Maltese football league system

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The Maltese football leagues system of association football is made up of a set of leagues organised and controlled by the Malta Football Association. Malta has had a top level football division since 1909, it continues on today with the current system.

Older System[edit]

This system included 4 tiers. All of the leagues are currently sponsored by Bank of Valletta:

Level League/Division
1 Maltese Premier League
10 clubs
2 Maltese First Division
10 clubs
3 Maltese Second Division
10 clubs
4 Maltese Third Division
21 clubs in two groups

Premier League[edit]

The Maltese Premier League is probably most criticised for a format that is similar to that of the Scottish Premier League, where the league is split up into two phases, a first one with two rounds (home and away – formally, since the league is played within 3 or 4 stadiums only), and the second phase accommodates a split of the 12 teams into a Championship Pool (top 6 teams) and the Relegation Pool (bottom 6 teams).[1][2] Also, a particular characteristic of the Maltese Premier League is that once the split takes place, the points gathered in the previous two rounds, are halved, supposedly to create more competition.[3][4]

Other competitions[edit]

In parallel to these leagues run a number of Knock Out competitions, the most prominent one being the FA Trophy.

Old Format[edit]

On January 13, 2011, the Malta Football Association decided to restructure the format of the leagues as from season 2011–12.[5]

Thus the system in force from season 2011–12 came to read:

Level League/Division
1 Maltese Premier League
12 clubs
2 Maltese First Division
14 clubs
3 Maltese Second Division
14 clubs
4 Maltese Third Division
13 clubs

Current Format[edit]

Once again, the Malta Football Association decided to restructure the format of the leagues. As from the season 2017/18, the Maltese Premier League started having 14 clubs competing at the top level of Maltese football. [6] For the first time in decades, the Maltese Premier League started having 2 rounds, each team playing the other twice, and not splitting the points in half at any stage.

2017/2018[edit]

Thus from the season 2017/18, the format was changed to as follows:

Level League/Division
1 Maltese Premier League
14 clubs
2 Maltese First Division
14 clubs
3 Maltese Second Division
13 clubs
4 Maltese Third Division
12 clubs


The main noticeable change in format is the introduction of a promotion-relegation play-off that will take place across all the leagues in Malta. The 12th place team in each league will play a one match decider at a neutral ground against the team that finishes in 3rd place of the lower league. The winner of the decider will take its place in the higher league in the following season.

Level

League(s)/Division(s)

1

Maltese Premier League
14 clubs

↓↑ 2-3 clubs

2

Maltese First Division
14 clubs

↓↑ 2-3 clubs

3

Maltese Second Division
13 clubs

↓↑ 2-3 clubs

4

Maltese Third Division
12 clubs

There are still hopes in the future that Gozitan clubs from the Gozo Football League First Division and the Gozo Football League Second Division may enter the Maltese Leagues and create a single competition for all the Maltese Islands and give the Gozitan teams the opportunity to compete in European competitions. There are also discussions going on over a potential re-structuring of the amateur football leagues in Malta and create a pyramid system as opposed to a series of single leagues.

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://www.maltafootball.com/2010/02/21/championship-pool-kicks-off-on-friday/
  2. ^ http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20100206/sport/city-condemn-spartans-to-relegation-pool
  3. ^ http://www.timesofmalta.com.mt/articles/view/20100226/sport/stripes-blues-out-to-make-statement-of-intent
  4. ^ http://www.mfa.com.mt/maltafootballassociation/content.aspx?id=158765
  5. ^ Changes to National League, FA Trophy format approved
  6. ^ http://www.timesofmalta.com/articles/view/20160705/sport/bov-premier-league-to-increase-to-14-teams.617891

External links[edit]