Nyasa Big Bullets vice-president Fleetwood Haiya yesterday declared his candidacy for Sulom presidency with an agenda of transforming the TNM Super League which he described as the worst in the world.
The flagship football league governing body is scheduled to go to the polls on February 25 in Mangochi.
Haiya: We have the least-developed and least-attractive league within the region
Making the announcement at Amaryllis Hotel in Blantyre, Haiya said he wants to transform the Super League into a professional entity by serving in the best interest of the clubs and setting up a fully-fledged secretariat.
Haiya, who has already been nominated by Karonga United for the hot seat, also promised to initiate and implement a strategic plan to realise the full potential of Malawi’s elite football through commercialisation so as to help Super League clubs achieve financial independence.
He said: “As you are aware, our elite football has been characterised by numerous challenges which have consequently derailed its growth from an amateur to a professional league.
“It is evident that our league is devoid of effective organisation and sound administration, lacks a clear roadmap, efficiency and commercial acumen. As a result, clubs who are owners of Sulom and meant to be the main beneficiaries, have not reaped the fruits of their efforts for the past decades.
“For instance, Super League clubs are financially and economically unstable to an extent that they can hardly operate as viable sporting and business entities.”
Haiya, who was flanked by current Sulom vice-president Gilbert Mittawa and treasurer Malinda Chinyama, said Sulom leadership had failed to address the challenges the league is facing.
He said: “It is sad to note that little has been done to address this predicament. I do not wish to make an attempt to give a catalogue of the reasons why our elite league has stagnated.
“However, permit me to point out a few key challenges. There is lack of a solid organisation culture, absence of a strategic plan and roadmap, absence of a fully-fledged secretariat and, feeble efforts towards commercialisation.
“It is, therefore, not surprising that we have the least-developed and least-attractive league within the region, the continent at large, if not in the world.”
“You will agree with me that addressing the above challenges requires a committed and courageous leadership; leadership that strives on integrity, transparency, accountability, inclusivity and equity. Malawi’s elite league deserves a leadership that endeavours on serving clubs, in the best interest of the clubs.”
Football analyst Charles Nyirenda said the coming of Haiya presents the clubs with a choice of candidates.
He said: “If you look at the points he has raised, he wants to reorganise Sulom administration through commercialising and professionalising the Super League.
“Now, looking at his background where he is coming from Bullets where he has managed to turn round a team that was so difficult to manage into a professional club, I think there is an opportunity for him to do the same at Sulom.”
Haiya is expected to challenge incumbent Sulom president Tiya Somba-Banda who declared his interest to seek re-election earlier this week.
In his declaration, Somba-Banda said: “I have listened to the clubs’ aspirations and I am duty-bound to lead them into the football progression they desire.”