MFA president confident national team players will accept new bonus system

MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo is confident national team players will accept the new bonus system which is performance-related. Darmanin Demajo was speaking during a meeting of the Council of the Malta Football Association during which he revealed that he met three players who were representing their colleagues earlier in the afternoon.

The MFA President gave a background of the whole issue, saying that the association had embarked on a project to revamp the Technical Centre by investing in it and setting up a Science Sports Centre. He said the new administration wanted to eliminate possible grudges between the MFA and clubs.

In view of this, the training schedule has been changed and a new technical director had been appointed. Robert Gatt and Dr David Attard recently visited a new science sports centre which has been set-up in Wales as the association is aiming at having its own science sports centre soon. The MFA will also appoint a sports psychologist within the Technical Centre.

Darmanin Demajo said that he and other MFA top officials had met the national team and the Under-21 national team players where they explained their vision on how to improve the level of the game.

The MFA president said he thinks there is room for improvement and feels that the idea of the national team as just another club side was not right. The association’s vision was that of having payments related to performance rather than having allowance for training sessions.

He said that although the players did not object to these proposals during the meeting, on February 2, the players wrote a letter in which they explained that they were not accepting the association’s proposals. They also requested a meeting.

The meeting was held last Monday and during this meeting the new bonuses were revealed. Darmanin Demajo said that there was a substantial increase in the bonus offered ‘per point obtained’ while the new concept of ‘line-up’ bonus was introduced. This meant that the eighteen players on the line-up for a particular match would receive this bonus. He said that it was evident from this meeting that the national team players were against losing the training allowance.

The MFA President believes that although it was true that the team does not obtain obtain points from each and every game, the team had the potential to do better. He said the players should not have a defeatist attitude.

The two parties agreed that the Executive Committee and eventually the Council would continue to discuss the whole issue. In the mean time, the players had decided not to report for training. A decision which surprised the MFA president.

Darmanin Demajo admitted that he felt that the players would welcome the new bonuses as they would receive much higher bonuses should they obtain positive results.

The MFA President revealed that earlier in the afternoon, three players representing the rest of their team mates requested a meeting with him and the Chief Executive Officer Bjorn Vassallo.

He said that during this meeting, the players seemed to accept the concept of bonuses related to performances. The only stumbling block is related to the fact that the line-up bonus will only be received by the eighteen players in the squad for a particular game while the other players who fail to make it to the final squad will receive nothing.

Photo: Copyright © domenic aquilina/MFA