THE HAGUE (AFP) – Jaap Stam has stepped down as coach of Feyenoord following their 4-0 thrashing at the hands of fierce rivals Ajax, the former Dutch international announced on Monday night.
In a statement, Stam said it had “certainly not been an easy decision” to resign, with the 15-time Dutch champions languishing in 12th place in the league after their humbling in Amsterdam.
“I have thought about it well and for a long time. My final conclusion is that it is better for the club, the players and myself if I step aside,” said the 47-year-old.
The 1970 European champions said on their website Stam had resigned “with immediate effect”, adding they did not want him to leave.
“The coach certainly had our support and the players group wanted to continue with him,” said Technical Director Sjaak Troost.
“But if someone says: ‘I no longer believe in the project and don’t want to be here anymore’, then we respect that. What a shame.”
Stam played 67 times for the Netherlands but made his biggest impact as a player at United, with whom he won four Premier League titles and the club’s famous 1999 treble of the league title, FA Cup and Champions League.
He also won the Eredivisie with PSV Eindhoven in 1997 and played for Lazio, winning the Coppa Italia, and AC Milan.
However, his short coaching career has been less glorious, with the high point so far taking Reading to the playoffs in England’s second-tier Championship in 2017.
Before his departure, Stam had managed just three league wins in charge of Feyenoord, while his side are also bottom of Group G in the Europa League after winning one of their three matches.