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 top level league for football in Malta. Managed by the Malta Football Association, the Premier League is contested by 14 teams and operates on a promotion and relegation system with the First Division. As of August 2018, the Premier League ranks 45th out of 55 members in the UEFA coefficient.
|Organising body||Malta Football Association (MFA)|
|Country||Malta (14 teams)|
|Number of teams||14|
|Level on pyramid||1|
|Relegation to||Maltese First Division|
|Domestic cup(s)||Maltese FA Trophy|
Maltese Super Cup
|International cup(s)||UEFA Champions League|
UEFA Europa League
|Current champions||Valletta (25th title) |
|Most championships||Sliema Wanderers (26 titles)|
|TV partners||TVM2 & Melita Sports 1 (live matches)|
|2019–20 Maltese Premier League|
The league was first competed in 1909 as the First Division, before switching to its current name in 1980; the First Division in turn replaced the Second Division. Sliema Wanderers have won the title a record 26 times. The current champions are Valletta who won their 25th title in the 2018–19 season.
Starting from the 2017–18 season, the Premier League is contested by 14 clubs. Played from August to April, each club plays each others twice (a double round-robin system), for a total of 26 games. 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 or more teams are tied in points (for any place), there will be no tie-breakers 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 First Division 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.
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.
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.
The following 14 clubs will compete in the Premier League during the 2018–19 season.
|Team||In league since||City||Training Stadium||Capacity|
|Balzan||2011||Balzan||Victor Tedesco Stadium||6,000|
|Birkirkara||1990||Birkirkara||Ta' Qali National Stadium||17,797|
|Gżira United||2016||Gżira||Ta' Qali National Stadium||17,797|
|Ħamrun Spartans||2016||Ħamrun||Victor Tedesco Stadium||6,000|
|Mosta||2011||Mosta||Charles Abela Memorial Stadium||600|
|Senglea Athletic||2017||Senglea||Ta' Qali National Stadium||17,797|
|Tarxien Rainbows||2008||Tarxien||Tony Cassar Sports Ground||1,000|
|Sliema Wanderers||1984||Sliema||Tigne Sports Complex||1,000|
|St. Andrews||2015||St. Andrew's||Luxol Stadium||800|
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. Of the winners, three have been champions more than 20 times: Sliema Wanderers (26 titles), Floriana (25 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.
|Sliema Wanderers||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|
|Valletta||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|
|Floriana||25||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|
|Hibernians||12||13||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||7||11||1913–14, 1917–18, 1946–47, 1982–83, 1986–87, 1987–88, 1990–91|
|Birkirkara||4||8||1999–2000, 2005–06, 2009–10, 2012–13|
|Rabat Ajax||2||1||1984–85, 1985–86|
|The King's Own Malta Regiment||1||0||1918–19|
Bold denotes still active players.
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- "UEFA Country Ranking 2019". kassiesa.home.xs4all.nl. July 26, 2018.
- "The Premier League Is 25 years old". The Malta Independent. August 14, 2005. Retrieved October 20, 2018.
- Camilleri, Valhmor (July 5, 2016). "BOV Premier League to increase to 14 teams". Times of Malta. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
- "August 18 start for 2017/18 BOV Premier League". Malta Football Association. June 1, 2017. Retrieved September 8, 2018.
- "Malta - List of Champions and Runners-Up". Rec.Sport.Soccer Statistics Foundation. May 2, 2018. Retrieved September 8, 2018.