Mahindra United on Thursday fired coach Derrick Pereira after the team finished fifth in the recently-concluded I-League.
The official word from the Mahindra United camp is that Pereira, who served the club for four years, opted out due to personal reasons.
"He decided to move out for personal reasons; he didn't elaborate and we didn't ask. We decided to let him go," said Mahindra United president Alan Durante.
Pereira, who joined the club in 2005, replacing Syed Nayeemuddin, guided Mahindra United to a double crown, winning the Federation Cup and National League in the 2005-06 season.
Asked whether this year's performance in the I-League, where the team finished fifth, had any bearing on Pereira's ouster, Durante replied, "We finished fifth this time; it has been a bad patch."
However, there were reports that Pereira had lost the confidence of the dressing room, and senior players looking to move out did not go down well with the club management.
"That is something I can't comment on," said Durante, adding that they would finalise a new coach in the next few days.
Pereira said he opted out since the team did not do well in the Federation Cup and I-League.
"We wanted to do well in these tournaments as it would have given us a berth in the AFC Cup," he said.
"It has been very hard for me," added the former India defender, under whom the club won two Federation Cup titles, one National League crown, two IFA Shield trophies and the Durand Cup.
He did not want to dwell on his differences with senior players.
"There's bound to be differences in the squad. When you have a big squad there's bound to be differences, but it was nothing major."
As for his future, the AFC Pro Licence coaching degree holder said he would take a break and utilise the time to hone his coaching skills.
"As of now I want to take a break. I am waiting for options. I also plan to go for a crash course in coaching. I intend to go to Brazil or England and have already approached the AFC for details.
"I want to do a stint abroad," said Pereira, who is known for his genial behaviour.
But before he bids adieu to Mahindra United, he will be at the dugout for the team's two remaining matches in the Mumbai league.
"I will complete my commitment before leaving," he concluded.