If anyone needed proof about the challenges of being a manager, they only need to look back at what transpired in the Malaysian Super League, in the space of 19 days. The procession of recent exits began with George Boetang being axed/upgraded by Kelantan. According to Tan Sri Annuar Musa, the President of the Kelantan FA, George is Kelantan’s brand new technical director.
Now, we can add ATM FA’s B. Sathiananthan to that list. The former national team coach has recently been placed on gardening leave indefinitely.
FourthOfficial.com caught up with the ‘fatigued’ coach to get his take on the whole situation.
FO: ATM’s official statement is that you have been “rested.” What actually transpired between you and the club?
Sathia : The officials at ATM FA can use their discretion to rest me but the manner they dealt with that matter is really unethical as they should have spoken to me personally and then announce it. I guess they don’t know what being professional is all about.
FO: We have seen something similar in Kelantan with George Boateng. In your opinion are coaches in Malaysia given a realistic chance ie – time to achieve goals?
Sathia : Yes, it depends on the club and their history. In Kelantan, as champions in years gone by, they expect you to do well. Unlike at ATM, which was never a powerhouse in football. So the demands to be champions straight away is unfounded to begin with. I know I was with ATM FA for 4 years. But we were not consistent with retaining the same players and to get results straight away is not easy. So the management should know what to expect when they set up a team. I guess it is easier to change a coach rather than changing the players.
FO: Have you been given permission to speak to other clubs?
Sathia: I am in the dark about what I can do at the moment. As I mentioned, they didn’t inform me before they informed the world! As of now, I have not requested for leave. In fact I called the secretary of ATM FA to give me an official letter about the “rest” and clarify the word “rest.”
FO: If you were given a chance to manage any team at the moment either in the MSL or the MPL, which team would it be?
Sathia: A team that is professional in management and a team with ambition. I had a really professional set up with ATM FA until the start of the current campaign. There were some changes made to the management. I guess they have their own plans for the future of this ATM team and all I can say is good luck to them