Satiananthan says no to gardening leave, only sacking and full wage will do

Sports Regime
Selangor head coach B. Satiananthan was far from a happy man despite his charges' first win this season, a 3-2 Super League victory over Kuala Lumpur

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Selangor head coach B. Satiananthan was far from a happy man despite his charges' first win this season, a 3-2 Super League victory over Kuala Lumpur (KL) on Sunday.

The first Klang Valley derby of the season pitted the two league strugglers and their under-pressure bosses, and the Red Giants needed a hard-fought come-from-behind win to edge the hosts.


In the post-match press conference, Satiananthan committed a significant portion of his time bashing rumours of his impending replacement by former JDT and Persib Banding head coach Mario Gomez.

"The media and the fans have all been preparing your stories; that if we'd lost today I would be replaced by Mario Gomez. What has he achieved in Indonesia, have you checked? White coaches get favourable news coverage all the time. Why are there no rumours of me being replaced by another local coach instead?

"TMJ (JDT owner Tunku Ismail Sultan Ibrahim) had said previously that it was their players (who brought the team success), my friends. Go and check [Gomez' achievements] in Indonesia. I'm not putting him down, I'm just pointing out how the media keeps touting the names of Gomez, Bojan Hodak (Malaysia U-19 head coach) and Marcote (former Kedah head coach Ramon Marcote). Why not another local coach instead? Are they not good enough?

"The only [silverware] winning foreign coach is Perak's (Mehmet Durakovic), who had been at Selangor, and those hired by JDT. The rest? It's the local coaches who have been winning.

"KL played well, they had their tactics right and we nearly got caught. Yusri (KL head coach Yusri Che Lah) is doing well with the players he has and the fans need to understand this. Which white coach is going to be hired to replace him now?

"And let's not talk about Facebook [comments and posts by fans]. 11 year old kids mouthing off using racist terms against me. And the treatment received by local coaches too can be described as racist," vented the former Felda United head coach.

He also stated that he is not afraid of losing his job due to his charges' poor start to the season, as long as the dismissal is undertaken properly by the association.

"If I am sacked, I'm going to be a rich man because I expect my compensation to be paid upfront, none of this gardening leave nonsense. That's what I will demand. 

"I told the players at halftime that it's me who has to face the fans and absorb the pressure and not them, so they mustn't be scared. I'm the kind of coach who expects a 100 per cent from his players. If I see anyone slacking, it's either they walk or I do.

"The management has been supporting me, if not you'll have already seen Gomez here. I'm not under pressure. I'm already 61 years old, if I get the sack I'll just pick up my cheque, my pension, stay home and look after my children and grandchildren. But it's a matter of honour, you know? I've never led a team that failed to be competitive. My honour is my priority," he remarked.

While he did not rule out making tactical and line-up changes following what transpired throughout Sunday's match, he is adamant that fan favourite veteran forward, match-winning goal scorer and man of the match Amri Yahyah will not return to the starting line-up.

One point of the Selangor fans' criticism of Satiananthan has been his exclusion of the 38-year old Amri from the first eleven.

Against KL, star striker Rufino Segovia had to be replaced by Sean Selvaraj just before the half hour mark due to an injury, while Amri came on for the struggling Faiz Nasir at the start of the second half.

Amri Yahyah, Selangor, 2018

Amri Yahyah. Photo from Malaysian Football League

"I'd told him previously that he wouldn't be playing in every game, due to tactics and his age. When Rufino came off I put Amri on in the second half in order to calm the team down; that's what he's good at. And he played the role well and I'm happy for him.

"What's all this nonsense about him not wanting to play for me? If that were true, would he have played as well as he did just now?

"When he came on I changed the formation. Did any of you (press) realise that? I don't think so. I swapped 4-3-3 for 4-4-2 as the latter suited Amri better, and his composure helped his teammates, and it worked," said Satiananthan.

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