Former Al Wasl  coach Diego Maradona  has expressed his delight at the resignation of the club’s board, which sacked him eight months ago, while hinting at his return if former chairman Marwan Bin Bayat is reinstated.
Chairman Mohammad Ahmad Bin Fahad and the club’s directors informed the club’s president Major General Shaikh Ahmad Bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Chairman of Dubai Police and Public Security, of their en masse resignation on Sunday night.
It follows a string of bad results for the Zabeel-based club, who lie ninth in the Etisalat Pro-League, having gone through four managers since Maradona’s departure.
The Argentinian football legend was employed in May 2011 by former chairman Marwan Bin Bayat and his board, which also resigned en masse nine months ago. Maradona led the club to eighth place in the league before being sacked by Bin Fahad’s board last July.
In reaction to the board’s decision, Maradona told the Dubai Sports Channel via telephone: “The resignation is long overdue. They should have been ousted long ago. This group did not understand what we had built. I have no respect for this administration or the person that kicked me out.
“They did not respect me or my past achievements and relieved me of my duties via social networking sites without bothering to inform me first,” he added.
“We presented them with a list of foreign players and provided them with recommendations for who should stay and go, but they didn’t listen to my advice and instead enlisted players that didn’t add value to the squad.
“It is regrettable to speak about the club’s wrong decisions because I know that there are players there that can help the club succeed. I was with the current group of players and was more than capable of taking the decisions.”
Maradona then denied he was in communication with the board regarding a possible return to the club in October after his successor Bruno Metsu resigned to battle colon cancer. Instead, Frenchman Gilles Morisseau took temporary charge until Guy Lacombe’s appointment in November before he was replaced by Eid Baroot last month.
“This information is incorrect,” said Maradona, “I have not contacted any officials especially after their wrongful decision to sack me. Whoever spread these rumours is a liar.
“My relationship with Al Wasl was completely severed after they fired me via Twitter.com. I’m very sorry that certain people strived to distance me from the club and as much as I love the club I couldn’t accept working with these people,” he added.
However, he didn’t entirely rule out the possibility of a return now. Maradona, who is currently contracted as an ambassador for Dubai Sports Council until July, said: “I don’t see my future at Al Wasl unless Marwan Bin Bayat returns. I respect that man a lot.
“At the same time, I’m happy with Dubai Sports Council. They are treating me in a very civilised manner and I hope our relationship can continue for as long as possible,” he added.
Meanwhile Mohammad Bin Fahad said of his board’s decision: “The resignation came at the right time for the new board to arrange coaching staff, players’ contracts and pre-season training ahead of next season.
“The outgoing board remains in temporary control until the new board comes in, then we will both stay until a full handover of duties is conducted.”
According to the local press, former chairman Marwan Bin Bayat is one of the front-runners to replace Bin Fahad, along with Ahmad Sha’afar and Rashid Belhoul.