Nyasa Big Bullets’ failure to evolve from communal to legal ownership might be the genesis of the in-fighting that threatens its K500 million Nyasa Manufacturing Company (NMC) five-year sponsorship.
Divisions have rocked the Sammy Chilunga-led executive committee over the jurisdiction of Norman Isaac-led finance sub-committee. The divisions have triggered a serious warning from NMC, and Friday, the team’s 25 players threw their weight behind the finance committee.
From the regimes of Hassan Jussab, Sunduzwayo Madise, Cifu Company, Bullets Holdings Limited, Trouble Kalua, Malinda Chinyama and Kondie Msungama, such has been the never-ending chaos in the red side of town.
It is, in Madise’s own admission yesterday, about power struggle that comes with a team run by an executive committee that is voted into office by every Jim and Jack from the streets, claiming to be a Bullets supporter.
“This idea of a community team will not work. No sense of ownership. So one executive committee is fired, replaced by another, which also get fired or is forced out and quits and is then replaced…the cycle continues,” Madise explained.
In contrast in the civilized world, clubs such as Kaizer Chiefs, Jomo Cosmos, Orlando Pirates in South Africa are privately owned by Kaizer Motaung, Jomo Sono and Irvin Khoza respectively hence supporters’ role is restricted to the terraces.
Realizing the challenges facing football clubs in Third World Countries, Fifa and Confederation of African Football (Caf) introduced Club Licensing System mandating every club to have clear structure, including legal ownership.
Unfortunately, local clubs are moving at a snail’s pace in embracing the licencing, hence the chaos that is also common at Be Forward Wanderers and Silver Strikers. The Bankers have since established legal ownership that keep fans at bay.
In view of the in-fighting, Bullets’ 25 players, led by captain Chiukepo Msowoya, on Thursday issued a petition, demanding that the finance committee should take charge of the squad’s welfare.
“All those who are not ready to work with the current chairman Mr Sammy Chilunga should humbly resign from the executive,” reads the petitioned addressed to To Whom It May Concern.
The players’ reaction is directed towards a section of the executive, which is against the committee’s
chairperson, Norman Isaac, being in the team’s executive committee.
The faction, which reportedly include general secretary, Titha Mandiza, allegedly accuses the committee and club chairperson, Chilunga, of making unilateral decisions.
Mandiza has denied being part of the faction, and denies knowledge of a strong-worded letter NMC’s managing director, Konrad Buckle, has addressed to Bullets stakeholders over the in-fighting.
Buckle has since summoned all Bullets stakeholders to an emergency meeting in Blantyre on Monday, warning that “you risk the embarrassment of losing another sponsorship if this does not stop.”
Bullets are directly affiliated to Super League of Malawi (Sulom), whose president, Innocent Bottomani, yesterday said he needed time to fully appreciate the happenings in the People’s Team.
Sulom are in turn affiliated to Football Association of Malawi (Fam), whose general secretary, Suzgo Nyirenda, questioned Malawi News’ logic in asking him for a general reaction to the Bullets saga, saying it is up to Sulom to intervene.