MALAYSIA - What promised to be a dream season ended unhappily for Singapore's Fandi Ahmad (above) as he resigned from big-spending Johor Darul Takzim.
In a statement sent to Malaysian media on Monday night, the 51-year-old confirmed that he is leaving the Malaysian Super League (MSL) side midway through his three-year contract.
Describing the decision to quit the team as "painful", Fandi said: "Life is all about being happy and coaching keeps me happy and I intend to pursue my happiness.
"As a player, I had given my best and, as a coach, I continue to give my best when the opportunity arrives."
A source told The Straits Times that Fandi intends to return to Singapore and concentrate on coaching kids.
In the statement, Fandi also urged fans not to speculate on why he is leaving Johor. He thanked Johor's crown prince, Tunku Ismail Idris, who is also the club's president, for his support.
Speculation has raged on Fandi's swift fall from grace at the side nicknamed the Southern Tigers.
In a massive recruitment drive this season, Johor signed seven Malaysian internationals, including top striker Safee Sali, who was paid RM100,000 (S$40,000) monthly.
Fandi reportedly earned $30,000 a month.