LUMWANA Radiants Football Club secretary Paul M’kandawire says for the team to be competitive and compete for honours, it needs additional sponsorship.
In an interview following the team’s slender 0-1 loss to Napsa Stars over the weekend, M’kandawire appealed for sponsorship.
He said the current financial boost from Lumwana’s Barrick Gold Mine was not enough to fulfill its ambitions.
“Lumwana Radiants is a community team that started like a joke. Miners that felt bored during the weekend constituted themselves into a team that eventually transitioned from being an amateur club to a professional club,’’ he said. ‘’And [it] was through the contributions of these dedicated miners who value football that we now have what we call Lumwana Radiants Football Club. Initially these people used to put their hard earned resources together to finance the activities of Lumwana Radiants at that time. Over time, Lumwana Mining Company which is currently being sponsored by Barrick Gold Corporation, saw a lot of opportunity in Lumwana Radiants Football club that it could excel and truly when they started sponsoring the club, the team exceled. I think we only spent about a season in each division of the Football Association of Zambia.”
M’kandawire said from 2016, the Kalumbila based outfit played in the super league until in the 2019-2020 season when it was relegated to the national division one league.
“But then we have a history to tell, Lumwana Radiants being a community football club has had its sponsorship mainly from members that felt the need to sponsor the club. And eventually the company came on board. But you know that these business entities need to balance between corporate social responsibility and their business,” M’kandawire added. ‘’But when the business is not doing well, definitely the team gets the worst hit. So, currently that’s where we find ourselves, yes. Barrick as a sponsor right now is doing its best to ensure that the club fulfills its fixtures, pay salaries for the players and all those basics but for us to be competitive, to compete for honours, we need additional sponsorship.”
He added that the team was lacking in many areas, among them accommodation each time the team travels out.
M’kandawire said the team was struggling as the cost of managing clubs in Zambia was too high.
“The retention of good players has been a challenge. Lumwana Radiants can boast of being one of those clubs that have groomed, built, improved and natured some of the fantastic talents that you see in the Zambian super league,’’ he said. ‘’But we cannot retain them since we don’t have the financial muscle to do so. The moment we invest into such a player and he starts ticking, predator teams come to dangle a carrot in the face of such a player and football being business as it is, the player will not hesitate to take the carrot; and definitely will go where they are offering more money.”
M’kandawire called on various companies to invest in Lumwana Radiants, stating that with its potential, an association with the club would be rewarding.
He named various sponsorship packages, stating that it would be better investing in a club whose goal is not just to compete but to win trophies.
“First of all, our goal for this season is to win the league, and that will consequently see us win promotion to super league. Therefore, the companies that will come on board stand a chance to be associated with a vibrant and emerging champion of Zambian football,” said M’kandawire.