Championship-bound Sunderland's hopes of appointing Derek McInnes as David Moyes' successor were dealt a brusque blow Thursday with the Aberdeen gaffer's announcement that he's staying put.
McInnes and his assistant Tony Docherty will remain with the reigning Scottish Premier League runner-up days after the Black Cats had formally approached Aberdeen for permission to speak with its 45-year-old manager.
Aberdeen announced McInnes and Docherty were sticking with The Dons with a statement on its website, claiming the pair "have elected to remain at Pittodrie until at least the summer of 2019."
Club chairman Stewart Milne admitted: "I am personally absolutely delighted that Derek and Tony have agreed to stay and have never doubted their commitment to the Club."
BREAKING NEWS | Aberdeen FC is pleased to confirm that Derek McInnes and Tony Docherty have elected to remain at Pittodrie#StandFree pic.twitter.com/xOct25NATl— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) June 15, 2017
BREAKING NEWS | Aberdeen FC is pleased to confirm that Derek McInnes and Tony Docherty have elected to remain at Pittodrie#StandFree pic.twitter.com/xOct25NATl
— Aberdeen FC (@AberdeenFC) June 15, 2017
McInnes led Aberdeen to the Scottish Cup and Scottish League Cup finals this season, and despite losing to record-breaking league winner Celtic on both occasions, The Dons extended their streak of finishing second in the SPL to three seasons on the trot.
"Given what Derek has achieved here, there is inevitably going to be interest from other clubs and in making the decision to stay, he has demonstrated how much Aberdeen Football Club means to him," Milne added.
If Milne's assessment of McInnes's decision was of a celebratory tone, the manager's was candid in claiming that the club's upward trajectory matches his own lofty ambitions.
"Since the first day I arrived at Pittodrie, my biggest gripe has been the lack of training facilities and, with progress at last on that front, it's something I am keen to see through to its conclusion," the former St. Johnstone and Bristol City boss admitted.
"The delivery of these training and Community facilities are vital, for helping retain our top players, attracting new players to the Club, the development of our young players, and equally importantly enable us to play a far greater role in the wider community."
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