New Delhi: Former Indian football coach Sukhwinder Singh, who quit as Pailan Arrows Technical Director citing personal reasons, today said that one of the reasons for the developmental side`s dismal show in the I-League was lack of good players due to late signing of sponsors.
Sukhwinder, however, denied any interference from the sponsors in his work and also made it clear that his resignation has nothing to do with recruitment of players.
"I don`t blame the sponsors and the team management for the poor show by Pailan Arrows. And my resignation was not because the sponsors had not recruited good players. There was also no interference from the sponsors on team selection," Sukhwinder said.
"The sponsorship deal between the AIFF and Pailan was signed in July and I was appointed Technical Director after the whole team was recruited. So I can`t be blamed for the team`s poor show in the I-League. I had to work with the players given to me," he said.
"But of course the team had less options because the transfer window opens in June and by July there were very few options left in terms of player recruitment," he added.
Sukhwinder also denied that there was any rift between him and the support staff, including the team coach and goalkeeping coach.
He reiterated that he had to resign due to family-related matters and his "conscience" did now allow him to take leave to attend to his personal work while the team was not performing.
"The AIFF and the sponsors were kind enough for allowing me take leave to attend to my personal work at home in Punjab. But my conscience said it was not right that I keep on taking leave and the team was not doing well, so I resigned," said the former coach of JCT, which had been a top side in the I-League under him for many years.
"In the past one year I had lost two family members and I have two children who have reached marriageable age. My responsibilities at home has increased. So I thought it is not right to continue in my post," Sukhwinder said.
Under Sukhwinder, Pailan Arrows have failed to register a single win from 17 matches, and they are languishing at 13th place in the 14-team I-League with only eight points.
His notable achievements included the SAFF Cup 1998 win with the Indian senior team, the SAFF Cup in 2009 with the India U-23 team and the 1996?97 National Football League victory with JCT.