Nyasa Big Bullets have unveiled an ambitious business plan that seeks to transform the club into a continental football powerhouse in five years.
The club’s newly unveiled chief executive officer (CEO) Suzgo Nyirenda, said among the targets to help the club reach that level include establishment of a technical centre, youth development centre, women’s football team and a football academy.
The CEO, who recently quit as Council for Southern Africa Football Associations (Cosafa) vice-general secretary, said the club is capable of achieving the targets.
Said Nyirenda: “For me to have the courage to leave Cosafa and return home, I looked at the Bullets brand. It’s a dream that I have that Bullets should one day be a giant in African football.
“We had a time when Bullets was being sponsored by former president Bakili Muluzi and the team did well, reaching the Champions League knockout stage. We want one day to wake up to see Bullets win the Champions League.”
Nyirenda’s dreams come against a background of the People’s Team failing to break even for the past four years despite sponsors Nyasa Manufacturing Company (NMC) pumping over K200 million annually.
But the former FAM general secretary is upbeat that he can turnaround the club’s financial fortunes.
He said: “Time has come for sponsors to differentiate between win-win situation and win-lose situation. Sponsors have been on the losing side for so long.
“They have been pumping money, but have not gained anything. I believe that this is the right time that sponsors should appreciate that the club can bring back something.
“The problem in Malawi is that clubs are run without knowing what they want to achieve. But we will have a strategic plan in place. We will show you that it can be achieved. We can’t cry over the economy of the country forever.”
But Nyirenda acknowledged that achieving these targets will need the support of other stakeholders such as league runners Super League of Malawi (Sulom).
Nyirenda said: “Sulom also needs to be taken on-board in the project. Sulom brand also needs to grow. In general, we need to grow the Malawi football.
On his part NMC managing director Konrad Buckle said the sponsors are confident that Bullets can become a top African club.
He said: “We’ve always dreamed of winning the CAF Champions League and becoming a force to reckon with in Africa. But we also have to realise that we have to build a strong foundation. So, we have to start at home. It’s not good enough to just win cups and leagues at home.
“It’s a matter of building mindset in the players that they are as good as they are and that giving them exposure at international level, will not just take Bullets to another level, but also the individual players. That gives the players value.”
Buckle said only a professional like Nyirenda can make such a dream come true.
“For us to take that big step, we needed to employ a real professional when it comes to managing football. By employing Nyirenda, NMC and Nyasa Big Bullets have taken the game to a different level,” he said.
He, however, said the sponsors are aware that achieving the targets will not be easy.
He said: “We know that he is going to have his hands full. We know he has a lot of work to do. But he has a strong personality and character—that’s the kind of management we need to achieve those goals.”
FAM general secretary Alfred Gunda said the association will support Bullets’ ambitious plan.
“Bullets are undoubtedly the biggest club in Malawi, in terms of trophies and leagues won as well as supporters.
“They were also the first to embrace club licensing which is one of the reason why some clubs are failing to develop. As FAM we will give all the support to them to achieve their goals,” said the general secretary who co-incidentary succeeded Nyirenda at the local football governing body in 2016.