Football Tribe SEA Editor
Port FC have punctuated the long silence of relevant Thai football news during the enforced league break due to COVID-19, as they have announced the departure of head coach Choktawee Promrut.
‘Coach Chok’ arrived during the second half of last season to arrest a sharp slump in form which saw Port fall from the league summit with a run of six winless games. The side saw a revival in form which helped them get back in the title race, ultimately finishing third behind Buriram and eventual champions Chiangrai.
Choktawee’s crowning achievement, however, was winning the 2019 FA Cup, delivering the first piece of silverware to Klongtoei since 2010. The former Thailand U23 boss managed to make the side far more disciplined and defensively resilient, which helped them overcome Chiangrai United in the quarter-finals and Bangkok United in the semis – a major achievement considering the side’s typically abysmal record against the fellow big sides.
The ‘official story’ claims that the coach’s departure comes as the side are forced to cut costs due to the COVID-19 outbreak, which seems odd given that cuts to the playing squad would likely yield more value for money. However, Chok sat down for an honest interview which may tell a different story. The 45-year-old claimed that “someone else [was] making the final decisions” at the club, while he was forced to take the full responsibility for their failings (via portfcsandpit). These comments indicate that all was not well behind the scenes, as do the troubling reports that the coach was not being paid and ultimately forced to resign.
Regardless, Choktawee leaves the side in good stead, as the side sit third with ten points from their first four games. Sporting director Jadet Meelarp will step back into the coaching role, as he did to replace former boss Kiatisuk Senamueang back in 2017.