Bullets engage bank for pre-sale of tickets
Big Bullets FC has doubled Open Stands entry charges for their CAF Champions League first-round return leg contest against Sudan’s Al Hilal scheduled for April 4 at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
The People’s Team general secretary Harold Fote said fans will pay K2 000 for an Open Stands ticket, up from K1 000 which was the price for the preliminary round game against Fomboni Club De Moheil of the Comoros.
Entry fee for MBC Stand has also been increased from K2 500 to K4 000, Covered Stands is at K6 000 from K5 000 while VIP remains at K10 000.
Fote justified the hike in an interview with Nation on Sunday, saying it is aimed at maximising revenue in to meet costs of hosting the match, in particular paying for the visiting team’s accommodation at Protea Ryalls Hotel as well as hiring a luxury coach for them.
“Then we also have to meet other expenses such as return air tickets, food, accommodation, local travel and allowances for five match officials,” he said.
Fote further said Bullets also have other debts such as the K13 million that was used to buy air tickets for the trip to Sudan for the first-leg.
“Then we have other outstanding debts incurred for the Fomboni match,” he said, adding that they are planning to entrust NBS Bank with the pre-sale of tickets.
“There was a lot of speculation and allegations to the effect that some money from the Fomboni match was stolen and to avoid such irresponsible and malicious statements we have engaged NBS and talks are at an advanced stage.
“Probably by Monday, we should be through so that on Tuesday the pre-sale of tickets can start. The sale of tickets will only be done in NBS Bank branches only. They will come up with receipts which will have special features that will be used as entry tickets,” said Fote.
He said by so doing, they will also be eliminating an element of potential fraud.
Fote said Bullets are targeting a gross of between K35 million and K40 million.
He played down suggestions that the hiked gate charges would further put off the fans after the first-leg 4-0 humiliating loss in Khartoum.
“That could be the assumption, but we should not be written off. We can bounce back and I am sure people will still come in large numbers to cheer their team in its quest to turn the tables.
“They will also come to catch a glimpse of a side that beat their team 4-0. So, I think it will still create a lot of excitement,” he said.
However, a Soche-based Bullets fan Rhodrick Walesi differed with Fote, saying already there is a fear of low turnout in the reverse fixture considering the first-leg humiliation.
“Increasing the entry fee worsens the situation. Maybe they should consider a 50 percent increase for the Open Stands,” said Walesi.
The Bullets versus Fomboni match raised about K24 million from which the People’s Team got K18.5 million which went towards settling part of the costs. n