Nyasa Manufacturing Company (NMC), sponsors of domestic football powerhouse Nyasa Big Bullets, have accepted an offer to take over the club at a price yet to be agreed on.
This follows a resolution that was made by the team’s extraordinary general meeting (EGM) held in Lilongwe on June 18 this year as part of the drive to turn the club into a commercial entity.
In a letter from NMC dated August 2 2017, co-signed by board chairperson Konrad Buckle and finance director Fleetwood Haiya and addressed to the club’s commercialisation steering committee chairperson, which The Nation has seen, NMC states that it is prepared to accept the offer under some terms.
“NMC commits to take over the team’s verified and confirmed debts and liabilities and that they shall be settled within six months.”
The club’s debt is now estimated to be in the excess K115 million.
“NMC also commits to undertaking the following proposed projects: (i) Acquire team bus within six months; (ii) Construct a team stadium of not less than 10 000-seater and the project shall be initiated within five years,” reads part of the letter.
The cigarette manufacturing company has also committed to acquiring a training ground (within a year) and three club houses—one in each region—complete with regional offices within three years.
And, as proposed by the commercialisation steering committee, NMC has further committed to allow other business partners to invest in the team, set up an academy within a year, list the People’s Team on the Malawi Stock Exchange (MSE) within five years “and offer at least 30 percent to any interested supporter, investor or general public in the spirit of sustainable goodwill to truly become the People’s Team”.
NMC further commits that supporters, through their appointed directors, will be part of the club even after the transfer of ownership.
Bullets general secretary Albert Chigoga yesterday said the deal could not have been any better.
“On top of the proposals made by the steering committee, they have also offered to list the team on stock exchange and that just demonstrates their seriousness,” he said.
Chigoga also said NMC’s response will be tabled at an EGM to be called soon “where endorsement of transfer of ownership to Nyasa Manufacturing Company will be made.
“We realise that we are only remaining with less than 10 days before the steering committee’s tenure [led by chaiperson Noel Lipipa] expires.”
Football analyst George Kaudza Masina described the offer as tempting “and one which Bullets cannot resist. Bullets is a big brand which requires serious and committed investors and I think NMC are the right company.
“I can foresee NMC being rewarded in the long run. My only advice is for them to engage people that can run it in a professional way. There is also need to civic educate BB fans about this noble drive, otherwise they might halt it out of pure ignorance.” n