Dick Advocaat quits: Sunderland manager walks away after dreadful start to season

The Dutchman was reluctant to take the role on a full-time basis

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The Independent Online

Dick Advocaat has left Sunderland, the club have announced.

The Dutchman was under immense pressure following a dreadful start to the season that sees the club without a win in eight games and joint bottom of the table.

Advocaat, who joined the club in March of this year and helped the club stave of relegation, made the decision to go.

A statement on the club's website read: "Sunderland AFC have announced that Dick Advocaat has left his position as head coach at the club.

"The Dutchman informed the chairman of his decision to step down from his role and departs the Stadium of Light with immediate effect."

Advocaat told Sunderland's website: “I want to thank everyone who has stood behind me. This is a very special football club, with so many great people, but I feel it is the right time to do this - not for me, but for the club.

“I have made the decision to go after only eight games as I felt it was important to give everyone time turn things around - like we did last year. I am thankful to the chairman for understanding my feelings and I remain on good terms with everyone at the club.  

“I wish Ellis, Lee (Congerton), all of the staff, players and of course the supporters, who made me feel so welcome here, the very best of luck for the rest of the season. I have some wonderful memories to take with me and I hope I will return to see everybody again in the future.”

Advocaat always appeared reluctant to take the job full-time having originally come in on a temporary basis. He famously said that his wife would divorce him if he took the job.

Sunderland AFC chairman Ellis Short said: “I am truly saddened by Dick’s decision, but I respect him for his honesty and for doing what he feels is right for the club.

"He is a man of integrity and a true football person. He was hugely respectful of the club in taking this decision and he acted 100% in our best interests. It is also testament to his character that he has forgone any kind of a financial settlement, something which is very unusual in football.

“I want to place on record my sincere thanks to Dick. He will be remembered with great affection by everyone at Sunderland and there will always be a warm welcome for him here at the Stadium of Light.

“While this isn’t a situation any of us envisaged being in, what is important now is that we regroup quickly and focus on the rest of the season.”

 

Burnley manager Sean Dyche has been installed as the favourite to replace Advocaat.

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