Sunderland have confirmed that Dick Advocaat will not continue as club boss despite helping the Black Cats avoid relegation.
The 67-year-old informed the club hierarchy of his decision this evening, said Sunderland’s official website, but this was not just an exit from the Stadium of Light with Advocaat declaring this will be his last ever managerial job.
The Dutchman said at almost 68-years of age he was forced into making a decision on his professional future and, despite being offered roles at numerous clubs, he would always have remained at Sunderland if he was to continue his career.
He finished by declaring that his time in the north east had been one of the highlights of his career.
“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,” he said.
“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.”
Club owner and chairman Ellis Short said he was incredibly disappointed in the decision because of the impact Advocaat had in such a short time at the club but said Sunderland AFC will always be grateful for what he achieved.
“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,” Short said.
Advocaat joined the club in March following the sacking of Gus Poyet with Sunderland languishing in 17th place, just one point shy of the relegation zone.
The Black Cats ended the season in 16th place, three points clear of the eventual cut-off point for relegation.