By Duncan Mlanjira
Super League of Malawi (SULOM) held its elective annual general meeting (AGM) on Saturday where it ushered in new blood, now to be headed by its former treasurer, Tiya Somba Banda, who went in unopposed.
His deputy is Major Gilbert Mittawa, who trounced Albert Mtungambera Harawa while Tiya’s former post was taken by Malinda Chinyama, who beat Chifundo Makande and Ernest Mangani.
Williams Banda retained his post of general secretary unopposed but his deputy is Zacharia Nyirenda, who beat former executive committee member Aggrey Khonje and Major Thoko Chazema.
Lawyer Muhammad Selemani took up the post of legal advisor beating Chimwemwe Chithope and David Kanyenda.
Executive committee members are Ali Mwachande, Charles Manyungwa, marketer Chimwemwe Nyirenda and Michael Chimayere.
Others who contested for post of executive committee members were Henze Banda and Titha Mandiza.
In his speech, Tiya Somba outlined his vision to lead football from its current amateur status to a more professional league by maximising club football revenues through continuously improving gate revenue controls; implementing advanced and e-ticketing systems; introducing match day hospitality and cementing co-sponsorship and multiple partnerships.
He also said he shall inspire clubs to participate in CAF championship by establishing an annual CAF participation package for the League’s champions.
“Participating in CAF is paramount in improving both football standards and commercial viability of the clubs. The international competition not only presents an opportunity to compete against the best in the continent, but it also exposes the clubs’ sponsors and partners to a wider market beyond Malawi and Africa.
“We will continue strengthening the current accountability processes of having AGM’s, publishing audited accounts and creating The Chairman’s Forum, which will be a body whereby we will be meeting regularly and or adhoc to monitor and evaluate the focus areas without waiting for an AGM.”
He also touched on engaging supporters by taking the game beyond match day and the stadia by introducing several activities around the game such as introducing League games on betting platforms with proceeds going to both clubs and supporters and or introducing competitions whereby fans could win tickets to watch COSAFA, CAF or international league games.
He also said the league shall engage former players with the aim of improving and establishing a conducive working relationship with the legends of the game.
On community outreach, SULOM shall partner with communities and schools with the league clubs or players acting as ambassadors.
He also pledged to strengthen the relationship with FAM and all its other affiliates to have a well synchronized league calendar and football agenda.
“During this term, we will focus on creating and harnessing a conducive operating environment for commercialization of clubs. We have noted that our League cannot graduate from amateur to professional if the clubs do not have a financial capacity or if football does not make any business sense.
“Therefore, we are motivated to change the game into a viable business concept,” he said.