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Watch: MFA submit proposals to Sports Minister for change in Premier League club ownership model

Malta FA president Bjorn Vassallo addressing the media. Photo: Matthew Mirabelli

Football governing body signs joint venture with Malta Premier League

The Malta Football Association and the Malta Premier League have signed a joint venture for the next five years that will see the establishment of a league entity that will manage Malta’s top-flight championship.

The agreement was signed by Malta FA president Bjorn Vassallo and Joseph Muscat, the chairperson of the Malta Premier League, during a news conference at the Tony Bezzina Stadium.

Vassallo said that the signing of the agreement was a historical moment in Maltese football.

“This is a very significant moment in the history of Maltese football,” Vassallo said.

“For the first time, the Malta FA is entering a partnership with the Malta Premier League and the member clubs that form part of it. From when this agreement will come into effect, 115 years will have passed since the first championship in 1909-10 and for us, this is an opportunity that if we make the most of it, the Premier League will enjoy great benefit.

“It’s time for the Malta FA to decentralise competitions that it has been responsible for as since times have changed, we need to take specific strategic decisions.”

Malta FA president Bjorn Vassallo explains plans to change ownership models in Premier League clubs. Video: Matthew Mirabelli

The MFA president said that an increase in commercial revenue will be a primary objective for the Premier League clubs under the new format.

“In previous eras, club presidents had a lot of clashes with the Malta FA, particularly on commercial rights from the Premier League,” Vassallo said.

“I’m sure that these former presidents would be happy seeing the formation of this joint venture that will no doubt work hard to improve the clubs’ revenue from commercial revenue from the Premier League.

“Now the responsibility falls on the Malta Premier League and the club presidents who have the responsibility of taking important decisions aimed at improving the championship and attracting a bigger audience.

“Fans want to see a more competitive and attractive championship and although there are limited resources there has to be a marketing and commercialisation plan that will lead to more financial stability for the clubs.”

During the press conference, Vassallo revealed that talks are currently ongoing with Minister for Sport regarding a new ownership model that will lead for a corporate restructuring of the top clubs in Malta.

“We have opened talks with the Minister for Education and Sport regarding a new model that will lead for a corporate restructuring,” Vassallo said.

“We are discussing on a new model of club ownership and how it will work in the future. It’s useless turning the Premier League into a professional model if our clubs’ administration are elected through the Annual General Meeting.

“We need to see clubs turn into private companies that will be open for different models that exist in Europe where football takes the commercial element as its base so that it will have a strong financial stability.

“That is why as an association we have changed our regulations and we have tabled several proposals to the authorities that once an agreement is reached will see us classify those clubs that will remain on an amateur basis and others who will work professionally.

“There is a need of a change in legislation so that we find the right model so that in the end the club presidents will have their investment safeguarded and clubs will be able to benefit from financial sustainability.

“This sustainability will give the opportunities to clubs to look at a long-term sporting investment and the club can create his own sporting philosophy.”

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