The State of Maltese Football
May 27, 2019
BOV Premier League
Most Championships: Sliema Wanderers, 26
Last 5 Winners: Valletta (18/19, 17/18, 15/16), Hibernians (16/17, 14/15)
UEFA Ranking: 45th
Highest Ranked Club: Valletta, 233rd
As a minnow of European Football, what do Maltese fans and teams expect from their European campaigns and what would qualify as a success?
Well, from these major qualifications we never really expect anything big – I mean, at this point the fans have abandoned the idea that we can upset someone. Nonetheless, with the latest injection of youth blooded into the teams, and the victory over the Faroe Islands, the team is starting to look more proactive. Therefore, the fans are hoping that against teams of our level, we can be more offensive which leads to the idea that if we at least put up gutsy and offensive displays, that is already a big step forward for us.
How much do the fans and teams look forward to European competition?
In terms of qualifying, I think there is a big interest even though the fans lament over Malta’s performances. In terms of the major competition, this island goes crazy because it loves international football.
Is funding ever a problem for Maltese sides in European competition in regards getting to and from away games?
Well, lately the Malta FA is starting to invest in charter flights so the previous problems are now avoided (having connection flights which took days sometimes).
Is a Champions League / Europa League game involving Maltese side watched by most of the nation?
Well, we are speaking about qualifiers that are played in the evenings of July, in the middle of summer, so to be honest, there is not really much interest unless the draw puts a Maltese team with a big team.
Do you think UEFA are doing enough to help the minnows of European football and what can they do to further help them?
Depends from which perspective you see it – in terms of helping them enter the major competitions, it is not helping of course because the new format is actually making it more difficult for teams of minnow nations to advance.
What it can do is maybe reverse its decisions and bring the Champions League in the same format it was in the past, but obviously it won’t happen so the dream of seeing a Maltese club in the CL or EL will definitely remain a dream.
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Author: Tom Mortimer
Tom is the editor at Betting Circle and has been creating online content for over 10 years. Tom mainly writes about sport and gambling, but every now and then also delves into fleshier subjects like politics and psychology. When he was 18 he created HungarianFootball.com and over the last few years he's written on a freelance basis for ESPN, WorldSoccer, Goal.com, among many others.