BLANTYRE-(MaraviPost)-The Japanese second-hand automobile dealers, Be Forward Limited, and other companies have reportedly hiked Be Forward Wanderers’ annual sponsorship from MK100 million to MK153 million, a timely boost for the TNM Super League champions.
Wanderers General Secretary, Mike Butao, Wednesday confirmed the hike but there was no immediate confirmation from the sponsors as they do not grant interviews to Malawi media.
He cited official shirt sponsor, Macron, and others such as MOL, NYK, Sun Phoenix, Global Line, SYNC Logistics, all from Japan, as having contributed to the sponsorship.
However, Butao said they need more money to keep the team afloat as its monthly wage bill hovers around K10 million.
“There are eight companies and Be Forward Limited remains the principal sponsor. All these are putting money into one pot and that is why the sponsorship keeps on rising. Having more sponsors increases stability and eases the burden on one sponsor.
“In return, they expect prudent management of the money, that their image is not damaged and that we should win the league, at bare minimum, plus other cups,” Butao explained.
Apart from monthly upkeeps, players get training allowances and game bonuses for a win. Wanderers also pay administration staff and others such as team doctor and security.
The increase in the sponsorship eases fears that arose after Be Forward took the team’s management to task over players’ boycotts of training due to unpaid dues.
In return, the sponsors expect Wanderers to use its fan base to promote the companies’ brands through platforms such as Face-book and website.
Wanderers Chairperson, Gift Mkandawire, confirmed, separately, to The Daily Times, the rise in the sponsorship.
“Our cost base is quite huge but we will probably manage the team with better coffers than it was last year. It is quite a huge boost for us and we will definitely work hard to reward the sponsors by defending the league title.
“We are proud to say that we are the only club that pays players better. Where there is gold, there is always trouble but we are the best club and our players are the highest paid in the country,” Mkandawire explained.
Wanderers won the Super League title last season, ending an 11-year wait after amassing 69 points.
The Nomads also took part in the Caf Champions League where they lost 6-1 on aggregate to AS Vita of the Democratic Republic of Congo.
Broadcasting rights remain the biggest source of revenue for clubs the world over but in Malawi, teams are yet to fully benefit from such money due to teething challenges.
Local clubs’ earnings are affected by deeply entrenched gate ticketing fraud and appeasement policy on supporters who render their services to teams at a fee.
Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets pay supporters committee members 10 percent from gate collections for each game.
The fans are so powerful as they vote Executive Committee members. Wanderers’ elections are scheduled for March 25 in Blantyre.
Wanderers might be the best sponsored Super League team locally, followed by Bullets then Silver Strikers, whose packages are estimated at K100 million each per annum.