Joseph Muscat appointed chairman of football club board promises reforms

Updated with Facebook comments from Joseph Muscat.

Former Prime Minister Joseph Muscat was appointed by Malta’s top-flight football clubs on Thursday to head a panel representing them.

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

Although Muscat was the only name suggested for the post, it did not enjoy the support of all 14 members.

In a Facebook post after the vote, Muscat said he would push ahead with 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 help clubs attract more fans, attract new players and achieve higher standards in European football.

“At several stages in my life, when I spoke about my plans, I was met with skepticism. In my new volunteer role, as I did at Pat, I will let the results speak for themselves,” Muscat wrote.

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

Muscat’s appointment to the MPFCA is his first public office since resigning from office amid a political crisis surrounding the killing of journalist Daphne Caruana Galizia.

At one point, it looked like Muscat might be challenged by a former member of his faction.

Former Labor MP Jean Claude Micallef had said he would throw his hat in the ring as he could not allow the sport to be “tainted”.

It was later revealed that he had emailed the MPFCA to express his interest in the chief executive position, but the association later said that such a position was not available.

The football body was set up last year with the aim of splitting off responsibility for running the Premier League, which is currently administered by the Malta Football Association.

It is made up of the 12 presidents of the Maltese Premier League clubs and is tasked with protecting their interests.

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

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

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

That failed as Muscat was still an MP and State Department rules prohibit MPs from having any role within the federation.

A few months later he resigned from the house.

During his last speech as prime minister, Muscat had also hinted that he would move into the sporting community.

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