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Saturday September 19, 2009

Butler serves a bombshell, quits as Kelantan coach

PETALING JAYA: Peter Butler has resigned as coach of Kelantan, throwing the team’s preparations for next week’s Malaysia Cup competition into disarray.

Azman Ibrahim, the chairman of the team management committee, said Butler had on Thursday informed the Kelantan FA (Kafa) via fax of his intention to resign with immediate effect as his wife was ill.

“We are shocked and have been caught offguard by his resignation, especially with the Malaysia Cup competition barely a week away,” said Azman from Kota Baru yesterday.

Azman, however, said that Myanmar National League side Yangon United FC’s website (www.ygnutd.com) had reported on Wednesday that Butler had signed a one-year contract as their technical director.

“We have no problems with him and his salaries are paid on time twice a month. He also arranged our tour of London for a friendly against the Manchester City Reserves last month.

“Out of the blue we get a fax stating that he wants out. We are surprised by his action to leave us high and dry although he has a contract with us until November,” said Azman.

Butler, a former West Ham star, played a crucial role in the Red Warriors’ march into the FA Cup final this year.

Kelantan, however, lost to Selangor in a penalty shootout after both teams were tied 1-1 after regulation time.

Former international Hashim Mustapha, who is the assistant coach, is now set to take charge of the team for the Malaysia Cup competition, which kicks off next Saturday.

Kelantan are in Group E with Kedah, Penang and Armed Forces.

Butler had coached the Singapore Armed Forces FC (SAFFC), Sabah and Indonesia’s Persiba Balikpapan before joining Kelantan.

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