Advocaat quits Sunderland job
Dick Advocaat has left his job as Sunderland's head coach just four months after being persuaded to delay his retirement plans for a year.
The 68-year-old Dutchman, who was parachuted in to mastermind a nine-game rescue mission at the end of the last campaign, has walked away with the club sitting in 19th place in the Premier League on three points after winning none of their opening eight fixtures following Saturday's 2-2 draw with West Ham at the Stadium of Light.
Advocaat's departure was confirmed in a club statement which said: "Sunderland AFC has 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."
It is understood that the former Holland boss, who refused to discuss his future after the game, had decided to go whatever the result against West Ham on Saturday.
It leaves the Black Cats in a state of flux once again with sporting director Lee Congerton understood to be working a period of notice after tendering his resignation.
But as he departed, Advocaat said: "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 to turn things around - like we did last year. I am thankful to the chairman (Ellis Short) for understanding my feelings and I remain on good terms with everyone at the club.
"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 season. I have some wonderful memories to take with me and I hope I will return to see everybody again in the future."