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Pembroke Athleta committee members against president’s stance to forfeit top-flight place

Three members of the Pembroke Athleta Football Club issued a statement on Thursday to show their complete disagreement towards the club president’s stance of wanting to forfeit the club’s place in the Premier League due to financial reasons.

Last month, Pembroke Athleta president Alex Calleja told the Times of Malta that his team will be forced to relinquish their place in next season’s Premier League as the club are not in a good financial position to fulfil their ambitions in the Maltese top flight.

However, it seems that the president’s stance is not backed by all members of the Pembroke Athleta SC committee as three of them issued a statement saying that if the club pulls out of playing in the Premier League would have serious repercussions on the image and future of the club.

“Half of the existing committee are in complete disagreement with the decision the President wants to take to not only forfeit the hard-earned, prestigious right to play in the Premier League but to relegate the club to the BOV Amateur League,” the statement said.

“We sternly believe that this goes against the values and spirit of Fair Play and Sportsmanship that our club should stand for and that this will have very serious repercussions on the image and future of the club, the Pembroke community and sports in general.

“A motion that was voted upon during AGM was voted upon an incorrect pretence because the true and fair picture was never presented to the committee members and hence we believe that the vote is invalid as it was not based on factual, objective information.”

The three committee members added that since the news broke out the club received various offers of assistance from local and foreign investors.

“Further developments as confirmed by the President himself since the news broke out have led to vast interest from local and foreign investors and partners who were willing to assist the club and make sure that it was economically viable for the club not only to participate in the Premier League but also to pay off its current debts,” the statement said.

“Unfortunately, none of these alternatives were brought to the committee for discussion and the decision was taken unilaterally by the President himself to discard all the options available and persist in relegating the club.

“Individual members who voiced their disapproval and expressed their concerns have been threatened, intimidated, harassed and coerced by the President himself and his acquaintances in an attempt to be silenced.”

The statement said that that the only members in favour of the position to relegate the club to the National Amateur League are the President himself and the two other committee members, who are both members of his family.

“The members have been requesting an Extraordinary General Meeting to be called upon to be able to discuss and decide on these developments which have so far not even been acknowledged,” the statement added. “The members are united in their resolve that the club’s sporting interests and values should always come first and will take all action to ensure that such interest is upheld.”

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