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Post by Scottish » Mon Jan 26, 2015 10:43 am

Maltese figures come with a health warning. The Malta FA doesn’t publish individual match figures and their last issued statement for a season a couple of years ago claimed an average of 564. Reports in the press have often bemoaned small attendances. Though what constitutes small in a country with a population similar to Edinburgh, circa 420,000 but which has 53 clubs spread over four divisions and where so many matches are hosted at one venue – the Ta´Qali national stadium - , is debatable. At any rate the redoubtable TransferMarkt side provides these figures which show Malta as substantially higher than would be expected.

To try and determine accuracy, I’ve tried making a comparison with European matches but even this has proven difficult. Of four European ties this season, crowds were slightly lower than league averages and in once case substantially lower. In Scotland we expect European games to draw higher attendances than domestic games but that isn’t the case elsewhere – as a cursory glance at Europa League ties south of the border will show.

There’s the added factor in Malta that so many domestic games are virtually derby matches with five of the twelve Premier League clubs last season using the national stadium and several others playing close by. This means drawing the kind of away support in domestic matches which wouldn’t be seen in European ties.

So, with that explanation of sorts, these are the figures for a claimed league average of 972 which would make Malta 74th in the world, 37th in Europe.

1614 Birkirkara
1349 Valletta
1189 Qormi
1019 Hibernians
888 Floriana
737 Tarxien
733 Rabat Ajax
692 Vittoriosa Stars
679 Naxxar Lions
672 Sliema Wanderers
632 Mosta
528 Balzan Youths

There’s a familiar format of teams playing each other twice then splitting into championship and relegation groups. Except one major difference which is that points from the first stage are halved before the last five games are played. The bottom two go down automatically

The second level had an uneven thirteen teams last season. Teams met twice with the top two promoted and the bottom pair relegated. With there being a spare place to bring the number back up to fourteen, three teams from the fourteen-club third level were promoted and three relegated. The fourth level promotes automatically to the third. Promotion and relegation spots at all levels have varied according to format over the years.

I have no attendance information below the top level.

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