MFA President Norman Darmanin Demajo stressed the association is committed to helping clubs become more professional during the traditional end-of-season speech in the last Council meeting for season 2010/11 which was held on Monday.
Darmanin Demajo opened his speech by saying that the current administration wanted to be at the service of the game and this is what they tried to do over the past twelve months. He said that several work has been done on the project meant to improve clubs’ facilities. Most clubs now have adaquate facilities and in a few months’ time, there will only be a few clubs left without proper training facilities.
The MFA president said that he managed to obtain a bank loan from Bank of Valletta, amounting to € 13 million which covers both the payment of previous loans and the completion of the project. He thanked the Government for its support through the Kunsill Malti g?all-Isport and the Good Causes Fund as thanks to them the amount available has been topped up by another € 2 million.
Darmanin Demajo said the new administration’s mission was that to invest the money earned by the association. He said that the MFA Technical Centre was given a revamp and the Youth Football Association was given new premises at the Centenary Stadium which will eventually become the cradle of youth football once all leagues from the lower divisions will move to the regional stadiums.
He went on to say that the Victor Tedesco Stadium is being upgraded and eventually major upgrading will take place at the Hibernians Stadium. Darmanin Demajo revealed his dream to to have another stadium built in the south of the island.
The MFA President said the association will now turn its focus on marketing and revealed that new sponsorship agreements with Bank of Valletta and Maltco Lotteries for the sponsorship of the National Leagues and the FA Trophy respectively are expected to be concluded shortly. He said the MFA is now seeking a sponsor for the national team.
Corporate hospitality at the National Stadium is another focus for the association with Premier League clubs being offered the facilities to host their guests on match days at the VIP Area. The association invested heavily in an electronic gates system and LED advertising system at the National Stadium. The parking area underneath the Millennium Stand has been refurbished.
Darmanin Demajo explained that the association ‘lost’ around €400,000 of its usual revenue which is now going directly in the clubs’ accounts.
The MFA President said that at UEFA, he established good contacts with Michel Platini, Gianni Infantino and especially Theodore Theodoridis who has been of great help. Darmanin Demajo said it was very comforting to have the backing of the European body.
In his conclusion, Darmanin Demajo urged clubs to be more professional. He said the association will be obtaining funds which will help clubs appoint a full-time administrator because in his opinion, clubs can no longer be run on part-timers only. He also said that even the association itself should become more professional as it cannot rely only on officials working at the MFA on a part-time basis only.
Darmanin Demajo also hinted that Council meetings could be held early in the afternoon and the association would consider remunerating Council members for taking time off work to attend these meetings.
Photo: Copyright © www.stephengatt.com