More pain, no gain

It demands a strong financial muscle for a TNM Super League club to fulfil its fixtures in a season.It has to meet costs of transport, accommodation, food and players’ allowances.

The league’s 16 clubs yesterday declared that they struggled in the just-ended 2018 season.

Karonga hosting Be Forward Wanderers at Karonga Stadium

Karonga United general secretary Ramzy Simwaka said their expenditure was at least K50 million but they got only K7 million in return while Kasungu-based TN Stars’ operations manager Khumbo Chipeta said they generated K11 million despite spending K48 million.

Apart from that, the two sides told The Nation that they are yet to settle debts amounting to K10 million and K13 million, respectively.

Simwaka said: “There is nothing to smile about in the just-ended season as we spent more than what we gained and it was a tough ride for a team that solely depends on support from business people in Karonga.”

“The only reason we continue to take part in the league is the fact that the side is the pride of the district and it is the most effective platform to expose Karonga football talent.”

Even crowd pullers Nyasa Big Bullets and Be Forward Wanderers, who were the top biggest earners with K56 million and K42 million respectively, say they did not make profits.

Bullets administration manager Albert Chigoga and Wanderers treasurer Robert Mbedza could not give a clear picture between their expenditure and returns.

“I cannot give you the minute details about our expenditure and returns at present as we are still compiling the figures. But, generally, I can say we made a loss. This means things could be worse for our operations if we did not have a sponsor,” Mbedza said.

Civil Sporting FC general secretary Ronald Chiwaula said they also invested more than what they gained in the league.

“We were not satisfied with our revenue,” he said, without providing further details.”

However, he did not go deep into financial analysis details.

Soccer analyst and marketer George Kaudza Masina said the clubs poor gains in the 2018 Super League is a sign that local clubs are not doing enough to operate as commercial entities as per club licensing requirements.

“Despite commercialisation being touted, the clubs lack capacity to run as business entities. There is need for all the clubs to be equipped with football marketing strategies whereby they can sell their clubs to the corporate world,” he said.

“The challenge with our super league teams is their over reliance on gate collections.

Chipeta concurred with Masina that local clubs have not done enough to maximise their revenue through numerous channels including merchandise such as scarfs and T-shirts.

He added that there is also a need for players to change their mindset and give out better performance that can entice more people to go to matches. n

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