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‘A normal business transaction’: Sirens president defends nine-player transfer

Sirens president Mark Borg Hedley (left) with Medeama SC chief Moses Armah Park.

Mass transfer from Ghana champions is ‘in line’ with premier league rules

The Sirens FC president has played down the controversy surrounding the club’s agreement with Ghana champions Medeama SC to sign nine players during this summer’s transfer window.

“For us, this is normal football-based decision, which every club does at the end of the season when trying to strengthen its squad,” Mark Borg Hedley told Times of Malta.

On Wednesday, Medeama SC announced they had reached an agreement to transfer nine players from the same club to Sirens FC, in a transaction believed to be unprecedented in Maltese football history. 

Defenders Daniel Opoku and Moro Muktar, midfielders Kwasi Donsu and Prosper Owusu Boakye, winger Akadom Mohammed Hafiz, and forwards Charles Agyemang, Frank Boateng, Joshua Agyemang and Bismark Asare have all agreed professional contracts with Sirens FC.

All the players formed part of the Medeama FC team that won the 2022-23 Ghana Premier League title with a five-point margin, the first league title in the club’s history.

Medeama FC said Donsu, Boateng, and Agyemang have signed a one-year loan deal while the remaining six players have put pen to paper on a permanent contract.

Top Maltese clubs can sign up to 16 foreign players

According to new rules introduced this season by the Malta Premier League, top-flight clubs in Malta can sign up to 16 foreign players and register a maximum of 14. The remaining two can be sent out on loan.

“This agreement has already been done previously by other clubs here in Malta, with the last one being as recent as last year,” the Sirens president said in reference to Mosta’s agreement with Nigerian side Panthers FC, which had acquired five players. 

“At the end of the season, we were approached by officials from the Ghana club with this offer and we took it into consideration. To be honest, it’s a model I was keen on after seeing such agreements turning out to be successful at other clubs in Malta.

“The president of Medeams SC came to Malta and after discussions we concluded that this is a win-win for all parties, in particular since the players will get the necessary visibility in a football league in Europe”

The Sirens FC president said the wages of the newly-signed players will be paid by the club, rejecting suggestions that the Maltese club will not be footing the bill. He did not specify the total cost of the deal. 

“The wages of these players will be paid by our club like any normal transfer agreement,” Borg Hedley said.

“Sirens FC operates on a very low transfer budget compared to our clubs and this transaction will enable us to remain on our pre-set objective of not spending more than we can. This deal will in no way increase our expenditure bill.”

He said Medeama SC boasts a huge squad of players and their main objective behind this deal was to part ways with a number of players from their team so they could be able to strengthen further the club ahead of the new season.

“With transfer regulations here in Malta giving clubs, the option of unrestricted acquisition of non-EU players put us in a favourable position to complete the deal. In fact, in countries like Italy clubs can only sign two players from outside the European Union, so such a deal wouldn’t be possible.

“We are hopeful that one of these players will stand out during his stay at our club and, who knows, we will be able to sell him to a bigger club and bring in much-needed financial revenue for us.”

Borg Hedley said that the newly-acquired Ghana players have already started their pre-season training with coach Steve D’Amato.

The players were previously analysed through normal online football libraries which we are subscribed to, but the club still retained the right to terminate agreements if the players fail to reach the expected technical level.

Moses Armah Parker, the president of Medeama Sporting Club, told media in Ghana that the deal with Sirens FC was part of the club’s strategy of exporting talent outside the African country.

“In fact, at the moment we are looking for another proposal with another club from Europe and Asia but for now the only one that has been completed is the deal with Sirens FC.

“I travelled to Malta a few weeks ago and spent several days concluding but the process began a year ago and with the official of Sirens FC coming to Ghana to scout for players,” he said, pointing out that the transfer of 10 players to a European club is a first in his country. 

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