God knows I’m not an expert. It’s not the smartest thing to rely on vaguely informed prejudices and making judgements on poorly informed smatterings of mostly misunderstood information. Don’t come here for an analysis of the ins and outs of Maltese (or any other sort of) football.
But I know Joseph Muscat. I’ve been one of his many unauthorised biographers for years. I’ve followed every step he’s taken, at least the ones I could see and some he doesn’t think I could see. I’ve sat through his speeches, hating every minute. I’ve studied his inflections, winced at his rhetorical flourishes, restrained my vomit at his self-praise.
I also know a bit more than I’ve written about him because it’s the nature of our work not to publish when one is sure of something but only to publish when one is doubly sure. There’s a lot about Joseph Muscat we’re sure about but not “doubly sure enough” to write about it yet.
Even stopping at what they know because they’ve read about it and it’s out there, anyone hiring Joseph Muscat to represent them is either more corrupt than he is or doesn’t mind being perceived as wishing to be.
Reports in the press say most professional football clubs want Joseph Muscat to be their frontman. That just combines my superficial, ill-informed notions that professional football in Malta is swamped in corruption, with my expert opinion of Joseph Muscat. And it’s hard to think how a bias can be more vehemently confirmed.
There will be a time when the hubris of the football clubs will be repaid. There will be a time when Joseph Muscat’s keen interest in football will be revealed to be more than the fancy of an overgrown schoolboy. There will be a time when the fans of the local clubs, because I hear there are a few, will find they have been swindled by the owners they have worshipped and the mastermind they hired.
Top league football is, yes, a spectator sport. Yes, to some extent, it is a bit of a business though seen in isolation hardly a cash cow for its owners. The owners, obviously, don’t see it in isolation, but if it’s clean, that’s for them to see.
We know enough about Joseph Muscat to know that any interest in any of this is likely a superficial veil over something darker. Think betting. Think lottery monopolies. Think money and its laundering. Think matches and their fixing.
Joseph Muscat will, rightly, say that he’s being found guilty of wrongdoing in a job he hasn’t even been hired to yet. He’d do better to argue that everyone deserves a second chance. The answer in his case should be he hasn’t paid for what he did with his first chance yet.