The Bangladesh Football Federation’s (BFF) technical and strategic director, Paul Smalley, flew out for Melbourne, Australia last night after failing to secure an extension for his contract, which came to an end in August.
Smalley, who was initially given a two-year deal in August 2016 which was extended by a year, had been working here on an ad-hoc basis for the last two months. The reason behind his departure was that he allegedly demanded a higher salary and a long-term contract, which the game’s local governing body refused to accept.
“He is leaving tonight and is probably not coming back this year,” announced BFF president Kazi Salahuddin during a hurriedly arranged press briefing at the BFF house, where Smalley was present, yesterday.
“I personally thanked him for his effort, hard-work and thinking and I understand the reasons behind his departure. We worked with him for the last three years and you saw the progresses of Bangladesh football in every sector. He did tremendous work with the coaches’ education and the miracle development in women’s football,” said Salahuddin, whose tenure will expired in April next year.
“It is a bad time as well as a pleasing time for me. Bad time because I feel that it is time to leave and pleasing time since we accomplished a lot of things in the last three years,” Smalley said. “I had a long chat with the president, who has a vision for 2020, but I think we need a long vision to go to the next level.
“We reached a high level at age-group-junior level tournaments with the coaches’ education and there is a lot of positivity in national football team. I quit because of two reasons, firstly I needed a career change and the second is that I need longevity in my occupation because I believe in confirmation [of my post].”