The election for the post of President of the Malta Football Association is the main item on the agenda of the MFA Annual General Meeting which will be held on Saturday at the Centenary Hall. Three years after Dr Joe Mifsud was confirmed as president after defeating Norman Darmanin Demajo by 52 votes to 49, the two candidates will be running again for the same post.
Fifty-nine year old Dr Joe Mifsud started his career in football administration in 1967 as secretary of Qrendi FC. Later he also served as club president and also as secretary and president of the Third Division Clubs Standing Committee and Council member. In 1982, he was elected MFA Vice-President.
Ten years later, Dr Mifsud was elected MFA President and therefore has been holding the post for the past eighteen years.
In 1984, he was appointed on the UEFA Appeals Board and in 1994, he was elected for the first time in the UEFA Executive Committee. Last year, he was also appointed UEFA Vice-President.
Dr. Joe Mifsud’s electoral programme: The Past Reflects the Future
Dr Mifsud has presented his programme for the next three years during the MFA Awards Ceremony which was held last month. His programme is based on the notion that ‘The Past Reflects the Future’. Furthermore, it is based on the criteria that the MFA will strengthen its positive aspects, do away with anything that has become out-dated, and will strive to continue to help its Members by offering them a professional service and assistance, including financial aid.
His programme for the next three years proposes that the MFA: –
- Strengthens the Members Clubs and Member Associations Department with the appointment of a Department Manager that would be directly responsible to the MFA President and who would have the responsibility to see that Members get what is theirs by right and in the shortest possible time. He/she would also have the obligation to address and remedy any justified complaint lodged by any of the Members.
- Strengthens the Finance, Marketing and IT Departments for its members to get a better service.
- Strengthens the Media Department for it to function better when it comes to information and public relations.
Strengthens the Referees, Match Inspectors and Coaches sectors so that numbers and standards keep improving.
- Strengthens the work done at its Technical Center so that the quality of training given to our National Teams and youth players will be of the highest possible level. Furthermore, the MFA will continue to invest in modern equipment so that our players will get the best possible rehabilitation when needed.
- Continues with its work to keep its recognition with UEFA as the Local Clubs Licensor so that these may continue to attain licenses at UEFA level.
- Continues its mission to keep its status as a Member of the UEFA Referees Convention, the UEFA Coaches Convention and the UEFA Grassroots Charter, and to carry out the good governance projects as requested by UEFA.
Furthermore, Dr. Mifsud promises that: –
1. The MFA helps Member Clubs (financially), in improving their administration by employing a full-time or part-time administrator, as they may require.
2. Member Clubs will financially benefit from bonuses related to TV rights and International Advertising, if in the Qualification stages for the Brazil 2014 World Cup, our National Team is drawn against any one of those highly rated teams that would qualify our Association for this special bonus. Half of these extra funds received by the Association will go towards the development of local football, with the remaining half being split amongst its members.
3. During season 2010/2011 MFA will negotiate new sponsorship agreements which would offer better financial conditions and services to Member Clubs, and do its utmost to obtain sponsorships for Youths, Women and Futsal Competitions in order to alleviate Member Clubs’ expenses.
4. During season 2010/2011 MFA our National A Team will play a home friendly match against one of the most highly ranked national teams, so that from TV Rights and International Advertising revenues from this same match, the MFA will at the end of each of the upcoming three seasons give each Member Club, the Youth FA, the MFRA and the MFCA a grant of €5,000. For the same three consecutive seasons, the MFA will, instead of the current 50%, cover all the expenses for its affiliated officials who control its Member Associations’ competitive matches, (apart from those of the Youth FA), but will also include those who control matches of the 1st and 2nd Division of the Gozo F.A.
5. With effect from the year 2011, the MFA will top the fund related to Projects for Improvement of Member Clubs’ and Member Associations’ Sports Facilities with €2.5 million, to aid those Clubs which have not yet taken part in this project, as well as to aid those Clubs which have already benefitted, but are contemplating further improvement.
6. The MFA will continue with its negotiations with the Government so that Member Clubs and Football Nurseries will benefit from special water and electricity rates similar to those applicable for social cases.
7. The MFA will again attain funding from UEFA under the ‘FIFA Win in Europe’ Project to continue with improving the National and Centenary Stadiums.
8. The MFA will complete the building of the National Grassroots Centre.
Photo (above): Copyright © domenic aquilina – www.fotoaquilina.com
Fifty-eight year old Norman Darmanin Demajo was among the founders of Luxol in 1968. As a player, he joined Qrendi FC in 1969 and moved to Valletta four years later where he played for nine years. With the Citizens he won the Championship three times and the FA Trophy three times. Darmanin Demajo then joined Melita before returning to St. Andrews.
Turning to the administrative side of football in 1988, he was a Council Member and then an Executive Commitee Member. In 1992, he was elected as MFA Treasurer, serving in the post until 2001. Darmanin Demajo served on the UEFA Youth Committee between 1994 and 2001.
