The seventies was the last decade to be played completely at the Empire Stadium. The old ground had long been dying a slow death. Years of neglect had reduced it to little more than a ruin; criticism of the ground came from far and wide. Its notoriously hard pitch was not suitable for domestic competitions, let alone for international events. The incidents which occurred in 1978 during the international match between Malta and Turkey gave fuel to those in FIFA and UEFA who were lobbying to have international football banned from the Stadium.
The Seventies were very poor years for Maltese football. The standard of the game dropped to alarmingly low levels and the attendances at the Stadium reached an all-time low. The humiliating results of the National Team made it obvious that something drastic needed to be done.