The Carlsberg Cup final involving Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers on Saturday grossed a record K54.5 million but the two sides have described the amount as unsatisfactory.
The figure at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe is K2 million more than the K52.3 million record set during the Airtel Top 8 final between Silver Strikers and Wanderers at the 40 000-seater stadium three months ago.
Nevertheless, Wanderers chairperson Gift Mkandawire and Bullets general secretary Albert Chigoga, whose sides have received at least K10.6 million each from net revenue, feel the figure does not realistically reflect the multitudes that turned up for the Blantyre derby in the capital city.
“I can say we are not fully satisfied with the gross income because patronage was overwhelmingly impressive. From our view, the game was supposed to gross over K60 million,” Mkandawire said.
He added that there are some loopholes that need to be filled to improve gate management as “some people were allowed to freely walk into the stadium without their tickets being torn as per the requirement, thereby creating room for gate fraud to exist because the tickets could easily change hands.”
While concurring with Mkandawire, Chigoga blamed the wrangles prior to the match for the malaise but he said things could have been better if all the stakeholders were involved in the whole process of organising the match.
“We need an all-inclusive committee when organising such a big match so as to get rid of some grains of doubts in the whole process,” he said.
But Football Association of Malawi (FAM) commercial and marketing director Limbani Matola said: “It is unfortunate that instead of strategically promoting the game to attract huge crowds to the game some officials decided to parade threats and negativity through the media, a development that could have scared away some people who were ready to come and watch the game.”
He, however, said much as there were some differences in approach to how things ought to be done, FAM humbly submit that the best way was to amicably engage and discuss the matter behind closed doors.
Matola said: “It is high time we learn to project positive image of the Malawi football brand.
“Teams should also learn to accept international best practices if we are to move forward. They are invited to play the game and not as organisers. The competition’s rules and regulations are very clear on the roles of each stakeholder.”
Nevertheless, the FAM official described the record revenue as a success, saying: “From the very onset we promised to deliver the best cup final and we believe we have managed to live to people’s expectations.
“The officiation was professional, there was professional cash management, strong security and gate management system. Aggressive marketing and promotion of the match through mainstream and social media also worked wonders. We would, therefore, like to thank all stakeholders for working tirelessly to achieve this success.”n