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Floriana, Ħamrun avoid points penalty

Premier League clubs Floriana and Ħamrun Spartans have avoided a two-point deduction after settling outstanding pay-ments to Birkirkara and two of their former players.

The Malta FA Control and Disciplinary Board had warned Floriana and Ħamrun that failure to honour their financial obligations by noon yesterday would have resulted in a two-point penalty but the two clubs from the top-flight deposited the payments at the MFA offices before the deadline.

The Greens had been ordered to pay €20,000 to Birkirkara for the transfer of midfielder Thomas Paris and around €8,000 in back wages to former Aaron Brown. The English defender was released by the club in November.

For their part, Ħamrun owed €4,000 to Birkirkara for the loan transfer of Malta forward Terence Vella and a further €4,000 to Rupert Mangion, their former captain who is now playing for Division One club Marsaxlokk.

News that Floriana and Ħamrun were facing a two-point penalty caused apprehension among their fans as the two Relegation Pool candidates are battling to avoid the drop.

Floriana look well-placed to retain their Premier League status as they are seven points clear of second-from-bottom Rabat Ajax but a loss of two points would have complicated matters for them, not to mention the adverse effect such scenario would have left on team morale.

The Spartans are in a more precarious situation than Floriana as they are only two points outside the drop zone.

In their last outings, Floriana drew 1-1 with Balzan and Ħamrun came from behind to beat Rabat Ajax 2-1.

The Spartans meet neigh-bouring rivals Qormi in their next match on Tuesday and Floriana take on Rabat on the same day.

Last season, Marsaxlokk were docked three points after they failed to honour a decision of the MFA Control and Disciplinary Board to pay former coach Patrick Curmi and former players Peter Pullicino and Glenn Zammit by the stipulated deadline.

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