Ħamrun Spartans president Joseph Portelli has made it clear that he is determined to fight for the club’s rights should they will be banned by UEFA to compete in this summer’s club competitions.
Ħamrun Spartans are on course for a return to UEFA club competitions this summer as they are currenlty leading the way in the BOV Premier League as they are five points clear over nearest rivals Hibernians to put themselves in a strong position to win the title for the first time after a 30-year-wait.
Speaking during the club’s radio show on 105FM, Portelli said that he was informed of the situation right from his first meeting with the club officials but said that after consulting a number of lawyers he is confident that the club will be given the nod to participate.
“In my first meetings with officials from our club, I was immediately made aware of the situation and they informed me that the team had a case a few years back and there is the fear that our participation in Europe could be effected by it,” Portelli said
“In reality, from the Malta FA we were given a five-year ban, handed a 100,000 euros fine and the club ended up playing in the second division. I employed the services of the best lawyers that there are here in Malta and abroad to analyse this case, even though I feel there is no case as we served the punishment.
“I already spoke to the players and told them that there is the possibility. Honestly I don’t think we will be penalised particularly after I spoke to my legal team.”
Portelli made it clear that should the club be barred from Europe next season he will double his efforts to further bolster the squad and ensure he retains the title so he can finally play in the Champions League.
However, he made it clear that should the club be banned he is determined to fight all the way for the club’s rights.
“Our club is built on team spirt and we should fight for our rights,” Portelli said.
“If there is the need to fight for our rights we will use everything in our power to do that. As I said we have already employed lawyers on this case and should they tell us we cannot compete, don’t think that I will just accept the decision.
“I can assure all the fans that I will speak to all media and ask why they have taken this decision against us. We will use all our rights to fight the ban, may be we will not turn the decision in our way but what is sure is that I will fight with all my powers to protect the interest of my club.”