Premier League Business Model details revealed

Increased opportunities for a fan base for clubs, improved gate income receipts for clubs, a review of the calendar and format for the BOV Premier League and an income redistribution model based on the principle of solidarity are the main objectives of the Premier League business model being proposed by MFA president Norman Darmanin Demajo. Darmanin Demajo gave more details about the proposals during a press conference at the Centenary Hall, Ta’ Qali on Tuesday.

The MFA President said discussions with the Premier Division Clubs Standing Committee started in July and then continued in November, December and February.

Darmanin Demajo said that the major issues discussed included the introduction of a season ticket – either a ticket covering the matches of one particular team or a ticket for all matches; the cost of the season ticket, the revision of match-day ticket prices; authorised sellers for tickets; a review of the Premier League format and a revised gate income distribution model.

The MFA President said that among the main conclusions from the meeting with the PDCSC, the season tickets would be introduced as from season 2016/17 with the season tickets covering all Premier League matches, and not just the matches of one particular club, and possible including FA Trophy matches and international friendly matches.

Season ticket can be shared, transferred or co-owned. These would be sold by Premier League clubs.

All match-day ticket booth income will go to a pool. After the deduction of match-day expenses, the resultant balance will be divided equally among the clubs. Season tickets will also include the pool element, Football Social Responsibility, IT Licensing and MFA administrative costs.

The suggested price for season tickets, starting from season 2016/17 will be of €230. There will be no VIP season tickets. The price of match-day tickets will increase from €7 to €10 or €12 and from €4 to €5 for Kartanzjan holders. The price increase is meant to encourage people to buy season tickets. The Family Stand will remain open for families and nurseries.

As regards the Premier League format, Norman Darmanin quoted one of the founder members of the Premier League, Peter Kenyon, who said that the right size for the Premier League would be to fill up all available weekends, taking account of the international calendar; not have more than two rounds and top-team clashes should not happen more than twice.

The MFA is suggesting a Premier League made up of fourteen teams playing on a two-round basis with no division of points. There will be seven matches each weekend playing on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays playing at three venues – National Stadium, Hibernians Stadium and Victor Tedesco Stadium.

The Premier League would kick-off in the second weekend of September, just after the international dates and would come to an end in April with the FA Trophy semi-finals and final being played in May. There would be no matches in the Christmas period and there would be no mid-week matches. Darmanin Demajo said mid-week matches always posed logistical problems for all. Another option would be to start in mid-August.

Darmanin Demajo said that an increase of the number of teams would make the league more competitive at every tier where there are usually four to six teams challenging for honours, four mid-table teams and six to four teams fighting to avoid the relegation spots. He said that the introduction of the seven foreigners per team rule has reduced the gap between top and bottom teams.

The MFA president stressed that the increase in number of finalists in the EURO and the UEFA Champions League resulted in significant increases in income and participation bonuses. He said the larger the number of teams the greater chance of attracting more spectators from all parts of the island. He went on to ask what was wrong with allowing more clubs to enjoy a season or two in the Premier League while providing more opportunity to have Maltese players playing in the top division. Darmanin Demajo said that the recent proposed law on commercialisation of sports facilities could attract new investment and business interests who will be more willing to invest if a particular team could compete at the highest level.

As regards ticket-prices, the MFA president said that for holders of season tickets, one would be paying just €2.95 per match-day if attending for the three match-days every week; €4.42 per match-day if attending for two match-days every weekend and €8.84 if attending for one match-day per weekend.

Darmanin Demajo said this business model provides for increases in all income generated by Premier Clubs but is also dependent on the clubs’ ability to sell season tickets to their supporters. He revealed that if among them, clubs manage to sell 2,000 season tickets, the amount generated would be eight times as much as current income

The MFA President concluded by saying that the top fixture games will be played at Ta’ Qali and for this reason, the MFA will further invest in Ta’ Qali to make it an attractive weekend destination. Apart from the new surface for the pitch at the National Stadium, there will be Platinum Seats and improved hospitality at the Millennium Stand D and E which could host up to 470 spectators.


  1. With season tickets at €230 as being proposed, that means that if you go to every league game you would have paid €8.85 per game. That’s still an increase of €1.85 per game on last season and €2.85 more than promised by NDD before he got elected. And I’m not even considering that most people won’t be able to attend every single game (sickness, Friday game while stuck at work etc). So how exactly is the loyal fan being rewarded for his loyalty here? If anything he’s being screwed.

    1. How can a fan of a club attend a match-day in a particular stadium when his club is not playing? Will he be interested in such game? It is highly unlikely that he will. Therefore such “favorable discounts” in ticket prices if one holds a season ticket are purely a bluff.

      It is analysed that a fan buying a season ticket will still be worse off from the current season to the new one by €0.70 per match day calculated on the differences between increase in the current season ticket prices from €7 to €8.85 and and the discount he is getting from the new match-day ticket prices of costing him €8.85 instead of €10.

      Please be mindful the loyalty fans should rewarded by attending FA Trophy matches for free, as advancing in such matches is a bonus for the club and fans should be rewarded for having paid a large sum of money in advance.

  2. This proposed new format of 26 LEAGUE match days, excl Trophy Fixtures, will be a decrease of 6 week-ends of Maltese Football!!!!

    Apparently this Forteen Team Premier league format, writing off the HALVING of POINTS, will materialize as all the PREMIER Clubs but one are in favour.

    In my opinion 26 weeks, compared to the present 33 weeks from August to April, results in a short SIX Month LEAGUE SEASON !

    It is essential to keep as CLOSE to the EXISTING 33 match-day format as possible !.

    Therefore I would like to suggest an extension of a Third round over the 26th Match-day, resulting in 32 MATCH-DAYS! You may ask …. Why 32 and not 39 when the Premier will have 14 Teams. (0NE Team versus 13 x 3 = 39.

    My proposal is that in a THIRD Final Round the League Divides in TWO DISTINCT SECTIONS where the Top and Lower SEVEN Teams will play in HIGHLY INTERESTING (sort of Play-offs), a Round Robin of SIX matches (26+6=32). This, in a way, would be SIMILAR to the ‘recent’ past format when we had the Championship and Relegation POOLS.

    Thus every team (eg. Sliema Wanderers.) in any of the two RESPECTIVE sections will on the resultant additional match-days face the other six, favourably having two matches, the first being a lower SECTION encounter followed by a Top Clash at each Stadium.

    1. CORRECTION regarding match-days….’will be a decrease of SEVEN WEEKENDS (not six)’ .

      I would also like to suggest that the number of foreign players on the pitch should be revised and reduced to SIX.

      Generally our Premier Teams’ goalkeepers happen to be Maltese thus leaving only a minimal number of THREE ‘outer-field’ positional places for the locals to fill !

      Maltese players, particularly Nursery Players, will hardly have a chance/or hope to make the grade where the seven ‘foreign’ players already outnumber Maltese, by more than DOUBLE !

      It’s obvious that this is spoiling and doing great harm to the local game.

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