‘Sulom needs to act on concerns’

Some ‘concerned’ Super League clubs have said they will push their governing body—Super League of Malawi (Sulom)—to improve on its operations at Saturday’s annual general meeting (AGM) in Mangochi.

A representative of the clubs—Be Forward Wanderers general secretary (GS) Mike Butao—yesterday also said “there was never any coup intention despite our frustrations with the state of the league”.

Banda: We are caring parents

He said: “We created a discussion group in which ideas were thrown around. Some were endorsed, others were pushed aside. Our concerns, not only as clubs but as Malawians, are on several issues and we will raise them at the AGM and not through the purported coup.”

“There are so many issues that clubs have brought before Sulom and all we are saying is that can Sulom please remember who they work for and act in the interest of the clubs. Clubs are both affiliates and employers of Sulom and have every right to hold discussions or create groups and strategise before, during or after an AGM.”

He said it is important and progressive “to focus on issues  and concerns being raised instead of dwelling on the supposedly sinister motives”.

Among others, Butao cited current league sponsorship, dispute resolution, Sulom secretariat set-up, broadcasting rights and attitude of some officials.

“In this day and age when clubs spend over K100 million simply to participate in the league we feel more should be done to convince sponsors or to find co-sponsors to increase the league package

“Dispute resolution takes forever at Sulom. We all know there are cases that have never seen the light of day. Probably the only notable case to have been handled last year was the Wanderers/Mzuni [Mzuzu University] FC issue because it was originated by one sulom official, but how many other cases were there of violence?” he queried.

Commenting on Sulom secreteriat, Buatao said: “If we are to take football forward it has to start with recruitment of qualified people at the Sulom secretariat—people who can market the game otherwise sulom is making itself irrelevant. Every club has complained about the calibre and arrogance of some of the secretariat personnel but nothing gets done to address the situation.”

He added: “Broadcasting rights is the number one money spinner in football but again because elected officials who have very limited time to spare after office hours, are doing the work of employed secretariat personnel. We are stuck in the same position year after year.”

The ‘concerned teams’ which include Bullets, Wanderers, Civil Sporting Club and Azam Tigers, also claim that the attitude of some Sulom officials is confrontational.

“When one presents an issue they feel you are working for FAM [Football Association of Malawi] and against them. This is strange, backward and has no place in football. We are all partners,” he said.

However Sulom GS Williams Banda said the right forum would be the AGM.

“We exist because of the clubs. We are there to advance their interests and we are a caring parent.

“If they have concerns, let us sit down as a family. Hopefully they have presented them as per requirement,” he said.

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