Malta Premier League proposes ‘Apertura and Clausura’ format

If approved by the Malta Football Association, the format will have opening and closing rounds, with the possibility of playoffs at the concluding stages of the competition

Ta' Qali National Stadium (Photo: MaltaToday)
Ta' Qali National Stadium (Photo: MaltaToday)

The Malta Premier League has announced members clubs have voted in favour of a new league format known as ‘Apertura amd Clausura’.

The format will have opening and closing rounds, with the possibility of playoffs at the concluding stages of the competition.

A spokesperson for the Malta Premier League said the proposal will now be presented to the Malta Football Association executive following talks which have already been held with the association’s administration.

Details will be made available once the process has been concluded.

Apertura and Clausura

The Apertura and Clausura format is used in Mexico's Liga MX.

Deviating from the traditional European football season where a single campaign stretches over the better part of the year, Liga MX has a completely different structure and crowns not one winner, but two.

In Liga MX, the season is divided into two league tournaments - the Apertura (meaning 'Opening') and the Clausura (meaning 'Closing').

The Apertura runs from July to December and the Clausura runs from January to May.

Each league competition is exactly the same in format, with 18 teams competing and playing each other once. The league section is then followed by play-offs - known as La Liguilla, meaning 'short league'.

The top four teams automatically qualify for the Liguilla quarter-finals, with the other four places decided through another mini-tournament involving the eight teams that finish 5th to 12th in the league.

Each season, therefore, the Liga MX crowns a champion twice - the Apertura champion and the Clausura champion. The winners of each then face off in the Campeon de Campeones game in July.

Over the course of the two tournaments the host team is flipped so that every team plays home and away against every other team.

The thought process behind the split season is to create a better product and, in turn, generate more revenue.

The draw of the shorter tournaments is that more is left riding on each match, in theory creating more excitement and buzz, which leads to larger audiences and, in the long run, more money.

Since the 1996 season, Mexico has used the split-season system that confirms two winners – but in different formats.