Previously, the people’s team used to have an edge in the local transfer market over their rivals but of late, the situation has completely changed.
Nyasa Big Bullets have been in hot pursuit of Azam Tigers’ highly rated midfielder Yamikani Chester for the past two seasons but their dream of securing his services came to an end on Friday when rivals Be Forward Wanderers officials unveiled him to their supporters.
Apart from Chester, the 2016 TNM Super League runners up were very much interested in signing former Flames and Silver Strikers captain Lucky Malata but just like the case of Esau and Jacob in the bible, Wanderers signed him under their noses.
In 2015, Bullets were 100 percent optimistic of signing Isaac Kaliyati and Stanley Sanudi from Tigers and Jabulani Linje from Civo Service United but the trio landed at Lali Lubani.
But what has gone wrong at Bullets? Is it about money? Change in the way transfers are handled in Malawi? Is it the effectiveness of Club Licensing where rules matters most than superiority?
A lot of Bullets fans are blaming the current executive committee of being ‘too slow’ in the transfer market.
They have also blamed their Chairman Noel Lipipa of ‘talking too much but less action’ unlike at Wanderers where deals are being done without blabbing to the local media.
But is Lipipa to blame? Here was his response soon after Chester was unveiled at Wanderers.
“We tried our level best to sign this boy from Azam Tigers but he had Be Forward Wanderers in his heart. For instance, we offered him K4 million signing on fee but he opted to have the package first before signing a contract with us and I said no because I knew he would have just pocketed the money without signing for us.
“His club did not help us either. Tigers demanded K6 million for Chester’ transfer fee but surprisingly, we have been told that he has joined Wanderers [for] less than what Tigers demanded from us so Bullets fans, let it go, the boy never wanted us, he would have just fooled us by pocketing our money,” said Lipipa.
Previously, smaller teams were the victims of Bullets and Wanderers’ superiority when players joined them without benefitting their clubs.
By then, administrators had a soft spot for these two giants but with Club Licensing in place, Bullets are now finding it very difficult to convince players to join them.
Failure by Bullets to land two of their major targets in the on-going transfer window is a clear indication that the market is no longer their hunting ground. The Nomads are now the new kings of the jungle.