Big Bullets cost of their extravagant 2015 CAF Champions League flirtation is emerging—debts have swollen to K30 million, they risk legal action and K4.2 million fine.
Bullets have since transferred responsibility for the debts to Football Association of Malawi (FAM) since the association handled gate collections from Sunday’s first-round, second leg match against Al Hilal of Sudan at Kamuzu Stadium, general secretary Harold Fote confirmed.
“If it were not for the squabbles, we were targeting K40 million from the Al Hilal game. Better proceeds from the Fomboni game did not happen by accident; we had a strategy. Since people accused us of delaying to announce the figures, we allowed FAM to manage the next game,” Fote justified why all creditors are being referred to the association.
The Nation has established that Bullets owe Sky Links Travel Bureau K13 212 500 in air ticket expenses for the first-leg trip to Sudan where they lost 4-0. Second leg ended 1-1 for Bullets to exit the tournament.
Additionally, Bullets must pay K2.2 million to Interocean Travel Limited being travel costs for referees who officiated the preliminary round, second-leg match against Fomboni Club de Moheil at Kamuzu Stadium.
Dorvic Hotel in Blantyre also needs K900 000 as balance from the K2.4 million incurred when hosting Fomboni last month.
Bullets must also pay Zambian match commissioner Joseph Nkole $1 197 (K502 740) he, due to Bullets delays to meet his expenses, spent when travelling through South Africa.
Nkole has also sent to Bullets, through FAM, hotel accommodation bill of R1 200 (K39 600) for a night he spent in Johannesburg before proceeding for Sunday’s match.
As if that is not enough, Bullets risk $10 000 (K4.5 million) fine from the Confederation of African Football (CAF) if the team does not remit through FAM $ 7 200 (K3.2 million) within the next 90 days from last month.
The $7 200 is broken down to $ 2 000 (K900 000) fine for Bullets’ late registration of players and a similar amount as a penalty for not confirming with hosts Al Hilal within the prescribed two weeks ahead of the trip to Khartoum.
The remainder is $2 000 (K900 000) or $1 000 (K450 000) each for each of the Bullets’ two home games in broadcasting rights remittance to CAF, confirmed FAM facility and transfer matching system manager Casper Jangale.
Further, Bullets owe CAF $1 200 (K504 000) or $600 (K252 000) each game as a remittance for game collections for the two home ties against Fomboni and Al Hilal.
The Nation found on Tuesday morning Dorvic Hotel marketing and sales manager Eldridge Mbewe at Chiwembe Technical Centre following up with Jangale on the money.
In the absence of FAM chief executive officer Suzgo Nyirenda and FAM president Walter Nyamilandu, Jangale is bearing the brunt of the creditors.
“This is why from the onset, FAM asked for $20 000 [K9 million] deposit from Bullets, yet people thought we did not wish them well. I have since advised him [Mbewe] to wait for the dust to settle and identify who really is in charge at Bullets,” Jangale said on Tuesday.
Sky Links Travel Bureau accountant Golden Chinyama yesterday said the Bullets “signed a commitment letter to pay by March 27 and last week, they said they were waiting for [proceeds] from the return match.”
Interocean Travel Limited managing director Muhammad Kassam yesterday said he was being referred to new officials when he contacts Bullets officials.
“I will definitely take legal action. I think that is the only way they will pay,” Kassam said.
That is not all. Bullets also owe Gold Card Executive Lodge an undisclosed amount for their team’s camping ahead of the Fomboni match. They also owe their former treasurer Noel Lipipa K1.1 million for South African referees’ travel costs. They also have to pay back about K7 million borrowed from well-wishers for Al Hilal and match officials’ accommodation and food.
Meanwhile, Jangale has said just over K4.59 million was grossed from last Sunday’s game against Al Hilal.
“There are only four tickets booklets left to reconcile, but I do not think it will have any significant bearing.
“From the K4.5 million, the better part of it has already been used to pay service providers, creditors and Bullets players and from the look of things, other stakeholders such as government, FAM and Sports Council will get nothing,” said Jangale.
Many fear the full cost of Bullets’ Champions League adventure is yet to emerge. The team’s future looks misty. Chairperson Kondi Msungama, who resigned verbally, and Fote pushed for CAF participation and he says there “are no regrets”.