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No Kelantan return for Popov

08:03 SAST 2017/11/06
Velizar Popov
Bulgarian coach Velizar Popov will not be guiding the Red Warriors in the 2018 season, he revealed on social media.

BY        ZULHILMI ZAINAL       Follow on Twitter

Former Kelantan head coach Velizar Popov has announced that he will not be returning to the side for the 2018 season, citing disagreements over policies.

In a social media post, the Bulgarian trainer revealed that discussions between him and the East Coast side have fallen through as the club have declined to let him pick the players and staff.

"KAFA (Kelantan FA) will not meet my most important requirement; for me to be able to pick my own staff and local as well as foreign players.

"I have to decline, but it is not a matter of money. I am ready to compromise on many aspects, but not on this matter.

"If I am not allowed to pick my own players and staff, I cannot work to the best of my abilities. I am sorry, but the best of luck for Kelantan," he wrote on Sunday.

The 41-year old coach had led the Red Warriors in the 2016 season, taking them to a fourth-place finish in the Super League, and the quarter-final stage of the Malaysia Cup. He however rejected a contract extension for the following season, and joined Sisaket FC in the Thai Premier League halfway through the 2017 season. However, Popov was not able to save them from relegation at the end of the season, and they parted ways.

Kelantan meanwhile had a poor 2017 season which included a three-point points deduction for their failure to settle unpaid wages, as well as changes at the board level, but nevertheless they managed to beat relegation with a win in their last league match of the season.