Controversial big developers behind move to push disgraced former PM Muscat for MFA presidency

The unexpected news that several Premier League football clubs are seeking to appoint disgraced former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat as chairman of the newly founded Malta Professional Football Clubs Association (MPFCA) is the first step in an pre-planned strategy to position him as the next President of the Malta Football Association (MFA), The Shift has learned.

This strategy has already been secretly agreed upon by three top tier clubs, Paola’s Hibernians, Hamrun Spartans and Gzira United, which are putting pressure on the other clubs to support their bid to appoint Muscat to this new position.

The Shift has learned that Hibs Team Manager, Jesmond Abela, known as ‘il-Hutch’ and very close to Muscat and Konrad Mizzi, is the main instigator of this plan, and has involved controversial developers Joseph Portelli (President of Hamrun) and Charlon Pace (Gzira United). 

The latter two are also ardent supporters of Muscat who made significant, very lucrative, business deals when the disgraced former prime minister was in power.

The Shift has been told that during a meeting reserved for the 14 presidents of the Premier League clubs yesterday evening, discussing the way forward to form this new association, no formal vote was taken. 

However, despite some opposition from certain clubs, who argued that Muscat is “too tainted” and “divisive” to represent football and deal with the authorities, Muscat’s name was still the only one put forward, and he is expected to be appointed during another meeting scheduled for next week.

Although only Valletta and Gudja have openly criticised Muscat’s appointment and made it clear that they are not comfortable with him representing  them, The Shift is informed that other clubs also disagree with the proposition and are in talks to propose an alternative.

Money, huge debts, and the end goal

Muscat, who was forced out of government after only six years in office due to the unprecedented corruption and criminal activity which had taken over his government, has been seeking a rehabilitation through football since his humiliating resignation.

Originally, Muscat had been touted to take over the running of a Maltese club, formed by the MFA, aimed at participating in the Italian third division (Serie C) league.

During his last weeks in Castille, Muscat made commitments with the current president of the MFA, Bjorn Vassallo, to make available substantial government funds (9 million) for the project, with the unwritten understanding that Muscat would take over the team’s administration after he stepped down from office.

This deal never materialised however, as the pandemic disrupted the MFA’s plans while Muscat’s successor, Robert Abela did not like the idea of giving any sort of power to his former boss and disgraced Labour leader. As a result, the pledged 9 million was never passed on to the MFA.

During this period, relations between many Premier League clubs and the MFA soured, as some presidents, mostly businessmen with many interests, complained that financial help promised by the MFA wasn’t followed through.

It’s an open secret in football circles that most of the Premier League clubs are in deep debt, with most of them approaching insolvency. The model they operate is unsustainable, and at times approaches what has been described as ‘shady’. 

Premier League sources said that the move to involve Muscat is an attempt to get financial assistance from taxpayers’ funds by pressuring the prime minister to intervene and save some clubs from almost certain bankruptcy.

However, the same sources told The Shift that the appointment of Muscat at the helm of the association would be “a massive risk and might backfire”.

“No sitting prime minister will ever help his predecessor to shine. Relations between Robert Abela and Muscat are very bad, and the clubs pushing this idea may be miscalculating. This will come back to haunt them,” the sources said.

The election for a new president of the Malta Football Association is due next year.

 

                           
                               
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Henry Pace
Henry Pace
1 day ago

How miserable is the situation in Malta

carmelo borg
1 day ago

Riha ta drangg jew demel qed jinxef deq inxhom. Ma min rajtek xebbahtek ZEP u ifimni

Francis Said
Francis Said
1 day ago

What about the Office of Joseph Muscat? Is he not being appointed in his far reaching experience as a Consultant?
He should be working Saturdays and Sundays too.
No time to travel or involve himself in other sectors, I would not trust him to give consultations to the village grocery shop. I say this with full respect to all the grocery shops in Malta and Gozo. In the majority of groceries great service with a smile.😳

Last edited 1 day ago by Francis Said
jingo
jingo
1 day ago

Football: a nice way of laundering money?

Thomas Clinch
Thomas Clinch
1 day ago

Min Bela jrid ikompli jibla… pajjizna SAR ta ftit min nies li belaw L’Alla li halaqhom…IL loghba Tal football ser tithameg izjed Mili qat kienet…Trid u le nafu l’koll li set tithol IL politika… gejjien Ghar min pajjis ta dittaturi…kul fejn tmur kollox labour u jekk ma taqbilx jitnejku bik ..harsu lejn kul dipartiment Tal gvern u taraw min qed jilhaq u jgawdi bla hnina… good luck lil dawn in nies imma issa haluwna mqar ingawdu IL loghba li tant inhobu… tipruvawx tikonvincu bi kliem u wediet zbih ghax mahniex Gahan kolla…naf li qed nejd hawn ma jfiser xejn ghax fejn jithol Dan li gi vutat liktar bniedem korrot fid dinja kollox isir kif jejd huwa… Pajjizna spicut…Gadafi Style

carlo
1 day ago

Is football to fall prey to the most corrupt pm Malta ever had? Isthi idher quddiem nies mhux bizzejjed to tappant isem Malta u lMaltin inkluz uliedek?

joseph
joseph
1 day ago

What a boring,depressing island Malta has become!

David
David
1 day ago

Rejba kbira ghal flus sar dan il pajjiz. Fejn hi l FIAU ????? Football ghal hasil tal flus biss. Kif jista jkun thallas dawk il pagi esegerati u perkacci ohra ? Minn fejn huma gejjin il flus ? Source of Funds ????

N Scerri
N Scerri
20 hours ago

Jekk ma sabu lil hadd ahjar vera braindrain kbir hawn Malta u ha jibqa Mafia biss fuq din il gzira.

saviour mamo
saviour mamo
19 hours ago

Thank God I don’t follow local football.

Raymond Borg
18 hours ago

How can a nation get so low

Iain Morrison
Iain Morrison
18 hours ago

I wonder if Mr. Muscat, once installed as MFA President, would be entitled to travel abroad with a dipomatic passport…
Clearly this would give him immunity from arrest or prosecution and he can travel with impunity.

joe tedesco
joe tedesco
17 hours ago

THE MFA IS DOOMED AND SOON TO FALL INTO DISGRACE.

Carl
Carl
7 hours ago

obviously they could not leave it with nothing in hand … This island in a few years will be a desert everyone will escape..

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