Delia distances himself from Dar tal-Providenza donation, calls out media for ‘casting doubts’ on his work

PN MP Adrian Delia shirks responsibility for Dar tal-Providenza donation now up in smoke 

Nationalist MP Adrian Delia
Nationalist MP Adrian Delia

Nationalist MP Adrian Delia has brushed off responsability for a €500,000 donation to Dar tal-Providenza he presented in the name of Catco Group after the home announced on Saturday that it would not be accepting the sum.

The donation was presented by the former Opposition leader on the first day of 2020.

Delia’s offer had caught the organisers of the fund-raiser by surprise, when the €500,000 offer – roughly 25% of the charity’s €2 million target – could not be instantly verified.

The pledge went ahead anyway, with Delia taking the limelight during the fund-raiser as the face of the half-million donation from CATCO, whose chairman Fisal Alokla had been recently appointed chairman of Sliema Wanderers FC.

Delia credited Jeffrey Farrugia, the former footballer who this week resigned as Sliema Wanderers president, as having introduced him to the opportunity to work with the donors.

Għal darboħra hawn min anke fl-iktar ġest sinċier biex din id-darba nipprova ngħin lil min l-iktar għandu bżonn ippruvaw...

Posted by Adrian Delia on Saturday, February 6, 2021

Reacting to the home’s announcement that it would not be accepting the donation, Delia said he had not made any personal gain, but had accepted to make the pledge on the group’s behalf.

He also blamed members of the media for “wanting to cast doubts”, insisting he will continue to help those in need.

“And for those who only want to cause disruptions, I will answer with more work,” Delia said.  

MaltaToday had spoken to the MP prior to yesterday’s announcement, in light of the troubling financial situation the Sliema club were facing over the past few weeks.

“All I did was bring the two parties together for a charitable act,” Delia said when asked whether he would enquire about the Catco Group’s standing in the wake of its failure to honour its own commitment with Sliema.

Since being roped in as a main sponsor of the football club in August by president Jeffrey Farrugia, Sliema Wanderers has not seen a cent of investment by the Catco Group and players’ wages remained unpaid.

Delia had even credited Jeffrey Farrugia, the former footballer who this week resigned as Sliema Wanderers president, as having introduced him to the opportunity to work with Catco. Now the final sum of money donated during the Festa ta’ Ġenerożità held 1 January 2021 has now been revised down to €2,031,540.

Jeffrey Farrugia resigned his post as president last week after a pledge by the Catco Group’s chairman to resolve the issue of unpaid wages, went unfulfilled.

The sudden departure of the club president, despite promises that he would resolve the financial woes that beset the most successful club in Maltese footballing history, has left Sliema in turmoil.

Farrugia, whose presidency was a surprise promotion to the traditional role of team manager he has held in the many clubs he worked for, had told players the Tunisian sponsor was finding it difficult to open a bank account in Malta to be able to transfer the sponsor money.

But Adrian Delia was unfazed by the situation at the club. “I have my own limitations. I know nothing about the situation, and cannot base my opinion on just news reports,” he told MaltaToday.

The lucrative donation to Dar tal-Providenza was the straw that broke the camel’s back for the Sliema players, according to sources close to the club. “Imagine not being paid for a year, and all of a sudden you see Delia with a €500,000 cheque. Players feel very frustrated about the situation,” a club source told MaltaToday.

Sliema’s financial difficulties predate the arrival of Catco, with some players reportedly having been unpaid since February of last year. The arrival of Jeffrey Farrugia with his promise of a lucrative sponsorship deal (see separate story) brought hope. But as the months rolled on, player wages remained unpaid and Catco Group’s commitment has been put into serious doubt.

READ ALSO: Sensational €500,000 pledge fronted by Adrian Delia will not happen – Dar tal-Providenza