Muscat plan to split Premier League in two championships gets UEFA green light

UEFA wants play-off final or final four tournament to settle winner in new Premier League format


Malta Premier League chairman Joseph Muscat (Photo: James Bianchi)
Malta Premier League chairman Joseph Muscat (Photo: James Bianchi)

UEFA has given the green light to a new proposed league format that the top-flight association Malta Premier League and the Malta FA submitted for approval.

But UEFA made some minor adjustments to the format to ensure sporting merits and rankings.

This consists of introducing a play-off final or ‘final four’ to determine the teams that will represent Malta in the UEFA Club competitions.

“UEFA concluded that the new proposed league format meets its key requirements is in conformity with its regulations,” the Malta Premier League said in a statement. “The green light was given following minor tweaks to the proposal to further assure sporting merits and rankings.  This includes the introduction of a possibility of both a play-off final and a final four according to the standings of the opening and closing rounds. This decision was a condition to the MFA’s prior approval of the new league format.”

The 14 clubs forming part of the Malta Premier League had also given their approval to the new format.

The format submitted by MPL chairman Joseph Muscat consists of having the Premier League championship formed by 12 teams. Currently there are 14 playing.

The 12 teams will be competing in two phases – a winter championship and a spring championship.

In the first phase of the championship, the 12 teams face each other in a round-robin format in the first round. At the end of the first round, the championship will split into two sections, featuring the top six teams in one and the remaining six teams in the other.

The first-placed team in the top six section will be declared the winner of the winter championship, while the bottom two teams in the bottom six section will face relegation.

The Premier League championship will then resume with the second phase, the spring championship. Here, all teams will again start from scratch and no points will be carried from the winter championships.

The same format of the winter championship will again be adopted, with all teams facing each other in a round-robin format, before being split into two sections of six teams each.

If the top-placed side in the spring championship is the same as the one that topped the winter championship they will be declared Malta champions.

If there are different teams, UEFA’s proposal of introducing a play-off final or final four will come to effect.

A play-off final for the championship will be played in the case that the same teams will be placed in the top two teams with one placing first in the opening phase and is runner-up in the second.

Should four different teams will placed in the top two places in both phases of the competition a Final Four tournament will be played, and will decide the Malta champions and the other two teams that will qualify for European football.