Botched transfer splits Greens as Said resigns
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Botched transfer splits Greens as Said resigns

Floriana’s chances to return to the honours after a drought lasting several years were derailed late Monday when club president Johann Said decided to cut short his stint at the helm of the committee.

Many were looking at the Greens as an emerging force in the Premier League this season.

Contrary to previous years, they booked their place in the Championship Pool weeks in advance after a consistent run of results that had taken the team to as high as a second placing in the standings.

Last week, speculation was rife that Floriana were about to engage Michael Mifsud on a short-term deal till the end of the season.

However, it seems Said was not 100 per cent in favour of a sensational transfer that would have involved a considerable amount of money to sign the Malta striker who last played club football for Valletta FC at the end of season 2009-10.

According to Said, there was also disagreement with other officials in the committee and, in the end, he saw no other way for him but to pull out of the deal and tender his resignation.

“Mifsud is a great player but his transfer would have put the club under a huge financial strain,” Said told The Times yesterday.

“I first met him last week but no agreement was reached. I infor-med the committee that we could not afford the deal and they all backed my decision at the time.

“Then, the issue cropped up again during the weekend. Everyone was saying that the deal was done and Mifsud will be playing for us for the rest of the season. However, I knew nothing of the sort and these uncertainties left a negative impact on the team so much so that on Sunday we got beaten by Tarxien Rainbows 3-1.”

Said revealed that he met Mifsud again on Monday and discovered that ‘some others’ in the committee had already negotiated with the player behind his back.

“I realised that Mifsud was offered other incentives by some others in the committee and there were added clauses in the contract which I knew nothing of,” Said stated.

“Obviously, I could not agree with what was being proposed. All this was against my way of doing things at Floriana. We could never afford to have a player like Mifsud and honour that kind of contract.

“No-one is bigger than the club and I did not want Floriana FC to suffer badly from decisions that lacked long-term vision. Now, I lost all trust in ‘some others’ in the committee and the best way for me is to quit and go my way.”

Said added his decision was final and he was determined to quit his post. However, he intends to address club members and tell them more about what led to his unexpected move if an extraordinary general meeting is held.

“I wanted to do great things at Floriana but everything had to be done gradually and in a proper manner,” he said.

“There were players who had not received any payment for up to two years before but this season they were all being paid on time. We had no backdated payments to deal with and the new atmosphere we had generated was leaving rich dividends as seen by the results the team had obtained.

“I thought this was the initial step towards making this club great once again but, unfortunately, others deemed differently. In the end, there was no better option left for me but to resign and let others continue with the job.”

Floriana statement

Floriana FC yesterday issued a statement in which they confirmed that Johann Said had resigned but remained hopeful a way to remedy the situation will be found soon.

“The club committee has full trust in Johann Said’s management. He was instrumental in the team’s rise back to high echelons these past seven months,” the statement said.

“In the best interests of Floriana FC, we are currently engaged in talks to find a way how to solve this problem.”

The statement said Floriana FC will give no further comments on the issue.

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