WHY HAVE THE TOP SIDES COACHES RESIGNED?

So far this season two of the current top three Maltese Premier League sides have seen their manager resign despite still having a chance to win the 2018/19 title.

The most recent resignation is that of Valletta boss Danilo Dončić following the side’s 1-1 draw with Gżira United on Sunday.

The Serbian took over at the Citizens in January 2018 when he replaced Zoran Popovic. During his time at the reins, Dončić guided Valletta to a league and cup double.

With the side currently second in the Maltese Premier League, just one point behind leaders Hibernians it came as a surprise that the 49-year-old had left his post.

Danilo Dončić has resigned from his position at Valletta FC. (Photo by Valletta FC)

In February 2019, Darren Abdilla resigned from his post at Gżira United after the side lost their first game of the season to Hibernians in a 1-0 defeat.

The Maroons have now been in the Maltese Premier League for just three seasons and secured a place in Europe for the first time since 1973–74 when they qualified for the 2018/19 campaign after finishing third.

Due to Gżira’s rise to the top, they have been compared to Man City with Club President, Sharlon Pace claiming to have a long-term plan for the club.

This includes the side turning professional in the next three years and for there to be a 5,000 seated stadium built with state of the art facilities as well as offices that will be also used by the University of Malta.

Pace has already shown his commitment to his project at Gżira having signed high profile players such as Amadou Samb, Zach Scerri as well as former Man City youngster Myles Beerman arriving at the club on loan in January.

Darren Abdilla resigned from his position at Gżira United in February 2019, despite the club still challenging for a top-three finish. (Photo by MFA)

This has raised the question, ‘Why are coaches resigning from the top sides?’

With club committees constantly demanding instant success, it is no surprise that there are fall outs between coaches and the top board members at each club.

Football has turned into a business, we all know this, therefore, if a board thinks that the club is not performing well enough to both make money and win championships they will ultimately force their managers out.

John Arne Riise arrived at Birkirkara in January 2019 which saw Paul Zammit forced out of the club. (Photo by Birkirkara FC)

It was a similar scenario with Birkirkara when they decided to bring in John Arne Riise as Sporting Director in January 2019.

The former Liverpool defender arrived shortly after Paul Zammit fell out of favour with the club’s top figures over differences in opinions on a number of subjects.

That obviously led to Zammit saying that Riise’s appointment was done without consultation and that the club demanded his resignation.

After taking Birkirkara to The Complaints Board of Malta Football Association, they ruled in favour of Zammit and ordered the club to pay him the sums of €15,000 and €108,000 plus 5% yearly interest from the date of the decision.

Therefore, with Maltese clubs desperate to qualify for Europe and to win as much domestic silverware as possible, the boardroom will do all they can to achieve this.

It’s not just something seen within Maltese football, a similar state of affairs has been seen in almost every football league around the world with former Paris Saint-Germain boss Laurent Blanc as a prime example.

The former France international won the 2015/16 Ligue 1 as well as two domestic competitions during his time in charge at Parc des Princes.

However, with the club wanting a first Champions League to their name, Blanc left the PSG by mutual consent in June 2016.

Laurent Blanc speaks to press during his time as PSG boss.
(Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

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