MFPA reacts to comments by Birkirkara president, MPL replies

The Malta Football Players Association (MFPA) refers to the comments made by Mr Michael Valenzia, President of Birkirkara Football Club, about the issues surrounding the help provided by our Association to a player before signing with Birkirkara FC during the January transfer window and at the same time the transfer ban imposed on the club. 

For the sake of fairness and clarity, the MFPA would like to highlight the key points which led to this situation as these were regrettably left out by Mr Valenzia when speaking about the matter during Kampjonat on TVM Sport+ on Monday.

First and foremost, the comment that the MFPA acts as an agent for players is completely unfounded and incorrect. MFPA provides advice on contractual matters to every member player that asks for this assistance as part of a vast array of services the MFPA offers to its member players. 

During the mentioned period, Birkirkara FC were banned by FIFA from registering new players over their failure to honour their contractual obligations towards one of their former players.

Acting on behalf of this player, the MFPA had sent Birkirkara FC a letter and no fewer than three reminders to pay the player’s wages who was not paid for three consecutive months, reinstate him in the first-team squad and allow him to train with his team-mates after he was isolated and spent over a month training on his own. The MFPA also asked the club to conduct an independent investigation over an alleged incident involving this player and their former coach. 

Our repeated appeals to Birkirkara FC went unheeded and consequently a claim was filed with the FIFA Dispute Resolution Chamber who, on the 26th October, 2023, communicated the decision with grounds in favour of the player and that Birkirkara FC must pay the outstanding wages and remuneration, and were also ordered to pay compensation for breach of contract without just cause. Birkirkara FC had also been duly informed about the impending transfer ban if they failed to make the full payment to the player within 45 days.

The MFPA wants to emphasise that it’s unrealistic for a club to expect them to request a ban after a player’s registration has been finalised. Even though in this case, the MFPA assisted another player with contractual matters, this aligns with the ongoing commitment to actively support member players – and these services are offered free of charge, contrary to what was implied by Mr Valenzia.

The MFPA is duty-bound to defend and safeguard the rights and interests of all member players, without distinction – this is the essence of our mission. It is also why the Association also supported the player who won their case at FIFA’s Dispute Resolution Chamber in October.

In reality, the club had sufficient time to address the situation and avoid the registration ban. Once they complied with FIFA’s decision and compensated the player, they were able to register new players.

Malta Premier League reacts to MFPA statement

The Malta Premier League makes reference to the claims made by MFPA in regards to Birkirkara FC and club President Mr. Michael Valenzia and the case of a particular.

Besides the fact that the claims are non factual, the MPL cannot but note that the MFPA and its secretary acted with two hats at the same time.

The MPL will support Birkirkara FC’s decision to take the case to the Ethics Committee of the Malta Football Association.

On the base of content, the MFPA statement is incorrect, in so far as the club did not have any prohibition until the said morning as can be confirmed by the MFA itself.  The prohibition only kicked in when the MFPA secretary wrote to FIFA while at the same time he was adjusting clauses in another player’s contract when he knew the club could not register him due to this. 

To aggravate matters, the MFPA did not even inform the player they were allegedly advising, about these developments.