Regulatory framework agreed for Premier and Challenge Leagues

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.