Norman Darmanin Demajo’s electoral programme: Three important priorities – Clubs, Clubs and Clubs
The programme being proposed includes the following:
Investment and Funding
- Continued Direct Investment by the MFA in the Member Club’s Infrastructure to ensure that all Clubs have their adequate training facilities completed within an agreed time frame (Level l) and, where applicable, the further development of these facilities into Regional Pitches (Level 2).
- Direct Investment by the MFA in improving facilities of Member Clubs’ existing stadiums (Level 3), including the Hibernians Stadium at Corradino and the Victor Tedesco Stadium in Hamrun.
- A new and exciting financial package for all the Clubs competing in MFA leagues and competitions will be introduced. The package includes substantial income increases as a result of elimination of the hire of pitch charges for all matches played in all divisions, increased share of gates for home teams based on a proposed new league format that will see the increase in the number of matches played, reduced match day expenses, and the provision of sponsored match balls for all league matches and cup matches played throughout the divisions. Premier League clubs will also benefit from parachute payments, match day privileges which will include the free use of the Ta’ Qali Executive Boxes, VIP match day passes and the use of corporate hospitality facilities for sponsors and guests. The package also provides for measures aimed at assisting clubs in managing and improving their cash flow requirements during the season. All clubs will also benefit from the introduction of an innovative AA (All Access) Season Ticket scheme and from the direct sale of tickets for MFA International matches
UEFA Hat-Trick Programme
- Transparency and full accountability will be given of funds received by the MFA, every season, under the UEFA Hat-Trick Programme.
These funds include the following:
– EUR 250,000 for implementing the UEFA club licensing system;
– EUR 250,000 for non-top competitions participation (U2l, Youths, Women, Futsal);
– EUR 100,000 for implementing the UEFA Coaching Convention;
– EUR 100,000 for implementing the UEFA Grassroots Charter;
– EUR 1 00,000 for improving good governance within the UEFA member association;
– UEFA Jubilee-Mini Pitches programme
- An independent internal audit department will be setup to ensure that funds received from UEFA under the various assistance programmes, will be applied in accordance with the conditions and regulations stipulated by UEFA.
- An assistance package will be agreed with all Member Associations, designed to assist in the organization of the various leagues for amateur and non-league football clubs. The package will include the financing of the referee costs and venue playing costs, as well as the free use of a new Football Business Centre at Ta’ Qali for use by all Member Associations for the holding of their meetings, workshops, seminars, as well as the provision of adequate archiving space. This Centre will include all communication technology, administrative or secretarial needs.
- Discussions will be held with the Youth FA regarding the relocation and incorporation of the Youth FA administration within the Ta’ Qali Complex, and the initiation of discussions with the Youth FA leading to the eventual transfer, use and management of the Centenary Stadium as a permanent “Grassroots Centre and Home for Youth Football”.
- A number of educational and social initiatives will also be introduced with the co-operation and in collaboration with the YFA and the Gozo Youth FA.
- Continued direct investment by the MFA in infrastructural projects designed to enhance the facilities of the Gozo Stadium, recognizing Gozo as a possible venue for the staging of International Matches.
- Discussions will be held with the Gozo FA with a view to address matters and difficulties that specifically involve Gozitan clubs when competing in MFA leagues and competitions.
These issues include:
– Proposed changes to the MFA statute regarding the registration of Gozitan players with individual Gozitan clubs;
– Technical and administrative assistance for Gozo FA and Gozitan clubs;
– Special considerations and allowances for Gozitan youth teams taking part in MFA leagues;
. Discussions will be held with the Gozo FA regarding new initiatives and ideas that could be considered for mutual benefit such as the individual participation of Gozitan teams in the proposed new format for the FA Trophy etc…
- Discussions will be held with the MFRA regarding the relocation of the MFRA administration within the Ta’ Qali Complex.
- A number of incentives will be introduced designed to attract more individuals, male and female, to the refereeing profession.
- A new revised package of benefits (covering allowances, training kits, uniforms and equipment) will be proposed to existing referees aimed at motivating and improving the quality of match officials at all levels Le. grassroots, amateur and professional level.
- Twinning arrangements with Referees Associations of other countries will be sought, encouraging exchanges of referees designed to give local referees more exposure to international experiences.
- Transparency and accountability will be given regarding the application of funds received by the MFA (EUR 130,000 per season) under existing the UEFA Convention and other agreements.
- A direct investment will be made in coach education and training. This will include the setting up of a National Coaching Library which will provide software application programs and interactive coaching and match analysis tools designed to assist coaches all the way from grassroots level to the professional game.
- The MFA will offer the MFCA suitable premises within the Ta’ Qali complex including the free use of the Ta’ Qali training grounds for workshops, seminars and continued education programs.
- Transparency and accountability will be given regarding the application of funds received by the MFA (EUR 100,000 per season) under the UEFA Coaches Convention.
