Dick Advocaat turned down big Sunderland deal to retire to Netherlands countryside

Dick Advocaat has decided to retire
Dick Advocaat has decided to retire

Dick Advocaat would have become one of the best-paid managers in the Premier League, plus been handed a healthy transfer kitty, if he had agreed to remain in charge of Sunderland.

Advocaat last night informed Sunderland that he would not be remaining at the Stadium of Light beyond his short-term contract after deciding to go ahead with his retirement plans, following discussions with his family.

We gave everything in our time there and achieved what we set out to


SportMail understands Advocaat’s decision was solely based on personal circumstances after coming to the conclusion that he could no longer commit to the demands of full-time club football at 67.

Owner Ellis Short had been willing to offer Advocaat a bumper deal which would have seen him become the highest-paid manager in the club’s history, and among the top earners in the Premier League.

That came with the flexibility of penning a one, two or three-year contract after Short realised Advocaat’s value, following his stewardship of Sunderland to safety.

Short also agreed with Advocaat’s transfer recommendations that the club needed to bring in up to half-a-dozen “quality” signings this summer, who were capable of immediately improving the standard of the starting XI.

But it wasn’t sufficient to tempt Advocaat to postpone his retirement plans after building a luxury home with his wife in their native Holland.

“At certain moments in your life you have to make a decision and I am almost 68 years old now,” said Advocaat, who is happy to help Sunderland get his successor.

“I would like to thank the chairman, Lee (Congerton, sporting director) the staff and of course the fans.

“We gave everything in our time there and achieved what we set out to. Sunderland has been one of the highlights of my career.”

Both Short and Congerton had begun to sense over the weekend that Advocaat would reject their overtures, despite him becoming increasingly tempted by Sunderland’s proposition over recent weeks.

But Advocaat’s rejection will still have come as a bitter blow after putting all of their efforts into keeping him at the club.