Former Dundee manager Gary Bowyer has said that he was “saddened and disappointed” after leaving the club just days after securing the Championship title.
Dundee announced the exit of Bowyer and assistant Billy Barr earlier this week, on the morning that he was named as the league’s manager of the year, with the club saying that it was “a time for certainty” ahead of a busy summer recruiting for the return to the Premiership.
As the club begins the search for a new manager, Bowyer released a statement through the League Managers Association, detailing how much he had enjoyed his time in Dundee and had hoped to be planning to try and break into the top six next season.
He wrote: “Firstly, may I take this opportunity to say what a huge honour and a privilege it has been to be manager of Dundee Football Club. Thank you to Tim Keyes the chairman and the rest of the board.
“I am saddened and disappointed not to have the chance to lead the team in the Scottish Premiership next season. I have loved my time at Dundee and was excited at the prospect of breaking into the top 6. I will miss living in ‘the ferry’ and Scotland, which is such a beautiful country.
“Winning the Championship last Friday was an incredible night and to also be named Championship Manager of the Season was very humbling. I undoubtedly share both achievements with my staff and players who worked hard and showed great skill and determination to achieve promotion at the first time of asking.
“There are many people I want to thank for making my time with Dundee a success…
“My wife and family, for all their love and support and the sacrifices they made to make this work for us all. I know they loved their time up here as much as I did and were made to feel very welcome by the people of Dundee.”
Dundee clinched the title with a thrilling final game 5-3 win at nearest rivals Queen’s Park last week. The manager was fulsome in his praise of the backroom staff who helped him throughout the season, his playing squad, and the fans who backed the club through a competitive season.
Notably, Bowyer did not name chief executive John Nelms or sporting director Gordon Strachan.
He wrote: “To my assistant Billy Barr, what a fantastic, incredibly loyal and brilliant person you are. We shared so many emotions throughout the year and I could not have achieved this without your unwavering support. Top man.
“Moving to a new country has been a fabulous experience. The transition was made that much easier by the efforts of my coaching team of Scott Paterson, Alan Combe, Matty Castle, Macauley Kenney, Bruce Smith and Gary Ogilvie. Thank you all for your incredible work, great knowledge and input. I loved your company and you all played a massive part in us winning the league.
“To the players thank you for all your hard work and buying into our way of working. The appetite you showed on a daily basis was outstanding and as a result you were rewarded by being crowned champions.
“Finally to the magnificent supporters, wow, wow, wow. The celebrations on Friday night, the civic reception at the weekend and the reception you gave me on the awards evening will live with me forever. From day one you took me in and we built a special relationship. Your passion for your team is incredible, please continue to give that support to those players in dark blue. I will miss celebrating with you all at the end of the games.
“Thank you for the memories it’s been an unbelievable season”.