Ta’ Qali Technical Centre
- A fully qualified Technical Director, with experience in coaching and football management at top level in European leagues, will be engaged at the Technical Centre which will be transformed into a networking hub for all member club coaches, teams and technical staff, who will work together towards ONE common goal …
Raising the level of football at Club level!
- To work towards this goal, the Technical Centre at T a’ Qali will adopt an open house policy, and seek to work hand in hand with Clubs Coaches on a day to day basis.
This will imply the following:
– Full co-operation and assistance will be given to Club Coaches from the Ta’ Qali Technical Department;
– Direct assistance, when requested, to Member Clubs at all levels of the game i.e. technical, tactical, physical fitness, sports science, goalkeeper coaching, mental preparation, etc…
– Use of the Technical Centre facilities Le. National Football Library, equipment for video production, match analysis programmes and software, etc…
– Subsidized technical courses, workshops and continued coaching education seminars run by foreign experts;
– Sports Science Centre that will use the latest methodology to assist our players reach higher performance levels.
– Sports Business Centre with meeting rooms and facilities for the free use of the MFA Clubs, member associations, referees, coaches, etc…
– Medical &. Sports Psychology Clinic to be responsible for doping control, basic physiology education, and the awareness and importance of sport psychology and mental fitness in the preparation of athletes;
– Prevention and Counselling Clinics on social drug and alcohol awareness
The National Teams sector
- A complete review will be made of the present set-up and system regarding the preparation of all MFA teams competing at National level. The final document will be agreed upon after consultation with the Technical Director, the National Team Coach, the Club Coaches and all Club representatives.
Professional Marketing Department
- A professional marketing department will be set up to implement a number of marketing initiatives and opportunities that presently exist and that would generate substantial additional income, for the benefit of the Association, the Member Clubs and Associations. A projected total income of EUR 3 Million is being set as an attainable objective for the coming three seasons.
Help Desk and Customer Care Department
- The MFA will provide all members with immediate access to a help phone or help desk where guidance and assistance can be sought by Member Clubs and Associations regarding any administrative issue that the Member Clubs and Associations may need assistance with. This service will be provided within an agreed and reasonable maximum response period.
- A complete review of the present system of MFA financing will be undertaken with a view to bringing the MFA more in line and up to date with modern methods of raising capital. A Finance Committee composed of qualified professionals will consider alternative ways of finance to ensure that all present MFA commitments will be honoured, and at the same time provide for the fresh injection of capital that is envisaged for investment in the infrastructural projects that have been mentioned above.
Other Financial Assistance to Clubs
Transfer Credit Scheme
- The transfer of players between clubs is constantly constrained by the lack of funds available in the local transfer market. This lack of cash flow imposes player stagnation and restricts the movement of players which eventually results in the loss of players who move away from the game and fall out of the system due to lack of interest or frustration. The Transfer Credit scheme will attempt to address this issue with the injection of fresh capital into the local transfer market and providing Clubs with a credit amount per Club, which funds will be backed by MFA long term funds, and which amounts will be used by Clubs only as a medium for effecting transfer fees. The terms and conditions applicable to these Transfer Credits will be agreed to between the MFA and the Clubs willing to participate in the scheme.
Club Collateral Scheme
- A common problem faced by member Clubs involves the raising of funds for short term loans and/or to overcome periods of negative cash flows during the football season. This problem is mainly due to the fact that Banks do not recognize the value of players held on Club books, and therefore will not usually lend funds unless personal and other guarantees are given on an individual basis. The Club Collateral Scheme being proposed is designed to address this issue and assist clubs in meeting short term finance requirements from Bank loans guaranteed by an MFA fund that will be made specifically available for this purpose.
This scheme will assist Clubs to better manage their finances, and more importantly, promote and advocate the better administration and management of Club funds.
Diploma In Club Administration
- The new era being proposed for Maltese football will bring with it new opportunities and new streams of income for all Member Clubs. This will encourage the Membe Clubs to make the switch from part time to full time administration, in order to be in a better position to take full advantage of these opportunities. To assist the Clubs in this regard the MFA will organise and run free courses and workshops which will be specifically tailored to meet the needs and requirements for thEeprofessional administration of local football.
The courses will lead to an MFA recognize Diploma in Club Administration and successfu candidates who take on full time employment with Member Clubs will be eligible to apply for an MFA grant of up to EUR 8,000 per season.
- Confirmation of commitments made by MFA President, Dr. Joe Mifsud regarding the payment of a grant to Member Clubs and specified Associations from proceeds of Television Rights from National Team Friendly Match.
Dr. Mifsud recently announced the payment of a grant of EUR 5,000 payable to each Member Club, financed from the proceeds of the TV rights of the match scheduled to be played against a top popular National Team. Recent media reports have suggested that this team is Italy. On confirmation of this fixture by the MFA, this commitment will be honoured in full and the amount earmarked to the Member Clubs will be paid, as promised, at the end of every season, for the next three seasons. In addition to the Member Clubs, the grant will also be payable to the Youth FA, the MFRA, the MFCA and the Gozo FA.
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