Joseph Muscat appointed head of football club body, promises reforms

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Updated with Facebook comments from Joseph Muscat.

Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was endorsed by Malta’s top football clubs on Thursday to become the head of a body representing them.

Malta’s Premier League clubs have voted to appoint Muscat as president of the Malta Professional Football Clubs Association (MPFCA). He was named earlier this month.

While Muscat was the only name proposed for the post, he did not enjoy the support of all 14 members.

In a Facebook post after the vote, Muscat said it would push ambitious reforms to make Malta’s football clubs more sustainable by being able to generate more business and revenue streams. He would also work with the MFA to ensure clubs can attract more supporters, attract new players and achieve higher standards in European football.

“In several phases of my life, when I have spoken about my projects, I have been met with skepticism. In my new volunteer role, as I have done in the past, I will let the results speak for themselves- same,” Muscat wrote.

Sources said Muscat was elected with seven votes for, four against and three abstentions.

Muscat’s appointment to the MPFCA is his first public office since he left office amid a political crisis linked to the murder of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

At one point, it looked like Muscat would face a challenge from a former member of his caucus.

Former Labor MP Jean Claude Micallef had said he would throw his hat in the ring because he could not let the sport be “tarnished”.

It later emerged that he had emailed the MPFCA to show his interest in becoming chief executive, however, the association later said no such position was available.

The football body was established last year, with the ultimate aim of offloading responsibility for the management of the Premier League – currently managed by the Malta Football Association.

It is made up of the 12 presidents of Malta’s Premier League clubs and is intended to protect their interests.

Muscat replaces current president Robert Micallef, president of Santa Lucia FC.

It is understood that Muscat harbors ambitions to take over the administration of the island’s top football league in a few years.

In 2020, Malta weather reported that Muscat had met senior MFA officials at their headquarters in Ta’Qali to discuss a plan to send a Maltese team to compete in Italy’s Serie C.

This failed because Muscat was still an MP and MAE rules prohibit MPs from taking a role in the association.

He left the House a few months later.

During his last speech as prime minister, Muscat also suggested he would make the transition to the sporting community.

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