Sunderland have confirmed Dick Advocaat has left the club.
The Dutchman has left his job as head coach at the Stadium of Light just four months after his appointment on a one-year deal.
Advocaat was initially brought in as replacement for Gus Poyet in March, and helped guide Sunderland to safety in the latter stages of the season.
After originally saying he wouldn’t return for this season, Advocaat was persuaded to come back by owner Ellis Short and sporting director Lee Congerton.
However, with the 68-year-old growing unhappy with Sunderland’s start to the season, which sees them second bottom of the Premier League without a win in eight games, Advocaat has decided to resign.
Speaking about his departure, 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 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 AFC chairman Ellis Short said: “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% 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.”
Assistant head coach Zeljko Petrovic has also left the club.