Maltese Premier League

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Maltese Premier League
MaltesePremierLeague.jpg
Organising bodyMalta Football Association (MFA)
Founded1909; 112 years ago (1909)
Country Malta
ConfederationUEFA
Number of teams12
Level on pyramid1
Relegation toMaltese Challenge League
Domestic cup(s)Maltese FA Trophy
Maltese Super Cup
International cup(s)UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa Conference League
Current championsĦamrun (8th title)
(2020–21)
Most championshipsSliema Wanderers and Floriana (26th title each)
TV partnersTVM2 & Melita Sports 1 (live matches)
WebsiteMFA.com.mt
Current: 2021–22 Maltese Premier League

The Maltese Premier League, known as BOV Premier League for sponsorship reasons with Bank of Valletta (colloquially known as Il-Kampjonat Premjer), is the highest level of professional football in Malta. Managed by the Malta Football Association, the Premier League is contested by 16 teams and operates on a promotion and relegation system with the Challenge League. As of July 2021, the Premier League ranks 46th out of 55 members in the UEFA coefficient.[1]

The league was first competed in 1909 as the First Division, before switching to its current name in 1980;[2] the First Division in turn replaced the Second Division. Sliema Wanderers and Floriana have won the title a record 26 times. The current champions are Ħamrun who won their 8th title in the 2020–21 season.

Format[edit]

Starting from the 2021–22 season, the Premier League is contested by 12 clubs. The Premier League consists of two rounds. In the First Round, every team plays each opponent twice, once "home" and once "away" (in actuality, the designation of home and away is purely arbitrary as most of the clubs do not have their own grounds), for a total of 22 games. The league then splits into two pools. Earned points are subsequently halved. Teams that finish in positions 1–6 compete in the "Championship Pool" and teams that finish in positions 7–12 play in the "Relegation Pool".. Teams receive three points for a win and one point for a draw. No points are awarded for a loss. The club with the most points is crowned as champion. If two teams are tied in points (for any place), there will be no tie-breakers will play a decider match. If three or more teams are tied in points (for any place), there will be check by Head-to-head points and the best two teams will play a decider match

To determine the champion or qualification to UEFA competitions, a play-off is played to determine the winner. The two lowest placed teams are relegated into the Challenge League and the twelfth-placed team plays a play-off against the third-placed team from the First Division with the winner either keeping their place or get promoted to the top-tier league.[3]

European qualification[edit]

UEFA coefficients 2018–19
Rank Association Coefficient
5 43 Luxembourg Luxembourg 5.625
2 44 Armenia Armenia 5.250
2 45 Malta Malta 5.250
-4 46 Estonia Estonia 5.000
-2 47 Georgia (country) Georgia 4.750

Clubs finishing the season in the top positions of the Premier League are granted qualification to compete in one of UEFA's European competition. This is determined by Malta's position in the UEFA coefficients ranking system.

As of the 2017–18 season, the league winner qualifies to the first qualifying round for the UEFA Champions League. The second- and third-placed teams qualify for the first qualifying round and the preliminary round for the UEFA Europa League, respectively. An additional Europa League place is taken through the country's domestic cup competition, the FA Trophy. If the winner of the FA Trophy qualifies for Europe through their league position, the fourth-placed team in the league qualifies for the Europa League's preliminary round.

League committees[edit]

The Premier Division Standing Committee (PDSC) is a body composed of the Premier League club presidents who represent their club on a board. These do not have executive powers but are a formal body that has official influence with regards to rules, regulations and issues that relate to the league. From time to time the committee makes proposals to the respective and MFA bodies for approval.

Venues[edit]

Ta' Qali Paola
Ta' Qali National Stadium Tony Bezzina Stadium
Capacity: 16,997 Capacity: 2,968
Malta TaQali.JPG Hibernians Ground.jpg

Clubs[edit]

2021–22 season[edit]

Twelve teams will compete in the league.

Team In league since City
Balzan 2011 Balzan
Birkirkara 1990 Birkirkara
Floriana 1986 Floriana
Gudja United 2019 Gudja
Gżira United 2016 Gżira
Ħamrun Spartans 2016 Ħamrun
Hibernians 1945 Paola
Mosta 2011 Mosta
St. Lucia 2019 Santa Luċija
Sirens 2019 St. Paul's Bay
Sliema Wanderers 1984 Sliema
Valletta 1944 Valletta

Champions[edit]

In total, ten clubs have won the Maltese championship, including titles in the old First Division which was replaced in 1980 by the Premier League.[4] Of the winners, three have been champions more than 20 times: Sliema Wanderers (26 titles), Floriana (26 titles), and Valletta (25 titles).

The honour of Golden Stars was introduced in football to recognize sides that have won multiple championships. In Malta, clubs are permitted to place a golden star above their crest for every ten nation championships won. Sliema Wanderers, Floriana and Valletta boast two golden stars, and Hibernians have one golden star placed above their crest on their jerseys.

Club Winners[4] Runners-up Winning years
Sliema Wanderers 2/2 stars 26 29 1919–20, 1922–23, 1923–24, 1925–26, 1929–30, 1932–33, 1933–34, 1935–36, 1937–38, 1938–39, 1939–40, 1948–49, 1953–54, 1955–56, 1956–57, 1963–64, 1964–65, 1965–66, 1970–71, 1971–72, 1975–76, 1988–89, 1995–96, 2002–03, 2003–04, 2004–05
Floriana 2/2 stars 26 12 1909–10, 1911–12, 1912–13, 1920–21, 1921–22, 1924–25, 1926–27, 1927–28, 1928–29, 1930–31, 1934–35, 1936–37, 1949–50, 1950–51, 1951–52, 1952–53, 1954–55, 1957–58, 1961–62, 1967–68, 1969–70, 1972–73, 1974–75, 1976–77, 1992–93, 2019–20
Valletta 2/2 stars 25 18 1914–15, 1931–32, 1944–45, 1945–46, 1947–48, 1958–59, 1959–60, 1962–63, 1973–74, 1977–78, 1979–80, 1983–84, 1989–90, 1991–92, 1996–97, 1997–98, 1998–99, 2000–01, 2007–08, 2010–11, 2011–12, 2013–14, 2015–16, 2017–18, 2018–19
Hibernians 1/1 star 12 15 1960–61, 1966–67, 1968–69, 1978–79, 1980–81, 1981–82, 1993–94, 1994–95, 2001–02, 2008–09, 2014–15, 2016–17
Ħamrun Spartans 8 11 1913–14, 1917–18, 1946–47, 1982–83, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1990–91, 2020–21
Birkirkara 4 8 1999–2000, 2005–06, 2009–10, 2012–13
Rabat Ajax 2 1 1984–85, 1985–86
St. George's 1 4 1916–17
Marsaxlokk 1 1 2006–07
The King's Own Malta Regiment 1 0 1918–19

Bold teams are Current in the Maltese Premier League.

Italic Season Unbeaten

League appearances[edit]

Player Matches
Mario Muscat 501
Brian Said 425
Stefan Sultana 424

Bold denotes still active players.

References[edit]

  1. ^ "UEFA Country Ranking 2019". kassiesa.home.xs4all.nl. July 26, 2018.
  2. ^ "The Premier League Is 25 years old". The Malta Independent. August 14, 2005. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
  3. ^ Camilleri, Valhmor (July 5, 2016). "BOV Premier League to increase to 14 teams". Times of Malta. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
  4. ^ a b "Malta - List of Champions and Runners-Up". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. May 2, 2018. Retrieved September 8, 2018.

External links[edit]