"Why am I writing this? Firstly because I love the game and I believe you must stand up for what you think is right. Otherwise negative influences may reign.
Also I understand the culture in India where many players are scared (with good reason) to speak out. That why I am in admiration for the strength in forming the FPAI, who do a great job.
The second reason is that if I had spoken at a media conference it would have been the usual chaos, plus I have been mis quoted or even had things made up I didn’t say so often, that I believe it is important to put it in writing. To this day I don’t know if translation problems caused some of these quotes or perhaps just a lack of ethics. I feel sorry for the many genuine and sincere journalists who are hindered in their profession by some of the untrained.
The relationship between players, Coaches and Journalists should be win/win sadly the lack of trust created by a few has made it lose/lose. I hope that changes from within the Journalistic profession and then players will be prepared to speak intelligently and with trust about the game. Which is what the fans want. Fans want to hear players not Officials!
I have had time now to reflect, put things in perspective, and see what was humorous and what was really relevant.
I always think it’s important to look at yourself before you blame others, something we had worked on as a team in MMB. Everywhere else I have been in Asia I have stayed three years, won something and used the same training methods and philosophies, hopefully constantly upgrading and trying to perfect them.
On my own part I did my homework before I came to the club, asked people in the game (both Indian and Foreign) about the club, and then of course did the opposite of this advice. Ego? A belief you can succeed? Who knows? The club repeatedly told me it was a "big" club a powerhouse in Asia.
I can now look at the humorous side when I remember on the first day cleaning the cow waste off the pitch, (I wonder if Ferguson ever did that?) or trying to scrape the mould and rust off the Gym Equipment in the flooded Gymnasium. Or naively asking why didn’t a "big" club have a washing machine rather than leaving one poor man to do it all and have washing lines strung across the club "lawn".
Though I did win a battle to get the young lads who served the food to wear gloves as we were having so many people with stomach problems.
I can even laugh when the Honorary Secretary was moaning about our back 3, when we had played a back 4 or when he said we hadn’t trained long enough, he didn’t know we had done a 45min interval session based on what Liverpool do and then went inside to do a further 30 minute core stability session in the cool rather than in 30 degree heat. Perhaps if he had asked or even stayed he may have understood.
Also the Honorary Financial Secretary who has never played/coached signed all the players before I came without medicals. I was then told again that I should train players for 3 hours and sessions I had copied from EPL clubs were not right for Indians…I was also told that I don’t shout at the players enough in public or the press.!! I had also tried to bring a J League player to the club but he was "too small" but he was same height as Carlos Puyet of Barcelona.
I must add that the President and his son were always honest and straightforward.
But on a serious note the final straws where when confidential reports were leaked to the press and a 3 man technical committee was introduced to oversee my work and report on me to the management, (without any consultation,) in fact I found out about it through a press release. In fact for some unknown reason the club committee had stopped speaking to me and sent messages via the press. A press that they were telling me never trust, yet they were feeding them mis truths!
What professional coach would put up with an overseeing committee who had never played or coached outside India.
A technical Committee member on his first visit to training decided players were "not fit" a very valued and objective statement based on scientific measures? No! just an opinion to get his name in public at the expense of players.
A further confirming point was that it was alleged to me that if I did not resign, players would be de registered and support staff would be threatened. Again this is just a further example of the "culture of Fear" that runs through the club. From Day 1 people were always whispering to me, saying don’t trust person A or Person B. Sadly they were usually right!
So I believe you either die on your feet or live on your knees. So there was no choice but to resign. Professional ethics and the way you live your life are more important than money.
I believe the club has great potential especially if the sponsor is allowed to modernize the administration and bring in the right systems and structures for a major club. At the moment there is no Press Officer or Marketing manager and no club shop. UB are a top class professional organization, they have the ability to take the club to the next level and indeed make it a big club.
I also believe the club has delusional expectations of what or who they are; one only has to look at the massive turnover of Coaches and Players in the last 5 years at great financial cost, and the return? Just a negative image in the world of football.
Mohun Bagan will survive without me, but I still strongly feel that it is important that for the good of the genuine fans who have spoken and written to me that they get to know the reality. There is so much talent in Indian football both in players and Coaches, also there are many highly educated young people with a passion for the game who must be used if the game is to continue to rise.
India will rise in football, but it starts with the administration of the game .It’s got to be modern, not stone age at club and state level."