As is the mode, I heard about it via Facebook and Twitter. And it has now been confirmed by the club that Dick Advocaat is returning after all, on a one-year deal. There is minor dissent, but my response is that this is news to be heartily welcomed.
Jeremy Robson said on these pages recently that the Little General was “the most accomplished manager to arrive at Sunderland in my lifetime”. As a small by-prouct of the deal, next season’s post-match e-mails published here at Salut! Sunderland will retain the generic title invented by Jake, Advochaat.
I loved this tweet:
“So Dick, now you’re retired, fancy doing the washing up and ironing?” “Two minutes, pet… Aye Ellis? get me the f*** out of here”
— SR5 (@AdamJamesRoper) June 4, 2015
I showed earlier how Sky Sports reported it.
Now for the official word, from safc.com:
Sunderland AFC is delighted to announce the appointment of Dick Advocaat as head coach.
The highly-experienced Dutchman has put pen to paper on a one-year deal at the Stadium of Light.
Speaking about his decision to return, Dick Advocaat said: “After a lot of discussions with Ellis and Lee, they convinced me that I am the right man for the club.
“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.”
Sunderland AFC chairman Ellis Short said: “Dick’s credentials in football are top class and we saw what an impact his vast knowledge and experience had on our team and the club as a whole in just two months.
“Sunderland fans took him to their hearts and so did everyone at the club, so we are absolutely thrilled that he will be here longer term.”
The club’s sporting director, Lee Congerton, added: “Dick was always our number one choice and we were determined we weren’t going to take ‘no’ for an answer. I have been in constant contact with him over the last two weeks and I’m absolutely delighted that he has agreed to return.
“In just a short space of time he has bought into the club wholeheartedly and understands exactly what we need now in order to move forward. We have a lot of work to do to prepare for the season ahead and that starts in earnest now.”