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Drastic changes needed if City are to vie for honours – Zerafa

Jesmond Zerafa

Jesmond Zerafa warned that Valletta need to change the structure of the club if they are to return to the top of Maltese football as the experienced mentor spoke with The Times of Malta just a few hours after he resigned as first-team coach.

Zerafa had been airing his frustration at the way things were being run at the club for a few days.

In an interview with The Times of Malta last week, he had made it clear that the Valletta FC’s top hierarchy needed to take some tough decisions if they are to revive the club’s fortunes this

Sunday’s 3-1 defeat to Tarxien Rainbows was the final straw for Zerafa who informed the players and the club’s committee of his decision to leave the club just after the final whistle.

The defeat to Tarxien Rainbows left Valletta in seventh place in the standings, on 13 points, level with their neighbouring rivals Floriana, whom they meet in a tantalising derby on Sunday at the National Stadium.

“I have been in football for the past 30 years, and for me this has been my worst experience,” Zerafa said.

“It hurts that I went through this bad experience at my hometown club, but I always took my responsibilities and the situation had reached a point that I could not accept anymore.

“To be honest, I had already resigned from my post after the team’s 4-2 win over Birkirkara, but the committee managed to convince me to stay on.

“But this time, there is no turning back and my time at Valletta has come to an end.”

Asked to highlight what the problems that forced him to leave his post were, Zerafa said that the club had failed to address situations where certain figures seemed to bigger than the club.

“The main problem is that in football there is nobody who is bigger than the club,” Zerafa said.

“Time passes for everyone and unfortunately the people responsible of the team have failed to take the necessary decisions and that is hurting the team.

“At a successful club like Valletta FC, when you win honours everything is rosy, but when results don’t go your way you have to take decisions
irrespective of the persons that are affected.

“I am not pointing fingers at the players. The problem is the whole club environment and I believe that the time has come so that changes are made at the club, bring in new people with fresh enthusiasm. That can only happen if the people that are running the club are not afraid to take the necessary decisions.”

The former Valletta winger said that the club needs to have a new structure on which to operate and only if the necessary changes are made will be able to challenge for top honours once more.

“It’s clear that the club needs a new structure,” Zerafa said.

“Since the start of the season, I did everything in my power to attain results, but these cannot be achieved only with names. We are now picking up the fruit of what we had at the start of the season. However, I firmly believe that if important decisions are made, the club will return to the place it deserves.

“Still I also believe that a new first-team coach will not solve the problems that are present at the club.

“Many coaches came to the club, won honours but eventually had to leave the club, so the situation needs to be addressed seriously.”

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