Atanas Marinov will not be the Valletta coach next season.

Marinov, who took over from Dennis Fenech last summer, decided to exercise a clause in his two-year agreement which allows him to terminate his contract with Valletta at any given time.

The Bulgarian mentor, who spent two seasons at the helm of Hamrun Spartans before moving to Valletta, handed his letter of resignation to Anton Abela, the club secretary, yesterday.

"We had talks with Marinov last weekend but today (yesterday) he officially informed the club of his intentions to resign as Valletta coach," Abela said.

"Valletta are very disappointed with Marinov's decision to leave the club in such circumstances."

The air of uncertainty surrounding Marinov's position intensified after Valletta spent the second part of the season in the Relegation Pool and were beaten by Marsaxlokk, touted as the Bulgarian's future employers, in the FA Trophy semi-finals.

Their 1-0 extra-time defeat to Marsaxlokk ended Valletta's hopes of European football next season.

Contacted by The Times yesterday evening, the 45-year-old Marinov confirmed his resignation from Valletta coach but would not say much about the reasons that led to his decision.

Marsaxlokk interest

"I have resigned from Valletta coach for various reasons" Marinov said. "All I can say is that I am not only disappointed with the overall performance of the team this season, I am also angry with myself for failing to meet the club's and fans' expectations. The Valletta supporters deserved much better from us."

Asked to comment on speculation tipping him to become the next Marsaxlokk coach, Marinov said: "There have been approaches but nothing has been decided yet.

"Now I will go to Bulgaria for my holidays and a decision on my future will be made once I return to Malta."


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