Super League of Malawi (Sulom) president Innocent Botomani has announced his objective he plans to fulfil if re-elected, pledging to transform the flagship Super League football from a pastime to a business venture.
Sulom will hold its annual general meeting (AGM) on March 14 at a venue yet to be announced.
Botomani unveiled his manifesto titled, ‘Going for 100% Professionalization of Super League Football’ on Saturday at Alendo Hotel in Blantyre.
Present during the ceremony were representatives from Super League teams, supporters, the media and some Sulom officials like treasure Tiya Somba-Banda, Gift Mkandawire and Willy Phalula.
Botomani said if re-elected he would shake up things by changing the administrative structures whereby the running of the two entities would be done by employed personnel’s at a secretariat with a board of trustees or board of directors overseeing affairs from above.
For instance, he said, at the secretariat for either Sulom or club sides, amongst the staff positions will be administration manager / CEO, Accountant, Commercial Manager and Marketing Manager.
Botomani also said he would be swift in pressing for revising the prevailing culture so that Super League clubs change their legal status with a view to attract investment from the business community.
“Without clubs having owners, there is no way clubs can prosper,” he noted.
“At the moment, those with money are unprepared to pump money into football clubs because there is no guarantee that once they inject something into the game, there will be sweet returns later. I will therefore move quickly to realize the dream of enticing entrepreneurs to invest in football as a lucrative business avenue,” he said.
Botomani also promised to bring live television coverage of Super League matches and management or broadcasting rights.
He said in modern football, real money comes from live TV coverage, not gate fees.
The Sulom president said to boost the coffers of both Sulom and the club sides; he will expedite engagement of local TV outlets to start beaming Super League games live.
In another quest to bring in more money into Super League football, Botomani said he will push for setting up a Super League football lottery in unison with partners like TNM with view to raising huge sums that would be re-distributed to Super League clubs.
To teams that have no stadiums or grounds, Botomani said he will negotiate with ground owners including government to change their policy of deducting 25% as ground levy and push for setting up fixed hire rates instead.
He did not forget promoted regional teams, who do not play home matches where they are located because their facilities fail to meet minimum requirements of the top flight league.
Botomani said the majority of them travel long distances to fulfil their home fixtures ending up losing lots of hard earned cash on transport and other expenses.
To address this problem, he said he will work closely with local government, football authorities and international partners if necessary in a bid to develop infrastructure at district level to enable club sides fulfil their fixtures at home soil.
“The likes of Mafco and Airborne Rangers ought to be using a football ground in Salima as their home instead of Dwangwa as is the case at the moment,” said Botomani.
Botomani also said he will acquire a home for Sulom, investing more resources in human capital, collaborating with foreign premier football partners and maximizing revenue collection on the turnstiles.
He went on to state in the manifesto that he will engage digital media channels in order to connect well with the general public by strengthening the Sulom website, enhance the SMS avenue as a medium of communication and delve more into churning out in-house publications.
Botomani said he will also promote sports medicine in the super league to ensure that all players remain healthy at all times with more emphasis also being placed on a drug-abuse free environment within the Super League.
On maintaining sanity over players transfers, Botomani said he will place a stringent mechanism whereby clubs will not be allowed to commerce transfer talks with a player of another side unless the owners of the player are approached first.
He also pledged to implement club licensing to the full which will help expedite the club professionalization drive in the shortest possible time.
Botomani said the agenda he wishes to pursue in his second term is purely about professionalization of Super League football as per the 2009 Lilongwe Declaration made by all Super League teams at a FIFA sponsored workshop.
“My manifesto has spelled out what l wish to do and am very hopeful that you will give me your support and renew my mandate with a view to making sure that Super League football gets heaved to a higher and more prosperous level,” he concluded.
He pointed to his proven leadership for delegates to consider his re-election.
Among his supporters drumming for his re-election included flamboyant football fanatic Yona Malunga.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :