Joseph Muscat will lead premier football clubs association

Seven clubs vote in favour of Muscat becoming new clubs’ association chairman, four vote against and three abstain  

Joseph Muscat is being tipped to head an association of professional Maltese football clubs
Joseph Muscat is being tipped to head an association of professional Maltese football clubs

Seven out of 14 clubs forming part of the Malta Professional Football Clubs Association have voted in favour of Joseph Muscat becoming the new association chairman.

Members had already met last week to discuss Muscat's prospective appointment to head the association after Santa Lucija FC president Robert Micallef stepped down from the post recently. Micallef is acting as interim president.

The association, formed last year, represents premier league clubs and is autonomous from the Malta Football Association. It comprises 14 clubs from Malta's top-tier football league.

In a Facebook post, the association confirmed Muscat’s appointment, stating he will be heading reforms which will lead to an organisation which administers the Premier League separately from the MFA.

“The changes will lead to a Premier League that is more professional, sustainable, and attract more spectators to the stadium and on television,” the statement read.

NET Television’s Replay reported on Thursday said the secret vote was taken after a heated discussion, with clubs in favour and against Muscat’s appointment forwarding arguments behind their decision.

It is understood that the former PM was the only candidate for the job, after no other individual put their name forward for the post.

In a Facebook post, former MP Jean Claude Micallef had announced that he wanted to contest for the role of CEO of the MPFCA.

Micallef said that he could not allow the reputation of Maltese clubs to be tarnished. “I took this step today, because I can never allow the reputation of Maltese clubs to be tarnished,” Micallef said, without making direct reference to Muscat.

He said that he believed the Premier should be detached from the Malta Football Association and appoint a chief executive to push forward the plans of the respective clubs.

But Micallef’s request was quickly turned down by the association, who said it had no intention of appointing a full-time CEO.

Questioned on their respective clubs’ position, the presidents of Hamrun, Floriana and Hibernians football clubs had refused to comment on reports suggesting former prime minister Joseph Muscat will be next president of their association.

The three club presidents also said the issue is currently being discussed internally, refusing to divulge their respective clubs' position on Muscat heading the Malta Professional Football Clubs Association.

Joseph Muscat reacts

Reacting to news on his appointment, the former PM thanked premier league clubs for approaching him for the post.

“My role will not delve into the administration of individual clubs, but to draw up a project of ambitious but achievable reforms which will modernise the top tier of Maltese football,” he said.

Laying out the reforms, Muscat said he wants to see premier league cubs becoming more sustainable, while generating independent income.

He also said that he wants to see the league attracting more spectators, on television and at the stadium. Muscat also said he wants to see more young talent emerging in the local scene.

The former PM also said he wants to see more diversity in club administration, with the added involvement of women.

Joseph Muscat also said that he wants to see Maltese clubs competing at more advanced stages of European competitions.

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