Therdsak Chaiman walks away from Chonburi after Buriram defeat
Thailand and S.League legend Therdsak Chaiman dramatically resigned as head coach of Chonburi minutes after their 2-1 defeat at home to champions Buriram United on the final day of the Thai League (T1) season.
The former Warriors FC midfielder and one-time AFC Champions League (ACL) MVP quits after two years in charge at the club, following six years as a player. Saturday's defeat left Chonburi in seventh place.
Therdsak suggested he could remain at the club in a coaching capacity, but preferred to step down, having seen his team drop two spots from 2016's fifth place.
Here are five things we saw on T1 Matchday 34.
1. Therdsak calls it a day
Few would have seen the season turning out as it did when Chonburi outplayed Buriram on their own patch in the first half of Matchday One. The future champions looked disorganised and extremely vulnerable in defence, while the Sharks were vibrant and creative in building a 2-0 lead.
But the second half that day saw Buriram come back to salvage a 2-2 draw and Chonburi were again pegged back on Saturday. The hosts opened the scoring through Renan Marques' penalty before two second-half strikes from Diogo Luis Santo turned the game in Buriram's favour.
This result alone would not have been the reason for Therdsak's departure, but his side's somewhat erratic form has been more of a concern. There have been periods of promise, such as a run of 10 wins and just two defeats in a 14-game spell between March and June.
But there have also been worrying capitulations, such as 5-1 and 7-2 defeats to Bangkok United and 5-2 and 5-1 thrashings at the hands of Nakhon Ratchasima and Ratchaburi, respectively.
It remains to be seen if a change in head coach will help bring the glory days back for a club that has seen some drastic cost cutting during Therdsak's time in charge.
2. Buriram's record haul
While Buriram United's 2-1 victory at Chonburi spelled the end of the road for Therdsak, it created a landmark for the champions.
Diogo's double strike put Buriram on a total of 86 points for the season, beating the club's own record haul of 84 points, which was achieved in 2015.
For head coach Bozidar Bandovic, it represents vindication of sorts. Back in 2014, he was deemed surplus to requirements after having steadied the ship as interim head coach, following the departure of Alejandro Menéndez.
Back at the club as technical director, this time alongside Ranko Popovic, Bandovic stepped in again when Popovic left the club in June. But this time the former Olympiacos manager was given time to see things through and he has overseen and incredible run of form, winning 16 of the last 17 games.
"I am proud of what I did in 2014 and I am very happy to be back at the club," Bandovic told ESPN FC. "It was a great feeling for me to be back at Buriram and working with these players. Of course, it would have been better if I had stayed the last time, but these things happen.
"But I believe that in life, you always get what you deserve, and I think I deserve this."
3. Gama rues "crazy" schedule
Chiang Rai United head coach Alexandre Gama watched his second string side blow a two-goal lead at Super Power Samut Prakan, as the bottom club earned a 2-2 draw in their final fixture before a move to the northeastern province of Mahasarakham and a rebirth as Jumpasri United.
But Gama was more concerned with the week ahead than the result as Chiang Rai prepare for two cup finals in four days. First, they face Muang Thong United in Wednesday's League Cup final, and they then play Bangkok United in the FA Cup final on Saturday when there is also an ACL qualifying spot at stake.
The former Buriram boss insists that he will not give preference to Saturday's game over Wednesday's, despite there being two prizes on offer in the clash with Bangkok United.
"We're going into two finals and I cannot choose to favour one," Gama told ESPN FC. "Both competitions are very important for the club and we will try and do our best.
"We know the schedule is crazy, but we have to live with it and prepare for it and we know what we have to do for these two games.
"The team is ready. We have rested the players for two games. I hope my team come into these games at more than 100 percent."
4. Muang Thong end disappointing campaign with a win
In the first couple of months of the season, it looked certain that Muang Thong United would retain their title as they opened up a seven-point lead at the top, while impressing in the ACL.
But the team suffered a dramatic loss of form in May and three consecutive T1 defeats in that month proved the turning point as Buriram took full advantage.
However, goals from Leandro Assumpcao and Teerasil Dangda ensured that the campaign ended as it began, with a win over Bangkok Glass.
Muang Thong still have to negotiate the League Cup final on Wednesday before deciding if the squad they now have is good enough to wrestle the title back from Buriram in 2018.
And their runners-up finish ensures that they will have a chance to qualify for the group stages of the ACL, having reached the round of 16 in their most significant achievement of 2017.
5. Jadet puts Zico firmly in the shade
In one of the season's most bizarre episodes, former national team head coach Kiatisuk "Zico" Senamuang took over from Jadet Meelarp at Port FC in June, despite the fact that the club were sitting comfortably in mid-table in their first season back in T1 after a year's absence.
Kiatisuk oversaw a poor run of results, winning just once in 10 T1 games (against relegated Thai Honda) before abruptly quitting.
The club wisely turned to Jadet again and the former Chonburi boss promptly made an impact. Saturday's 3-2 victory at Ratchaburi was their fifth T1 win in the six game since Kiatisuk left -- there was also a 1-1 draw with Muang Thong United.
Bangkok-based Paul Murphy has lived in Asia for a decade, writing for ESPN FC since 2014. He is a former Daily Express sub-editor. @PaulMurphyBKK