When Barcelona unveiled their latest catch Philippe Coutinho at the Camp Nou in front of ecstatic fans and flashing cameras of the paparazzi last week, TNM Super League giants, Nyasa Big Bullets, Be
Forward Wanderers and Silver Strikers, were also busy on the domestic player transfer market.
The local big-three found an innovative way of going about their latest signings by having them to sign contracts under mango trees, bottlestore counters and receptions of lodges. Good thinking isn’t it?
After all why waste time and space to unveil just one player at the whole stadium?
So, while Barcelona complicated matters by having the Brazilian attacker undergo a medical so as to be sure of his clean bill of health, Bullets, Wanderers and Silver did not really care whether their new recruits were carrying injuries.
This is Malawi, so why should our Super League heavyweights spend money on trivia when there is the miracle called iceblocks to heal injuries?
While Barcelona made quick bucks through replica jersey sales before and during the unveiling of the new catch from Liverpool, Lazarus Nyemera did not even have a Silver-branded scarf wrapped around his shoulders when he put to pen to paper in that secretive room somewhere in Chibanja.
Bullets did try to have their new recruits, Patrick Phiri and Righteous Banda, from Premier Bet Wizards and Civil Sporting Club, respectively, wear branded replica jerseys. Credit to the People’s Team.
Wanderers, too, ensured that Nikiza Aimable, Dan Kumwenda, Peter Cholopi, William Thole, Blessings Tembo and Mischeck Botomani had a feel of those nice grey tops during the unveiling, which Facebook witnessed.
The only blot in all these local transfers is that they were shrouded in so much secrecy as if our giants were buying illegal commodities from the fields of Nkhota-kota.
The three local teams, that are supposed to be models of professionalism, are so afraid of the unknown. They just cannot undertake any transaction in broad daylight, let alone in front of the sports media.
Infact, Coutinho had the reporter and photographer from The Daily Mail who were with him at a London Hotel and were on the same private jet that flew him to Spain together with his family members and agent.
And you can understand why the local clubs are so afraid of the media. After all, the local sports media can be a nuisance. You can imagine the media asking these teams about transfer fees and all sorts of questions that would make officials uncomfortable.
It is understandable that Wanderers, Bullets and Silver unveiled their new players through Face-book so as to avoid questions.
The unveiling of Tembo and Aimable, would have surely attracted questions because, save for their loads of experience, there is nothing extra-ordinary about them.
For Silver, perhaps did not want to be bothered by questions on how much they paid to re-sign Nyeremera. Nyemera, too, would have been uncomfortable taking questions on why he was returning to a team that ejected him two seasons ago.
However, with technology bringing the fast revolving football world to our fingertips, there is simply no excuse for handling football business in a primitive way possible.
This is why when Coutinho made a dream switch from Liverpool to Barcelona, we all saw his every step on television.
The Brazilian attacker attended a medical then he was presented to the media during the contract signing ceremony followed by the grand unveiling to Barcelona fans at the Camp Nou.
I am assuming that administrators of the local giants witnessed this big Coutinho transfer. If they did, then you would have expected them to learn one or two things about how to go about unveiling signings.
It is these seemingly small things that are critical to football business.
Big clubs in Europe make money from unveiling ceremonies which create excitement among fans and increase sales of replica jerseys.
In Malawi, clubs do not necessarily need to copy and paste from what happens in European football, but what about producing mere T-shirts and selling them during the unveiling of new players to fans?
Maybe that is going too far but the question is; how have local giants unveiled their new players?
The question is where, when and how were the new recruits unveiled to the fans? These questions should matter because a fan-base means everything in football business.
The big three unveiled their new recruits through the social media while by-passing and ignoring the mainstream media, which is the catalyst for football business elsewhere.
That is where the problem is. You keep a veil of secrecy on the mainstream media, fearing that they will ask you the difficult questions of transfer fees etc only to let the cat out of the bag through the uncensored platform of Facebook. Such a shame and a reflection of a lack of good governance.
There is simply no transparency and accountability in local transfers. What constitutes for local players transfer is, in fact, money-laundering if not fraud. But who really cares?