London - Dick Advocaat has stepped down as head coach of Sunderland, the Premier League strugglers announced on Sunday.
68, was appointed last March and successfully steered Sunderland clear
of relegation, but they have made a poor start to the current campaign
and sit second-bottom with three points from eight games.
"I want to thank everyone who has stood behind me," Advocaat said in a statement released by the club.
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.
have made the decision to go after only eight games as I felt it was
important to give everyone time (to) turn things around - like we did
"I am thankful to the chairman (Ellis Short) for
understanding my feelings and I remain on good terms with everyone at
The experienced Dutch coach announced his departure
from Sunderland at the end of last season, following a 0-0 draw at
Arsenal that secured the club's top-flight status and left him in tears.
reversed his decision in June, signing a one-year contract, but
Sunderland have made a dismal start to the new season and Advocaat
hinted after Saturday's 2-2 draw at home to West Ham United that he had
decided to leave the Stadium of Light.
"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," said Sunderland chairperson Ellis Short.
"He is a man of integrity and a true football person."
added: "It is also testament to his character that he has forgone any
kind of a financial settlement, something which is very unusual in
Former West Ham manager Sam Allardyce and Burnley
manager Sean Dyche have been installed as the early favourites to
succeed Advocaat, who has also managed teams including Holland, South
Korea, Belgium, Russia, PSV Eindhoven and Rangers.
reports claim that sporting director Lee Congerton has also tendered his
resignation and is working a period of notice.
assistant, Zeljko Petrovic, has also left the club, added: "I wish
Ellis, Lee, 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
"I have some wonderful memories to take with me and I hope I will return to see everybody again in the future."