Football is one of the most watched and loved sports on the planet, and that is no different in Malta. Learn about the growth and history of the Maltese Premier League.
Domestic Maltese Football Explained
When people think of domestic football leagues from around the world many people think of the English Premier League, donning teams like Manchester United, Chelsea, Arsenal, and more or they think of the German Bundesliga or the Spanish La Liga. Undoubtedly, the top European teams and leagues tend to get all of the attention in the sport mainly because that is where all of the money is generated and circulated.
But there are many smaller domestic football leagues in countries that are fanatical about their football, and Malta is one of these countries. The Maltese football league has been around for some time now and has been showing strong growth in terms of viewership and quality on the pitch every single year. Let’s go through the history and development of the Maltese Premier League below.
What is the Maltese Premier League?
The Maltese Premier League is often referred to as the BOV Premier League in recent years, mainly due to their sponsorship agreement with the Bank of Valetta, one of the biggest money trading institutions in the country.
There are various divisions in the Maltese football pyramid with the BOV Premier League at the top, the BOV Challenge League and Izibet Amateur League. The Maltese Premier League does fall within the UEFA coefficient meaning that it can be ranked against other leagues on the continent. At the current moment, the Maltese Premier League ranks 45th out of 55 leagues on the continent but has been showing steady growth year-on-year as it looks to climb the European footballing ladder.
So, what is the format of the league? Well, one indicator of the major growth of any professional footballing league is the format in terms of how many teams compete for the title each year. When the Maltese Premier League was founded back in 1909 there were only 5 teams competing for the league for around 5-10 years.
Now, the league has expanded with far more professional players looking to make their name and perhaps play for Malta in the future. The expansion of the sport in the country has contributed to the growth of the league, and currently, there are 14 teams battling it out every year for the title. That is almost a 3x growth since the league began.
Clubs and Teams
There are many different clubs that have competed in this league, with Valetta FC and Hibernians FC having competed in the league for a whopping 78 times since World War II.
Zejtun Corinthians were the most recent addition to the Maltese Premier League, participating in the 2020/21 campaign, and will almost certainly not be the last, as the league and footballing in the country continue to expand year after year. Betting on the sport is also on the rise too, with many fans looking to the Dunkel Index to help them decide which way to wager. Football can be a fantastic economic contributor and the Maltese government accepts this, as more investment continues to be placed in the footballing structure of the country.