Felda United head coach B. Sathianathan acquiesced his team's relegation to the Malaysian Premier League following their failure to obtain the Football Association of Malaysia (FAM) club licence for the 2018 season.
Despite finishing third in the Malaysian Super League last season, the Felda management failed to submit the necessary financial documents in time to qualify for the licence and compete in the top division, forcing Football Malaysia LLP (FMLLP) to relegate them.
It ended the Fighters’ three-year stay in the top flight after earning their promotion as Premier League runners-up in 2014.
Coupled with T-Team's voluntary relegation following their rebranding
, PKNP and Negeri Sembilan were promoted to replace the two teams, joining fellow promoted sides Kuala Lumpur and Terengganu.
Although he was disheartened by the outcome, Sathianathan, who took charge of the team in February, accepted it reluctantly.
"We are disappointed with the news, but I am still proud of the team's achievement [last season]," he said.
"The Super League will miss Felda United's presence who had always provided challenges for other teams."
Sathianathan, who previously guided ATM to Super League promotion five years ago, also said he is fully committed to help the team bounce back.
"Our goal now is to win the Premier League and challenge in the Malaysia Cup and FA Cup," he added.