Players from a leading Maltese football club have spoken out after months of internal turmoil and no salaries being paid out.
The Sliema Wanderers players opened up just one day after the club’s former President resigned amidst mixed messages from the club’s authority and a general sense of confusion over the future of the team, and its finances.
Mark Scerri, the team’s captain, told Lovin Malta about the dire financial situation players were finding themselves in.
“We have a situation where players were not getting paid,” he said. “We had players who struggled financially, players didn’t have money for food, fuel or to send back home to families abroad, so the struggle was real here financially.”
“Promises were made, but nothing materialised.”
Scerri praised the team for continuing to give their best on the pitch despite these ongoing problems which have been occurring for at least six months.
Coach Andrea Pisanu: “When we started, we were just a team, then we became a group… then the problems started and we became a family.”
Visibly emotional, the team’s coach Andrea Pisanu said that some of these players had come from abroad and left their families to “work and live for football”. He praised how some players had gone out of their way to help their teammates in light of their financial difficulties.
“Some players collected money for others, or got vouchers, did the shopping for others or gave fuel for their car… like a family, like a community,” Pisanu said. “They are doing something amazing.”
The players hoped for a resolution from the team’s higher-ups – but the coach ended with some clear words.
“Money can buy a position, work, it can buy a lot of things – but it cannot buy respect or one’s dignity,” he ended.