PETALING JAYA, 21 Sept – Former kingpins of Malaysian football Selangor has parted ways with head coach B. Satianathan with immediate effect after the Red Giants fell to a 6-1 defeat at the hands of six-time champions Johor Darul Takzim (JDT) on Saturday.
The defeat at the Sultan Ibrahim Stadium in Iskandar Puteri was probably the last straw for the Klang Valley outfit in a season where Satianthan ”fought” many a losing battle off the field with many taking to social media to bring race and religion to get him sacked.
However, Satianathan, a no nonsense man, made it clear that he did not resign but was sacked by the management – which means Selangor will have to honor his contract which is until the end of this year.
Ironically, it is learnt that Selangor 2, a feeder squad, head coach Michael Feichtenbeiner is linked to the job with the senior team. It is a joke actually when Selangor 2 was also hammered 6-1 by JDT II in a Premier League match at Kelana Jaya on Sunday.
Under Satianathan, Selangor played eight matches – winning two with four draws and two defeats. The defeat against JDT saw the Red Giants slip to eighth position in the 12-team league with 10 points – separated by goal difference from sixth placed Terengganu (15-12), Pahang (12-12) against Selangor’s tally of 10-15.
Selangor’s next match is against UiTM at the UiTM Stadium in Shah Alam this Saturday.
Satianathan has taken the turn of events in his stride and said: ”This is football. You are never assured of your job. I accept the management’s decision with an open heart. They will have to honor my contract and pay me what is due.”
In another twist of irony Selangor 2 is doing no better in the Premier League. The 6-1 hammering at the hands of JDT II left the team in fifth place on 10 points after eight matches – ahead of Negri Sembilan. Selangor 2’s goal tally also reads 10-15.
Against JDT, Satianathan had to reshuffle his lineup without first choice goalkeeper Khairul Azhan Khalid who got married on the same day of the match, Brenda Gan who sat out a one match suspension and the injured Syazwan Zainon.
In all fairness it was a real tough match for Satianathan’s team against the star-studded JDT who not only has a big squad but also equal depth on the bench.
With substitute goalkeeper Farizal Harun a bundle of nerves between the posts, one also has to take into consideration that the ”big help” from the referee Zulkarnain Zakaria who awarded a dubious penalty which led to JDT’s second goal.
The penalty was the start of the collapse against the favorites who not have a big squad but also equal depth on the bench.
It is rightly said that Selangor players simply “lost the will” to fight when the referee is not fair in a big match.
“Injuries took a toll on the team but again it is the results that count. The management does not see the real reasons. We won two and drew four and lost two…but this is not good enough although we are still in the race for a top finish.
“There is still the Malaysia Cup to play for. I wish the team all the best. The players gave their best on the field under trying situations,” said Satianathan a former national coach.