The top 10 priorities for Darmanin Demajo

Sunday, August 22, 2010, 23:46

by Gordon Attard Editor & Owner

With the new elected MFA President Mr. Darmanin Demajo many expect a natural big leap in Maltese Football. Club members, administrators, players and football enthusiasts know exactly what needs to be changed in the local football scene. With many comments posted online and on newspapers I searched and identified the Top 10 things football fans and enthusiasts are considering to see a change in for the best of Maltese Football.

1. League Format – This has been the most talked item on the agenda so far. Currently the Maltese Premier League is played with 10 clubs playing for 3 rounds with points divided in half with the top 6 play in the Championship Pool and the bottom 4 play in the survival Relegation Pool. This is becoming irritating for many clubs! Many local football enthusiasts agree that the Maltese Premier League needs a new format with 12 clubs revolving around 3 rounds. Interesting to notice is that a play off format for the bottom 3 is likely to be introduced with 3rd from last team to play against 1st Division 3rd position team to fight it off for the Maltese Premier League spot. A league format transformation can be only introduced for the 2011/2012 season at the earliest. The start, breaks and the end of the league timeline are to be modified as well.

2. Club Level – The level of clubs in Malta is a big issue. With no standard semi-pro or professional scheme in place for all clubs in the Maltese Premier League (apart from the likes of Valletta F.C and other individual players), such a scheme has to be introduced with the view that clubs are managed better and in the long term will definitely improve clubs’ performance drastically. Such a scheme has to be introduced and managed in conjunction with sponsors and affiliates. This will improve their chances not just locally but in the UEFA competitions where clubs can compete more and qualify for funding to invest in their squad build-up.

3. The Cup – Many want the FA Trophy or other Cups to be extended for all the divisions even Gozitan clubs. It is like the FA Cup in England, with the possibilities to see a Maltese Premier League club to face a Maltese 3rd Division club or a Gozitan club. That would create more interest as surprises can happen. If this format will be implemented, people will be more likely to go and watch the match which at the end means more revenue for the clubs.

4. Youth Facilities – This topic is a delicate one and vital for the development of young players. Out of the 49 football nurseries currently operating, what is the known level of the standard of facilities, training etc..? We all know that many youth nurseries do awesomely great in foreign competitions like the famous Dana Cup, but is that all? Youth Facilities are badly in need of upgrading to sustain the development of top young players. Qualified Coaches together with school collaboration need to assess players especially when players do not attend school or skip lessons. This is a question of player follow up, standards and more discipline! Some people especially parents say that they can’t stand a nursery that have 30/40 kids U14s and most of them they never play. This should be fixed if there is a standard quality in the nurseries. Accepting everyone just to collect their fees is just absurd!

5. Marketing Systems – It is very apparent that local clubs lack marketing strategies! Relatively speaking, we market more foreign leagues like the English Premier League, the Italian Serie A and the Spanish Liga than our Maltese Premier League! With a good marketing team and a logical marketing strategy in place, Maltese local clubs and the National team will surely benefit in the long term. Some said that it wouldn’t be a bad idea to market our League in foreign countries as a stepping stone to bigger European leagues (Valeri Bojinov, Frank Temile are good examples). Internet, livescore websites, video games (Fifa, Pro Evolution etc…) are all sources of marketing exposing Maltese talent. We do not have to copy, we need to innovate and adapt to our local football scene.

6. Regional Stadiums – A must! Why should we watch matches in a 17,000 seating capacity Ta Qali stadium when few hundred people are watching weekend matches? Regional Stadiums is what football enthusiasts are asking. This will bring football much closer to the people and clubs. With 4/5 regional stadiums being renovated, more matches should be played in these smaller stadiums, a change which makes more sense both strategically and financially.

7. Affiliate Clubs – Maltese clubs have to take this seriously. Affiliates with several professional clubs (not just in Italy and England) can only improve the quality of local clubs. Trials exchange, coaching lectures, new technology, football technology & science, mental coaching, personal development etc… you name it, you have it.

8. Ticket Fees & Season Tickets – This is perhaps one of the reasons why local stadium attendance has been on the decline. Ticket pricing does not reflect Malta’s situation. Certain schemes should be introduced like family scheme tickets (for example a family of 4 pays a reduced price) and a season ticket scheme. South End Core section have build a huge fan base in the last years with low prices that students can afford. That is a great example that should not be overlooked.

9. Qualified Coaches & Football Study – There is a general suspicious talk out there about coaches coaching in Maltese Nurseries. Do they hold the necessary qualifications and are they upgrading their knowledge of the game to keep up with today’s football standards? Are they preparing kids to face trials abroad? Are they preparing them enough mentally not just physically? Intensive study should focus on how and why other small nations are improving so fast in their football. What are they doing? What systems are they using? How are they dealing with the kids situations?

10. Media & Publicity – It is only in Malta or what? Many complain why matches of the Malta National Team and Malta U21 are not aired live on the national channel. Where is the local national media support to Maltese football? It is hard to see the local national side if you are not a subscriber to one of the private tv companies. This way have sent people away from watching Malta play. Many are saying that they can’t even see the goals on the 4 minute sports news on national tv. What about our Football Nurseries? A weekly Youth Nurseries TV programme should air on national tv showing Maltese young players football techniques, tactics, self-development etc… rather than just the usual football news. Youth Nurseries surely need more exposure rather than a one off tv programme.


