D & S, the gate management firm which handled Sunday’s Blantyre derby between Mighty Mukuru Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets, says the match could have fetched more than the record K44.8 million had it not been for some loopholes.
The Dedza-based gate management firm’s co-director Sumani Kaunyolo said they noted a number of loopholes that denied the two giants a chance to fetch a fortune.
He said: “There’s a lot of excitement following the record gate revenue, but it could have been more.
“To begin with, the gate that was specifically allocated to the media near the dressing rooms was abused by the one who was tasked to man it.
“After an undercover operation, we established that some people who were not journalists also found their way in using that gate through unscrupulous means.
“It was only after we alerted other stakeholders, especially Sulom [Super League of Malawi], the two clubs and police that the gate was closed briefly until the issue was sorted out.”
He said it was up to Sulom and the teams to decide on how to deal with the official in question.
Said Kaunyolo: “Another loophole was noted near the MBC Stand where there is an area covered with iron sheets and we established that some fans, with the help of stewards, were using to sneak into the stadium, that too was taken up with the police and stewards.
“Then there is a path inside the stadium which leads to the MBC Stand and we established that some spectators who had paid K2 000 in the open stands were using to get to the MBC Stand where the entry fee was K4 000 by tipping the person tasked to guard it.
“So, we realised that it’s not an easy task because the facility is porous and there are organised cartels.”
Wanderers board secretary Humphrey Mvula, whose side was the home team, confirmed the concerns raised by the firm.
He said: “Indeed, all these issues were raised by the firm and it gave us, clubs as well as Sulom, food for thought going forward.
“In fact, besides all this, we have internal problems where some of our supporters would still want to be part of the cashiering process.
“We have institutionalised systems involving individuals who have been accepted by FAM and Sulom. They exist within the gate system which is their gold mine on the pretext of network.
“So, there is a group of supporters that is resistant to change but if all stakeholders pull in the same direction, we can turn the situation around.”
Sulom president Tiya Somba Banda agreed with the observations.
He said: “As I walked around the stadium before entering through the open stands, I noted the same as well.
“The security detail was overwhelmed as a lot of people were climbing the wall near the MBC Stand.
“Advanced ticketing would have eased the pressure and contributed to an increase in the revenue as some supporters either returned home or climbed the wall due to the long lines soon before the match.”