Sunday 4 October 2015 18:42, UK
Dick Advocaat has quit as Sunderland's boss in order to give his replacement time to turn the club's fortunes around.
The Dutch coach saw his side blow a two-goal lead against West Ham on Saturday and draw 2-2 at the Stadium of Light.
Before the game, the former Rangers manager had been tipped to leave following a poor start to the season which had left Sunderland in the Premier League relegation zone.
Now his departure has been confirmed by the club, with the 68-year-old saying he wanted to give whoever takes over the best chance possible to get the team out of trouble.
Advocaat told safc.com: "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 [Short], 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."
Advocaat - whose assistant Zeljko Petrovic has also left - is understood to have said farewell to his players in the moments after the full-time whistle against West Ham then caught a flight to the Netherlands.
He saved the club from relegation last season but had a frustrating summer and bemoaned the fact he was not able to bring in higher-quality signings.
His fears about the overall standard of his pool have been realised as the Wearsiders have won only once this season, in the Capital One Cup against Exeter.
The Dutchman said after the game with West Ham he had decided his future but would not say what it had in store.
Now he has revealed his intentions and given he has said previously this will be his last job in club management, he will be expected to retire.