The taskforce that was initiated to facilitate its renaissance says it tactfully withdrew from the process following strong resistance from pockets of both the team’s executive and supporters committees but can resume the terms of reference they were given only if the executive committee puts its house in order.
The taskforce — group of Mighty Wanderers enthusiasts that included influential former players — were invited by the same executive committee through chairperson Simon Sikwese, to among others, kick-start the registration process of the team as a limited liability company
And it was also given the task to assist the team identify short-term financial resources and come up with a commercialization blue-print for an initial period of two years.
This all follows the withdrawal of sponsorship from Japanese second hand car dealers, Be Forward but following resistance from the some pockets of the team’s executive and supporters committees.
However, one member of the taskforce, Humphrey Mvula — himself a former Wanderers executive member who served in different positions up to chairperson — says the withdrawal was just a tactical move for the executive committee to put its house in order.
“We accepted to handle the commercialization drive because we have the passion to regenerate the team’s fortunes but we realised that our reputation was at stake through the resistance we faced,” Mvula said.
“We made some good strides after approaching some potential partners but in order not to jeopardize everything, we decided to handover what we gained back to the executive for them to continue through, probably, another committee to handle it.”
In its withdrawal, the taskforce had suggested a long list of Wanderers enthusiasts who could be approached for consideration as ‘directors’ for the Wanderers Football Club limited company and one of them was Mvula himself.
Asked if he was willing to accept been recalled to the renaissance process, Mvula said he has the passion to reinvigorate the team’s fortunes only if the executive committee would accept conditions in which they would be expected to perform.
“I have served Wanderers in several top positions including being the chairperson and I am willing to continue offering my services in whatever form.
“The taskforce approached many partners who showed the enthusiasm to be part of the renaissance but could only come on board if the team is properly registered as a business entity and not a team that is operating as a loose association,” he said.
The team had been regularly meeting for the past two and a half months where the team’s executive was being represented by chairperson Sikwese and other members.
Sikwese confirmed that he was involved in whatever the taskforce was working on and he too agrees that, “for the love of Wanderers”, the taskforce has not resigned per se but that they just want the executive committee to put its house in order.
“They must agree to one thing and communicate whether they accept or still reject what the taskforce was doing,” Sikwese said. “It is high time we accepted that we are living in a world where change is happening every day.
“We cannot continue operating the way we used to 30 years ago and think that we will prosper. Wanderers has stood the taste of time and it is high time it moved on.
“Wanderers is a big name — it is the first indigenous team formed in Malawi and from which Big Bullets was born. We need to be the pacesetters for change.”
Sikwese said it was unfortunate that some members of the executive committee decided to shoot down the process of commercialising the team which he himself initiated.
He said he and the executive committee agreed to this process realising the club’s financial situation and decided to engage former Wanderers administrators and supporters to come together and help the club.
“The idea was for this group was to help strategies on short, medium and longer term plans. Short and medium term plans included scouting for sponsors and well-wishers who can support with players’ salaries, training allowances as well as those for match days.
“The long term plans involved registration of Wanderers as a limited company as a way of commercialization.
“What may not have been well understood is that such changes in organisational management requires that the old ways of doing things must be sacrificed and that the management of the organisations has to change altogether.”
Sikwese could not specify the resistance that the taskforce faced but only said probably some members of the executive and supporters committees “could not have been in the know in terms of what registering Wanderers as a legal entity would mean to the future management of the club”.
“The resistance is more to do with what will befall of their positions as executive committee members. Some have even asked the legitimacy of the taskforce instead of looking at the fruits Wanderers will enjoy in the future as an outcome of the taskforce is doing.
“Sadly, supporters seem to be more understanding than the executive committee. Those who do not understand the change Wanderers is undergoing must do wider consultation to have a full understanding of what the taskforce is up to.
“People must have positive minds about change. Further, any Wanderers supporter must put the team first and not their wishes or aspirations,” Sikwese said.Follow and Subscribe Nyasa TV :