The 67-year-old Dutchman left the Premier League club at the end of the season after stating he no longer wanted to continue his career in club management. The 67-year-old was offered a three-year contract at the Stadium of Light, but the Dutchman has decided not to accept. Dutch veteran Advocaat has been persuaded to perform a sensational U-turn and stay on as head coach, nine days after he quit the post.
“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,” Advocaat told the club’s website. We gave everything in our time there and achieved what we set out to. Sunderland has been one of the highlights of my career.”
Many of the players expressed their regret at Advocaat’s departure after he helped to steer the team to top-flight safety with a game to spare having taken over from the sacked Gus Poyet in March. Then, Dick Advocaat has performed a U-turn and signed a one-year contract as head coach at Sunderland.
Speaking about his decision to return, Advocaat said: “After a lot of discussions with Ellis Short and Lee Congerton, they convinced me that I am the right man for the club.”
The 67-year-old declared himself “fit” for the challenge and has already handed sporting director Lee Congerton a list of his ideas for new signings. Ellis Short, insisted that Advocaat remained his No 1 choice even after he walked away following the last game of the season against Chelsea. He said: “Dick was always our number one choice and we were determined we weren’t going to take ‘no’ for an answer.”
Dick Advocaat said keeping Sunderland in the Premier League was one of the biggest accomplishments of his career. “It was a great feeling to be part of Sunderland in the last few months, the experience was something very special and after talking with Lee, Ellis and of course my family, we all agree it is the right decision.”
The former Holland boss, who took over an apparently sinking ship in mid-March after the sacking of Gus Poyet, said: “The club kept in touch with me all the time. They would not let go.” Meanwhile Black Cats striker Jermain Defoe said Advocaat has the support of the club’s players. “The lads love him because he came in and was honest and is a nice man,” he said.