Malta FA finalises internal consultation process regarding club licensing reform

The Malta FA, through its Clubs’ Licensing Reform Committee, has finalised the internal consultation process with all the member clubs in the three divisions of the National League, in its commitment to ensure fairer competitions, financial discipline, long-term stability and sustainability. Proposals presented covered key areas such as Youth Development, Infrastructure, Administrative, Financial Parameters and Legal Criteria.

The Committee explained that member clubs will be expected to commit to minimum standards to meet the requirements imposed in the three-tiers of domestic football:

• All Premier League Clubs shall reach a professional standing by strengthening the professional status of players and staff together with the creation of a professional football league;

• The Challenge League shall be considered as the intermediate level supported by a semi-professional license; whereby a member club can follow a hybrid system allowing for players to have either a professional or amateur status;

• The Amateur League shall operate in a fully amateur and community based setup.

Following a thorough study and analysis, the timeline also included external and interal dialogue with different stakeholders and other specific sectors and the concentration now is on the returned feedback from the respective divisions and the drafting of the final document for approval.

In this context the phased implimentation of the new regulations of the Club Licensing shall be done gradually over a number of seasons.

The reform committee, led by Dr Peter Fenech, is part of a bigger drive to improve and enhance the governance of the Malta FA, a review being led by vice-president Dr Matthew Paris. The Licensing Reform is the second step of the statutory reform launched last year as part of the Malta FA’s three year plan. This also included the Statute Reform which was finalised in July 2021 and next is the reclassification of member clubs through the Corporate Restructing Reform to be completed by 2023.

The implementation of the new rules will represent challenges for several clubs. The Malta FA nevertheless is convinced that only by dealing with the current difficulties in a systemic way, will fair competitions be ensured and financial discipline and stability in the long term be enhanced. This reform will be followed by another review in the Nursery licensing to ensure that youth setups align with today’s footballing landscape.