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Watch: Generating new revenue streams crucial to ensure financial sustainability for clubs, says Joseph Muscat

Says VAR Technology will be introduced in the next couple of years

Joseph Muscat said that the Malta Premier League’s joint venture agreement with the Malta Football Association pushes closer to the modernisation of our clubs and the Premier League.

“It was part of the mandate given to the MFA president that the Premier League will be organised autonomously in a joint venture with the Malta Premier League,” Muscat said.

“Our main aim is to make the championship more attractive and attract more spectators to our stadiums and for this aim, we are looking at different models that will generate more revenue for our clubs and that they can use these funds for new projects for the good of Maltese football.

“The MFA had so many responsibilities when it came to organise all national championships on the island that it couldn’t concentrate on maximising the revenue streams for the Premier League. With this joint venture, this responsibility is being passed on to this new company and Premier League clubs.

“Clubs will not benefit overnight on revenue streams generated by the new-look Premier League but we believe that they will start benefiting within three years. These funds will help clubs to improve their financial sustainability and also ensure that we don’t need to fork out money to organise the championship as it will become self-sustainable through these generated funds.”

Dr Muscat said that one of the biggest projects the Malta Premier League is looking at is the introduction of VAR.

“If we want to have a professional league we must introduce VAR technology,” Dr Muscat said.

“It would be an illusion when one says that we are playing professional football without having the VAR Technology. Professional football without VAR is like going back to the 1970s when we used to play on hard ground rather than turf. You are still playing football but the difference of playing on hard ground to playing on turf is huge.

“It’s not going to be easy as this technology costs a lot of money but through the funding of UEFA and the fact that the cost of technology is going down every year, I think that within a couple of years, we will be able to have VAR in Maltese football.”

The Malta Premier League chairman admitted that the organisation of Malta’s top flight offered great challenges but said that they are ready for it.

“Next season will be an early curve for us and one of the main challenges will be to take care of the logistics among other.

“But we are ready to make the necessary changes to improve football in Malta. We have several innovative ideas that will improve the football movement.

“This is the first season when clubs are forking out money along with the Malta FA to reward those clubs who are fielding Maltese talent in their teams. The perception that the Premier League is dominated by foreign players is not true as many Maltese players are playing ahead of foreigners in our clubs and that is very positive.

“We have other goals for the future, with one of our main objectives being to see many Maltese clubs be successful in European competitions.

“Clubs this year had to take some tough decisions, such as to decrease the number of top-flight clubs from 14 to 12 for next season, with four teams being relegated.

“But that shows the maturity of small clubs that put the interest of Maltese football at the forefront and that has to continue to be the norm if we are to continue to improve the Premier League.”

This joint-venture agreement between both entities builds on the allocation of competencies. are the governance, club licensing, player status and disciplinary process remains under the full remit of the Malta FA, whereas the commercial, branding, and other marketing rights will be entrusted completely to the MPL.

Sporting Regulatory matters such as composition and format, match calendar and football operations, will be shared competences where both entities share equal responsibilities.

The Malta FA will receive no paid-out financial dividend from the league, although a segmented yearly subvention will continue to be distributed to the league to support the league with organisational costs.

The Malta FA will also focus on the oversight and needed compliance to ensure the highest standards in accountability, transparency, and integrity. A Chairperson and two Directors from each side shall be appointed as part of the Board of Directors of the company that will be created to manage the project.

MFA president Bjorn Vassallo and MPL chairperson Joseph Muscat will both sit on the Board of Directors as ex-officio members.

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