For the first time, a Memorandum of Understanding has been agreed between the Association and Premier League and Challenge League clubs which brings together in one document a number of principles and incentives applicable to the two top divisions. This agreement is establishing mutual goals and expectations by all parties involved.
The MoU has a duration of one season and touches on aspects of direct relevance to the clubs such as agreement on the key dates of the season calendar and access to a number of support schemes that have been reconfirmed.
The implementation of the Development Pot with increased incentive payments is one key feature. The scheme is aimed at supporting the use of young players by rewarding their clubs for every appearance with their senior team.
A new initiative is the extension of insurance coverage of the entire pool of players forming part of the National Team to cover not only injuries sustained during international commitments but also at club level.
The Association is also running its Elite Players Development Project, providing an individual training programme to 30 players who are part of the youth National teams.
Premier and Challenge League clubs will continue to be assisted financially where they engage a qualified administrator. The support has increased for clubs who opt to employ such an administrator on a full-time basis.
For the first time, clubs will be receiving a nominal grant for each player who is called up with the Men’s A National Team. Clubs will be releasing such players earlier than the established FIFA international dates during the international windows. This would enable the National Team to prepare itself better for its increasingly congested international fixtures.
National Youth Team players and development programmes also feature in this agreement, providing for the possibility of holding training sessions for National Team players in the youth sector, as well as within the newly established Regional Football Hubs run by the “Inħobb il-Futbol” Foundation.
Sporting Regulatory Framework
Meanwhile the agreed sporting regulatory framework will be reflected in new regulations that will be proposed for the approval of the Council.
Premier League clubs shall be submitting a squad list of a maximum of 25 professional players at the start of the season.
One significant change for the Premier League as of next season is that the match sheet will be extended from 18 to 20 players, with nine non homegrown being allowed on the match sheet, with the maximum number of non-homegrown players on the pitch remaining seven as in previous seasons.
The Executive Committee endorsed also the decision to shut down the MFA Swimming Pool, with Malta FA President Bjorn Vassallo claiming that the facility is not financially viable for the Association to maintain, particularly following the challenges faced during the pandemic and instead a new commercially driven concept is being proposed.