A football era shrouded by incompetence and crises spanning over six years will enter a new age via a restructure of the Gibraltar FA hierarchy.

The recent audit conducted by UEFA recommended football operations specialist Nicolaus Marshall revealed ‘shortcomings’ with the day to day running of the heavily criticised association. As a result the axe fell on GFA General Secretary Dennis Beiso, whose leadership role has been questioned by many within the local football community. 

Under Beiso the GFA has been accused of failing to tackle racism, mismanagement and, allowing the unfettered influx of foreign players and much more. There is a strong argument that the beautiful game has stagnated on the Rock after the honeymoon period had concluded following UEFA and FIFA admission.


One of the items under review is the bloated salary structure within the GFA executive, which has come under fire since millions of Euros flooded into the Rock’s amateur association. GFA President Michael Llamas said he would be directly involved in a review of the salary structure at the GFA, signifying that something is not quite right down at the GFA headquarters at Irish Town.

Numerous GFA employees find themselves with very little to do but nevertheless earn a pretty penny due to the unregulated and unaccountable format in which the association is structured. Despite other associations, such as the English FA, making their wage structure public, the GFA has repeatedly swatted away any attempts by PANORAMA to ascertain how much UEFA money flows directly into the pockets of association employees.

People ‘in the know’ within local football suggest that GFA workers earn a staggering amount, which essentially drains funds from bettering the game. The national association has been criticised for a lack of transparency and it remains to be seen whether GFA President Michael Llamas’ call for a restructure will make things any different.


UEFA’s initial parachute payments that saw more than three million Euros pumped into an amateur system was not invested correctly and Gibraltar is now suffering the consequences. In the early stages, the GFA had one kitty that was unregulated and opportunists illegally abused the system.

The horror show that ensued caused public outrage at the negligence shown by the association and the fact that no one took responsibility for the failure.

No heads rolled and, although there was a financial restructure at the time, abuse of UEFA funding continued. This obviously had a knock-on effect on the game and contributed to the cataclysmic divide between the GFA and the clubs that had now lost faith in the local governing body. The relationship has never been fully repaired and many club chairmen feel that they work under a GFA dictatorship.


The investment into youth development has always been in the pipeline but never progressed in a coherent way by the national association. Instead it was down to the clubs to fulfil this gap, but with the prize of European football on the horizon the first team would always become priority. Who can blame them when hundreds of thousands of Euros are at stake? Clubs would obviously be more willing to secure the signing of a third tier aging Spanish player that would guarantee qualification rather than wait several years for a youngster to break through.

The GFA should have had the foresight to provide more of a balance and avoid the premier league being composed of 60% of players hailing from across the border. There was a chance to implement foreign player caps as from the first season under the UEFA banner, but all advice to do so was ignored.

Former GFA Manager Allen Bula claimed to have advised the GFA to wait a few years before allowing local clubs to compete in Europe because that exposure would open the floodgates to foreigners and hinder the national team. But the gold rush was on and the sharks were already circling. Gibraltar was only obliged by UEFA to register the senior side into official competition, however, a suggested ‘grace period’ was also discounted.

Another suggestion was to equally distribute funds received from UEFA for European qualification for the first few years in order to create a level playing field. This was overlooked.

Three sides, including the historic Gibraltar United, have recently dropped out of the league due to financial issues that could have been avoided had adequate measures been put in place in the early stages.


A plague of racism hit local football last year that led to the Gibraltar FA being questioned on its competence in applying UEFA’s zero-tolerance 'No to Racism' policy. Two incidents in the space of four months involved the same African player, who was felt he was not adequately protected by the GFA. Racist slurs were directed at the player before he was swarmed by opposition players and grabbed by the neck on multiple occasions in a massive brawl. The footballer was reduced to tears in the first incident following multiple barrages of racist remarks from an opposition player.

“He is a warrior on the pitch, but he was reduced to tears in the dressing room at halt-time,” said the Gib Utd source. “He was reluctant to return to the playing field, but was convinced by officials and fellow players to continue.”

The GFA denied commenting on whether or not there had been other cases in the past, if they had reported anything to UEFA and whether racism was a problem in local football. However, similar incidents keep cropping up and this would obviously not go down well with FIFA or UEFA.