St. George's slam decision by special commission

St. George’s issued a statement to condemn the decision by the special commission appointed by the Malta Football Association to decide on due compensation following the corruption case in the First Division match between Vittoriosa Stars and St. George’s which was played on December 27, 2008.

The commission awarded St. George’s €3,500.

The special commission, which was made up of chairman Magistrate Dr Dennis Montebello and members Dr Matthew Brincat and Nicholas Xuereb, made it clear that its job was that of deciding the compensation due to St. George’s by Vittoriosa Stars with regarding to the loss the club may have suffered from the life ban handed to two of their players in proportion with the degree of responsibility of Vittoriosa Stars due to the involvement of a member of their committee in the case.

In its report, the commission stated that St. George’s had based their arguments mainly on the loss of transfer fees which they could have obtained had these two players be transferred to other clubs. St. George’s presented the certificates showing the parameters for the two players amounting for a total of €29,653.32 but the commission felt it had to find an alternative way to find the real value of Lawrence Mizzi and Andrea Gatt on the market.

The commission said there were no transfers between First Division clubs or from First Division to Premier League clubs during season 2008/09 meaning that there was no demand for First Division players. Since there was no demand on the market, the commission could not consider the figure of €29,653.32 but had to establish their value ‘arbitrio boni viri’.

The report states that this had to be influenced by the fact that the two players were involved in corruption and therefore could not be considered to be reliable persons who put the interest of their club and their team mates first.

The commission says it could not put the whole reponsability on Vittoriosa Stars to make up for the loss suffered by St. George’s.

Vittoriosa Stars were therefore ordered to pay €3,500 to cover part of the loss suffered by St. George’s and moral damages.

The statement by St. George’s FC describes the commission’s decision as “ridiculous and could possibly lead for more such cases as definitely it does not encourage clubs to be aware of any case of corruption and report such cases.”

St. George’s pointed out the special commission attacked the method with which parameters are established by the Malta Football Association and the commission established the value of the players arbitrio boni viri and therefore if the association was going to accept this decision, the method with which parameters were established had to be revised

The committee said it could not understand how the special commission concluded that the players’ behaviour which put their personal interest first was due to their upbringing and the level of education they received.

St. George’s also said that they could not understand how the special commission decided on the amount of €3,500, which is just 11 percent of the parameters of the two players as established by the Malta Football Association. The club said that it did not agree with the commission’s conclusion that since there were no transfers from Division 1 to the Premier League during season 2008/9, there was no demand for players as St. George’s had transferred a player to Marsaxlokk in the beginning of that season.

The committee feels disillusioned for the fact that such a serious case of corruption was treated this way although it is well known how UEFA deals with such matters and what happens in other countries.

The club feels that it should continue to pursue its interests from who is responsible for the case. The committee will soon hold an Extraordinary General Meeting during which members will decide on the future participation of St. George’s FC within the Malta Football Association.