Melbourne City head coach John van’t Schip has resigned with immediate effect so he can return home to be with his ill father in Netherlands.
With his father in palliative care, former Netherlands international Van’t Schip made the tough decision to walk away from the A-League title hopefuls on Tuesday.
Van’t Schip leaves Melbourne for a second time, after departing Melbourne Heart for Guadalajara in 2012, having guided City to their maiden trophy in 2016-17 – the FFA Cup last year.
The 53-year-old – a 41-cap international and four-time Eredivisie winner with Ajax – has also turned City into genuine contenders this season, fourth in the standings after 13 rounds as assistant coach Michael Valkanis takes the reins on an interim basis until a replacement is found.
“I have been faced with a choice between my family in Holland and my work here in Australia and there was only one right decision,” Van’t Schip said in a statement.
“I did not want my personal circumstances to impact the club in any way. I am part of a strong coaching team that has been carefully nurtured over the last three years and that gives me great confidence that this situation will not adversely affect the club’s progress.
“I would like to thank everyone at Melbourne City and the City Football Group for their support. The club’s development since its creation will always be a source of great personal pride to me.”
City Football Group chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said: “John’s reaction to his personal circumstances is testament to the man he is and why he has been such an important contributor to the club’s development both on and off the field – culminating in guiding our men’s first team to its maiden trophy. He has our ongoing gratitude and support as his focus rightly turns to his family.”
On Friday, City play host to stuttering Western Sydney Wanderers in Melbourne.