Mayor’s ‘secret’ deal on Gharb football ground scrapped

A deal made by outgoing Gharb Mayor David Apap just a few days before the last local elections has been scrapped, with the locality’s ground to return for the exclusive use of the home team – Gharb Rangers FC.

The Shift reported that the deal, which, according to the committee members of Gharb Rangers, was made without their knowledge by the locality’s mayor, leased their ground facilities to a rival team—the capital’s Victoria Hotspurs.

The committee members, who resigned en masse, accused Mayor Apap of ‘treason’ and claimed that their football club couldn’t continue functioning because it lacked facilities.

In the latest developments, The Shift is informed that the deal between Mayor Apap and Victoria Hotspurs has been scrapped following its revelations.

Confirming its cancellation, a spokesman for Victoria Hotspurs defended the original agreement.

“This deal was in the interest of both Victoria Hotspurs and the Gharb community as through it we were going to pay thousands for the leasing of the Gharb ground and create a top-class academy for all the children of the locality free of charge,” the spokesman explained.

When asked whether he believed it was fair that they use their ground in Victoria as a fee-paying parking lot and then strike a deal with a rival club to take over their facilities, the spokesman vehemently denied the claims.

“The Victoria ground is not ours as it is the property of the local council. Through a management agreement going back some 20 years, ourselves and two other Rabat football teams manage the ground as a parking lot and share the income. It is with this  income we then hire a ground to have a place where we can train our players,” he insisted.

Sources said that that the parking lot generates an estimated €5,000 a week.

David Apap (centre) received an award last year from Minister Owen Bonnici and Parliamentary Secretary Alison Zerafa Civelli for his long service

Asked whether a permit covers the parking facilities, the spokesman admitted that he did not know the details as the property belongs to the local council.

The spokesman defended his club’s dealings with the Gharb Mayor and insisted that it was untrue that Apap did not consult with the committee members of his football club.

“That is a blatant lie by Gharb Rangers. One of the committee members who signed that letter of resignation was present even during meetings held over this deal. This was a political ploy by a member of the Gharb football committee, who also contested the elections on the Labour Party ticket, to harm David Apap’s reputation,” the spokesman claimed without mentioning any names.

When The Shift asked where Victoria Hotspurs will be moving to for their training, he said they are now discussing leasing other facilities in Gozo.

Questions sent to Mayor Apap, who has been re-elected, remain unanswered.

Gharb Mayor David Apap, one of the longest-serving in Gozo, made headlines in 2013 when he was forced to resign from the PN after he was arraigned in court accused of criminal offences, including usury and money laundering.

Apap denies the criminal charges and has remained independent on the local council since then, even though the court case is still ongoing.


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18 days ago

It starts with promises of free training but ends with using the ground as a car booth sale or a parking area like the ground in Birgu! At least the Gharb people are smart!

18 days ago

Fejn hu z zegu????? U l job fantazma li ghandu? Issa madux jaddi romblu minn fuq kulhadd u jamel li jrid?

17 days ago
Reply to  Opportunist

U mhux job fatazzma wiehed glandu ta

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