Super League of Malawi (Sulom) has warned that there will be no room for gate revenue pilferage during this afternoon’s Blantyre derby between rivals Mighty Mukuru Wanderers and Nyasa Big Bullets at Kamuzu Stadium in Blantyre.
As the two age-old rivals are tussling for points, attention will also be at the gates where a cartel code-named ‘otola khobwe’ uses every trick in the book to steal gate revenue.
Sulom president Tiya Somba-Banda yesterday said in an interview that they had engaged a new gate management firm, D&S Investment, for the derby in order to seal all loopholes for theft.
He said: “This is an entirely new game management firm which has been managing Dedza Dynamos matches at Dedza Stadium.
“As you might have noted, the firm has done a very good job at Dedza Stadium and we felt they should manage this derby so that there are no loopholes for theft.”
Dedza home matches have collected highest revenue recently after grossing K29 319 880 from the two FDH Bank Cup matches against Silver Strikers and Wanderers.
However, Somba-Banda bemoaned a missed opportunity of utilising pre selling of tickets for the derby.
He said: “We could have loved if we had sold the tickets before the matches. Unfortunately, we couldn’t because of the uncertainty on the match venue.”
As hosts, Wanderers wanted the match to be played at Bingu National Stadium in Lilongwe, but the move flopped following disagreements on logistics.
Bullets gave Wanderers a condition that they should pay for the team’s travel and accommodation expenses if they wanted the match in Lilongwe.
Somba Band said: “Because of the uncertainty, we couldn’t print the match tickets in time to start pre-selling at least four days before the match.”
He, however, said despite failing to sale the tickets in advance, Sulom is confident that the match will gross record revenue.
He said: “We know people will come in large numbers to watch the game and they can be assured that their money will not go into anybody’s pockets.”
In June the Blantyre Magistrate Court convicted six cashiers and their supervisor for theft of gate revenue during the match between Wanderers and Sable Farming at Kamuzu stadium.
The same month, Bullets also fired their accountant after he was implicated in a gate revenue attempted fraud in a match against Mighty Wakawaka Tigers at the same venue.
The development forced Sulom take over allocation of gate management service to firms.
Meanwhile, the two teams have promised their best in this afternoon’s encounter.
Bullets assistant coach Peter Mpondas said they will aim at maximum points.
He said: “It’s a big game. But our approach will be the same as what has been throughout the season. We will try and take the game to them.”
The game will be the first derby for newly-appointed Wanderers coach Alex Ngwira after a 3-0 win over Dedza Dynamos in FDH Bank Cup.
He said: “The cup game victory is gone. We need to concentrate on this match.”
A 16 point gap separates the two giants with Bullets at the summit with 38 points.