Sunderland have announced on their official website that Dick Advocaat will not be continuing as manager of the club.
This will be a major blow to the Black Cats, who have the 67-year-old to thank for keeping them in the Premier League this season. The Dutchman arrived at the Stadium of Light in March after they had sacked Gus Poyet, and ended up guiding them to safety with a game to spare after a run of just three defeats in nine games.
At least the Mackems won’t have to deal with the former PSV Eindhoven boss managing a rival, with Advocaat deciding to completely give up club management. This is despite several clubs being in touch about him taking over.
He said: “At certain moments in your life you have to make a decision and I am almost 68 years old now. A number of clubs contacted me but the decision was always Sunderland or nobody. I would like to thank the chairman, Lee, the staff and of course the fans.
“We gave everything in our time there and achieved what we set out to. Sunderland has been one of the highlights of my career.”
Chairman Ellis Short added: “Although I am extremely disappointed, I understand and absolutely respect his decision. In his brief time here he made a real impact and lifted the club with his experience and enthusiasm. We will always be grateful to him for what he achieved.”
Sporting Director Lee Congerton also said: “I know it was a tough decision for Dick to make but he felt that he couldn’t commit to the intense rigours of club management on a longer-term basis and we respect his honesty. In his short time here he was fantastic to work with. He had and will continue to have the utmost respect of everyone here at Sunderland.
“I would like to sincerely thank him, along with his assistant Bert van Lingen and coach Zeljko Petrovic for the hard work and dedication they showed in the last two months and they leave with the very best wishes of everyone at the club for their achievements.”
Sunderland will now have to look for a new boss before next season. The next man in the hot seat will be their 12th manager in the last decade, not exactly giving an air of permanency to the role.