Advocaat quits Sunderland post

Sunderland have announced the departure of Dick Advocaat as manager after a disappointing start to the new Premier League season.

Advocaat had saved the Wearsiders from relegation last term and initially left his post before deciding to sign a new one-year contract at the Stadium of Light just days later.

However, things have not gone according to plan for the Dutchman, who oversaw an eight-match winless streak in the new campaign following their 2-2 draw against West Ham on Saturday.

The Black Cats squandered a two-goal lead on home soil to come away with a share of the spoils, and Advocaat admitted on Sunday his decision was made in the best interests of the club.

Commenting on his departure, Advocaat told the club's official 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."

Sunderland chairman Ellis Short added: "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 per cent 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."