While sponsorship drought continues to hit Malawian football teams hard, lady lucky seem to be smiling on two traditional rivals Big Bullets and Mighty Wanderers as a potential sponsor has agreed in principle to bankroll the financially crippled teams, Nyasa Times has established.
The two sworn rivals have been sailing through turbulent waters following the pull out of their respective sponsors. Bullets have been the most affected side having lost their multimillion sponsorship from former head of state Bakili Muluzi in 2004, while wanderers’ lucrative contract was terminated by Malawi Telecommunications Limited (MTL) last year.
But in a move likely to take football fraternity by big surprise, Nyasa Times understands the country’s soccer governing body Football Association of Malawi (FAM) has been involved in serious negotiations with a sponsor (we cannot reveal identity) and has since agreed to take both teams on board for a five year period.
FAM president Walter Nyamilandu during his re-election bid promised sponsorship for the two popular teams in order to revive what he called “competitive football”. He however, came under fire recently from critics for not honouring his word on the issue.
“We have approached several companies and organizations on possibility of clinching sponsorship for the two teams. However, we must admit that it hasn’t’ been easy to take them on board because most of them want an assurance on how they would benefit from the deal.
“Right now, I can assure you that we have been able attract a sponsor who has already agreed to sponsor both Bullets and Wanderers for a period of five years, what remains now is the paper work which I believe would be concluded before the season kicks off,” confided a FAM executive member who is at the heart of the negotiations but has pleaded for strict anonymity.
Meanwhile, the source further disclosed that another trophy is in the offing and all the nitty-gritty of the deal has been finalized. The source while refusing to disclose the sponsor hinted that; “the new sponsor is not new per se.”
This comes against a background of rumours that have been making rounds that FAM has been enticing Carlsberg Malawi and BP now rebranded to Puma to bring back their hefty sponsorships. Both companies pulled out their sponsorships in controversial circumstances after a spate of hooliganism.
Nyamilandu, his secretary general Suzgo Nyirenda and commercial manager Casper Jangale neither denied nor confirmed the issue but were elusive on divulging information.
If all goes as planned, the development would mark the beginning of new era for the two teams that are seen as pivotal for the country’s football development.
Meanwhile, this would be the first time for the two teams to share a sponsor after years of fierce rivalry.
However, football experts contend that renowned international arch rivals elsewhere have had history of being sponsored by same company citing as an example of South African giants Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs who both share the Vodacom sponsorship.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :