget that limits their spending.
Mkandawire said his committee had already taken the lead by releasing players whose salaries were beyond the club’s paying power.
“We had several players who were on high salaries, far beyond what we could afford. We therefore agreed to release them so that our spending does not spiral out of control. It is my hope that the incoming executive committee will do more in ensuring that the club lives within its means,” he said.
Mkandawire said the financial bottlenecks also affected their reserve side which did not get the required support as it campaigned in the Thumbs Up Southern Region Football League.
He said although the club gets $200,000 (about K150 million) from sponsor Be Forward every season, they find themselves hunting for extra resources to cover other expenses.
“Our wage bill runs up to over K14 million per month and then there are signing on fees, game bonuses, training allowance, travel expenses, food, accommodation and other expenses. Even gate collections are not enough to help us meet the cost of running the club,” Mkandawire said.
He suggested that going forward, Wanderers should value young players from their reserve side and other teams as opposed to buying expensive stars who would just worsen their financial challenges.
Ex-Wanderers chairperson, Humprey Mvula, said the club’s financial problems can best be dealt with by seeking help from its former officials.
“There are several of us who know the club inside out. We have managed the club’s affairs before and we can come together to brainstorm on solutions to help the club improve its financial standing. I believe in working together and if every stakeholder in the Wanderers family valued this, we can get somewhere,” Mvula said.
The Nomads also incurred debts of over K40 million when they travelled to the Democratic Republic of Congo for a match against AS Vita in the Caf Champions League.
Some of the club’s debtors are on record to have even snatched money from gate collections after Wanderers games at Kamuzu Stadium.
Former coach, Franco Ndawa, even moved the Industrial Relations Court to issue an order for him to recover his dues from one of the team’s games.