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Saturday, August 28, 1999 Published at 12:09 GMT 13:09 UK

Sport: Football

Ruud Gullit - full resignation statement

Gullit: "My private life has been invaded in a bad way"

I want to notify everyone in this room that I resigned from Newcastle United. The reason for my resignation is partly for the bad results we have had in the last couple of weeks but the biggest reason is something that I am going to explain to you now.

I am as disappointed by the results as any other person who loves Newcastle United and therefore I take full responsibility for the bad results. The fans' expectations have not been fulfilled and therefore I would like to apologise to them.

I also would like to thank them for the marvellous support they gave me during this difficult time.

[ image: My family always comes first]
My family always comes first
But of course if the results keep on going badly you have to make a choice.

You make that choice and that is fully understandable.

I know there are still a lot of people who want me to stay and there are a lot of people who want me to go but I think that the moment has come to resign.

When all the players will be fit I still think that this team is capable of doing very good things, therefore I wish Newcastle United a very prosperous future with more luck than all the previous managers have had.

The main reason why I came to England four years ago was that I wanted to have my own private life back. The years at Chelsea I enjoyed very much because I really have the feeling that I could be myself again.

[ image: Geordie restaurants have fantastic hospitality]
Geordie restaurants have fantastic hospitality
The feeling of walking along the street minding my own business, being able to shop, being able to go to the cinema, being able to go out, being able to be like anyone else.

These things seem very ordinary for someone who doesn't know what it is like to be me. These things are worth more to me than any treasure.

The moment I came to Newcastle the journalists asked me if I understood how big the job was and I thought I knew, now I know what they really meant by that.

In this last year my private life has been invaded in a bad way.

I am used to being judged on what I do as a professional footballer or football coach but my private life has been on the streets too much.

[ image: Newcastle can be one of the best clubs in Europe]
Newcastle can be one of the best clubs in Europe
During the last year I have had reporters, photographers constantly around my home in Newcastle, people following me where I go to eat, go out, go to the cinema, but the worst part is that they have been harassing my family in Holland and that for me was the limit.

I cannot see the point why my family has to suffer for my profession. For me my family always comes first and therefore I took this decision to resign.

Wonderful memories

Despite all the judgements on my professional life I have some wonderful memories about my staying in England. I have made some wonderful friends and have had the opportunity to work in one of the best Leagues in the world.

The enthusiasm of the game has given me enormous joy as a player and as a manager. As a player I could express the joy I had inside me and as a manager I could express that to my players, this resulted in two medals that I treasure very much.

The feeling of being twice at Wembley in a final has given me in this short period of management and coaching a great satisfaction, therefore I would like to thank all the players I have been working with.

I would like to thank also a part of the media who have been working with me in a good and professional way, I know you cannot win everyone for you (sic).

Player professionalism

I would like to thank the Newcastle players for their efforts and their professionalism and wish every individual a very fruitful career.

I would like to thank my staff that have been very supportive and helpful during my stay at Newcastle. I would like to thank all the staff at the Newcastle Football Stadium for their energy and effort that they put into the club.

Again I would like to thank Judith my personal secretary for all her work and energy. I would like to thank Malmaison Hotel who have been really good to me during my stay in Newcastle.

Good food too

And I want to thank all the restaurants where I have been to for their marvellous food and hospitality.

I would like to thank the fans for their support and their love for me.

I would like to wish Steve Clarke good luck and I think he will be a marvellous manager for Newcastle United in the future.

And last but not least, I would like to thank Freddy Shepherd and Freddie Fletcher for their support and energy and the belief they gave me.

Acts of faith

They work very hard and put all their energy into the club to make this club successful.

I hope one day they can fulfil their dreams to make this club one of the best clubs in Europe.

Newcastle Football Club has come from a small club to a club of international standing and it is partly because of them. I wish them all the luck and happiness in their jobs and private life.

Thank you for your attention and I will go on a long holiday with my family.

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