The clubs claim this is why they are forced to make contractual and verbal commitments with players and officials to share part of the prize money.
At professional level, teams give players bonuses for winning a cup at their own prerogative, not as a contractual obligation as is the case on the local scene.
Super League of Malawi (Sulom) said clubs should stop feasting on prize money and regard it as investment capital considering that most teams do not have sponsors.
But Escom United chairperson Fanuel Nkhono said while the idea of investing prize money is good, it cannot work locally because Super League players are poorly paid and the only substantial take-home cash they get is when they win trophies.
“If we had contracts where the players get more money and are paid in time, then it would have been a different case,” said Nkhono, whose team gives players 60 percent of any prize money.
Wanderers general secretary David Kanyenda said making a percentage pledge to the players in their contract is aimed at motivating them.
“We have to put it in writing to motivate the players to work hard. The players get peanuts. So, if you promise them a certain amount for winning or at least reaching the final, it makes them put in extra effort,” said Kanyenda whose side also gives players a 60 percent cut.
Big Bullets FC chairperson Malinda Chinyama said the idea of investing can work for teams that have steady sponsorship because for others, part of the prize money is used to cover other expenses.
“For teams such as ours, we borrow money to run the team hoping to repay when we win. We do not give the players game bonuses when they win cup games, but make them share 60 percent if they win the cup,” said Chinyama.
Sulom treasurer Tiya Somba-Banda said with the current economic problems, clubs need to take prize money as source of capital to invest.
“Teams are successful on the pitch, but that does not translate in the bank account because of the prize money sharing tendency. Looking at the issue in depth, you will realise that it has been a tradition for a long time. Clubs just do not mind how the team will raise the money for the next game.
“Therefore, for local teams to change this tendency, there is need for a paradigm shift in the way football income is managed at the clubs. For instance, winners of the Presidential Cup get K10 million, but barely two days later you will find that the club account is back to zero. The money has been shared between the players and officials,” he said.
He added: “Clubs need to view competitions as an investment. For instance, if the K10 million ($60 000) is invested in a viable business by a club, the returns from the business can be used to finance the clubâ€™s operations for sometime.
“It pains to see players smiling from the bank with prize money today and a week down the line they are not able to get their training allowances.”
According to a Nation on Sunday finding, almost every Super League team has a clause in the players contract stating a percentage they are entitled from any prize money.
On average, Super League teams give their players a 60 percentage cut from the prize money.
In professional leagues such as South Africa, teams do not state in the players contracts the percentage cuts for the players from the prize money won by the team.
Club managements, at their prerogative, decide whether or not to give the players bonuses and how much, because players are paid monthly to win trophies.
“For example, Chiukepo Msowoyaâ€™s contract at Orlando Pirates has no clause on his cut from prize money.
“And when Pirates won five trophies last season they were only given bonus incentives at the prerogative of the teamâ€™s chairperson Irvin Khoza, but not as contractual obligation as it happens in Malawi,” said Nkhono.