  1. Point 4 -Youth Facilities-The numbers of boys and girls registered with a club is a sore point for small nurseries…we make somersaults to be able to get 11 boys together to form an under 15 or under 17 squad whilst other bigger nurseries have 80 boys in one age category and only 25 make it to the first squad and actually play in the YFA league games.  These nurseries actually organise trials to select the 25 boys and then the rest are left to train and play friendlies when they could easily be loaned to smaller nurseries and thus increase their match practice.  Therefore, in essence, these large nurseries would have a good number of boys that never play in a competitive YFA league match but these still pay the same fee as those who are playing.  
    In our opinion the number of nurseries needs also to be revised.  Demographically the population is decreasing and soon we will have small nurseries dying a natural death.  The amalgamation of small nurseries would lead to these having the ‘numbers’ to be able to participate effectively in the YFA leagues.  This amalgamation would also lead to the joining of forces of these smaller nurseries at a time when volunteers are decreasing by the hour and qualified coaches are very hard to come by and sometimes command relatively good wages that are not easily met by small nurseries.


  2. Mark Agius says:

    Ma nafx kif min kiteb dan l-artiklu qed jghid li il-clubs xebghu b`dan il-format tal-kampjonat. Forsi nesa min kiteb l-artiklu li il-format huwa maghzul MILL-CLUBS STESS ?
    Jaf kemm il-darba xi clubs gergru pero, iddiskutew fli standing committee pero meta gew ghal mument tal-verita preferew li jibqa kollox kif inhu ? Jew forsi ser inwahhlu f`Joe Mifsud ghal dan il-format meta kien xebgha jghidilhom biex jersqu bi proposta ta kif iridu il-league u qatt ma fthemu fuq xejn bejniethom ?

    Dan apparti li ma nafx fuq liema studju xjentifiku xi hadd jista jikkonkludi li kampjonat bi 12-il team u 3 rounds se jkun iktar interessanti u crowd pulling !! Diga illum certu loghbiet ikunu bla sugu u bla importanza. Diga illum bejn 10 teams wara l-ewwel fazi ikun diga ovvju min se jaqa (u ma jkunx waqa ghax jinqasmu il-punti min-nofs) ahseb u ara bi 12 teams u 3 rounds. Sa nofs is-season diga ikun maghrufa it-teams li waqghu u jinqatghu ghalihom xi 3 teams fuq nett …u nassistu ghal nofs stagun ta loghbiet farsa jew bla sugu.

    Imma qishu issa gahx hemm id-Dede se jigru il-mirakli u in-nies flok joqghodu id-dar jaraw il-Premier Ingliz u Serie A se jibdew imorru Ta Qali …. ifhem dejjem ikun hemm cans jaraw il-pastazati li assistejna ghalihom is-sibt li ghadda. Min jaf jekk din hux xi haga mill-priorities ta Darmanin Demajo ukoll !!

    L-aqwa li issa hafna mill-media sources li tghidx kemm hadmu ghalih, fosthom dak li kumbinazzjoni ghamel sena shiha isisb nies li ddejqu minn Joe Mifsud u li riedu bidla – hadhom mieghu on-board halli jkollna cans “nuru” li kollox sejjer sew u niggustifikaw il-problemi kollha.


  3. wenzu says:

    Il- prezz huwa gholi biex tara loghba xi haga hemm bzonn isir u anki il prezzijiet mil bar ikunu iktar ahjar u ragonevoli


  4. jerry says:

    Jekk il – format tal league jinbiddel u nigu bi 12 il- team, jista jkun emm possibilita li jkollna team iehor fl-ewropa , kiku jkun emm hames timijiet, il proffit jistaw igawdu minnu aktar timijiet u bhekk ikun emm aktar finanzi availible biex it – timijiet jissahu billi jaghmlu aktar akwisti qawijien u ta stofa ….. Forza Malta


    Kevin F Reply:

    Bhalissa teams Maltin li jikkompetu fl-ewropa hemm 3, wara li tlifna team minhabba co-efficient baxx…L-unika tama biex jizdied team fl-ewropa huma rizultati ta teams maltin f’dawn il-loghbiet mhux kemm jkollna teams fil-premier league….


    jerry Reply:

    Jista pero jkollna aktar min 4 timijiet fl-ewropa ??


    Kevin F Reply:

    Ifhem habib, nara difficli li jkollna aktar minn 4 meta qed nitkellmu fuq kampjonat prezentament maghmul minn 10 teams li jistghu jsiru 12 mis-season li gej…komparat ma 5 jew sitt teams li jkollom pajjizi b’league ta 20 team…pero ezatt ma nafx….Jista jkun il-kwistjoni tal-co-efficient tghallem mma mhinix cert fuq hekk….

    Gann Reply:

    @ kevin f min dis-sena li gejja ha jerga ikollna 4 timijiet fl-ewropa habba ir-rizultati li gabu it-timijiet maltin dis-sena pero l-coefficients l-uefa tahdimom u ekk u mux tiddecidijom l-mfa

  5. EMAN says:

    il prezz tal ground irid jorhos bix naraw aktar nies il ground , u xi nghidu ghal ground tal hamrun din is sena mort 2 mal familja hallast 16 ewro kull darba u spiccajna taht it tarag imhabba xita u marajna xejn bara li spicajna ghasra ” xjimpurtom l-aqwa li hadu l-flus” jidispjacini imma il hamrun daqsekk mort sakem jamlu xi haga sura


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