Super League outfit Red Lions have lost a potential shirt sponsorship deal after H Adam Distributors & Direct Importers withdrew from the deal because the club dilly-dallied to sanction negotiations.
The development comes amid the Malawi Defence Force (MDF) admission that it is finding it tough to bankroll teams in the top flight. It is even planning to cut the number of army teams.
Confirming the development, H Adam Distributors & Direct Importers director Mohammad Adam said they started pursuing Red Lions on the partnership two years ago.
“We have been trying to negotiate with the club, but we were discouraged because of its reluctance to sanction negotiations despite our persistence. And now we have invested the funds in other things,” he said.
Adam said after approaching Red Lions management, they were asked to submit the sponsorship proposal to MDF headquarters which he claimed they did.
“We sent the proposal to the office of director of operations, but we have not received any response until today,” he said.
Adam said the products they wanted to promote on the Red Lions kit were those that fall under the Vega brand.
“The Vega products are meat, milk and other items which enhance fitness, so we felt they could be well marketed if we advertised through Red Lions. In future, if they are ready to do business with us we can consider changing our stand,” he said.
Red Lions chairperson Rodgers Mhango confirmed that they were approached by the company to form a partnership with the club.
He said: “Of course, the proposal was made during the tenure of the previous committee which handed over to us about a year ago. Another thing they wanted is that when our players are warming up before the matches they should be wearing H Adam branded T-shirts. I am told that H Adams was told to write the proposal to our headquarters in Lilongwe. I haven’t followed up what happened after that.”
Mhango defended their decision to refer the company to the Army headquarters.
He said Red Lions is directly under MDF central administration and not Cobbe Barracks where it is based.
“The key decisions about this club are made by the top management. So it made sense to refer them there,” he said.
MDF spokesperson Captain Chiphwanya asked for time to find out what happened for the proposal not to get a response.