A former national football player has called out the toxicity of domestic clubs after one player was denied the opportunity to play abroad with a competitive team following a botched transfer deal.
“It is a pity that many clubs hinder instead of help with the transfer of Maltese players to foreign clubs,” André Schembri said on Facebook.
Schembri was referring to a recent botched deal involving Sliema Wanderers and national team defender Kurt Shaw who was given the opportunity to play for Austrian Bundesliga club, Wolfsberger FC.
Well informed sources told Lovin Malta that Shaw was offered a considerable contract that would see him join the club on loan with the option to buy come summer. However, Sliema Wanderers offered a counterdeal, one that was described as “unreasonable”, and the deal fell through.
In a statement, Sliema Wanderers acknowledged that they rejected the initial offer and counter proposed a deal that consisted of a “loan-fee of €50,000 with an adjusted option to buy fee.”
However, Wolfsberger FC refused the offer.
As such, Shaw missed out on the opportunity to feature for Wolfsberger, who are scheduled to play Tottenham Hotspurs in the Europa League later this month, and will instead continue playing for Sliema.
“Foreign clubs prefer to take a free player from South America or Africa, rather than pay for a Maltese player,” Schembri continued.
“The MFA has a duty to facilitate any transfer of a Maltese player to sign with a foreign club. Only then can we make progress as a national team.”
The botched deal comes amidst a spew of financial problems affecting the Sliema club including complaints of unpaid salaries dating back ten months ago.
Lovin Malta is informed that the vice president, team secretary, team manager and two players have terminated their contracts over this issue.
In some cases, some foreign players reportedly don’t have enough money to afford food, highlighting the depths of turmoil the club has found itself in.
Despite all this, last month, Sliema Wanderers’ main sponsor, Catco, pledged €500,000 to Dar tal-Providenza. The amount was presented to the charity on behalf of former PN leader, Adrian Delia and is currently undergoing an internal verification process.
What do you make of this? Let us know below