Club statement: Alex Neil leaves Sunderland

Sunderland AFC can confirm that Alex Neil has joined Stoke City with immediate effect.

The 41-year-old expressed his desire to leave the Club on Friday morning despite signing an improved contract at the Stadium of Light earlier this month.

SAFC made an immediate offer to further significantly enhance Neil’s terms on Friday afternoon, but he declined this proposal to remain on Wearside and reiterated his desire to leave the Club.

He has now finalised a move to the bet365 Stadium and the process to appoint a new Head Coach is underway. 

Neil joined SAFC in February and oversaw a remarkable 17-game unbeaten run that culminated in promotion to the Sky Bet Championship.

The Club’s impressive form has continued throughout the start of the 2022-23 season and he departs with SAFC placed 12th in the second-tier table.

Sporting Director Kristjaan Speakman said: “First and foremost, we want to thank Alex for his contribution to Sunderland AFC. The impact he made is clear and he played an integral role in our promotion last season. Despite signing revised terms earlier this month and receiving an offer to further improve his contract on Friday, Alex felt this was an opportunity that he wanted to pursue. We are extremely disappointed by his departure, but we ultimately respect his decision and we wish him well. The process to appoint a new Head Coach is underway and we will provide a further update to our supporters shortly.”

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