Dundee United have announced that manager Peter Houston will leave the club at the end of the season, following discussions between the former Scotland assistant manager and chairman Stephen Thompson, as the Tannadice outfit looked to cut their wage bill.
In a statement via the official club website, Thompson said: “We are all extremely grateful to Peter for all of his efforts over the last three years as Manager and indeed in his previous role as Assistant Manager. In an ideal world, we would have had no hesitation in renewing contracts on a similar basis as originally provided.
“However, the world has changed in the last three years and we must re-align the cost base of the business to the new economic reality. We are certainly not the only Scottish football club, or Scottish company, taking such action to ensure the future of the business and all of its employees.
“Peter fully understood this, but felt that with the direction the Club has to go in, he could no longer continue to take the Club forward. He will remain fully committed to his role as Manager until the end of the season and will then leave with our best wishes and grateful thanks.”
The statement continued: “Peter has now advised that he has decided not to extend his contract, as it is in the best interests of both the Club and himself to remove any further uncertainty regarding the position.”
Houston, took the decision to step down as manager, stating he cannot see the cost-cutting at the club aiding him in delivering on the field.
He added: “First, I would like to thank the fans, players, staff and the Board for their unbelievable support during my time here. I am sure that I can count on that support until the end of my contract. It is with sadness that I have arrived at this decision but feel that I have worked with the Board to help them financially to reduce the debts and ongoing costs over the last three years and that there is a limit to how much we can continue to cut costs and continue to deliver what I want on the pitch. I understand and accept that changing circumstances mean that the Board is under continued pressure to reduce costs, but I feel the time is now right for me to move on for a fresh challenge.
“I look forward to working with everyone at the Club to ensure we finish top six again as we have done for the last three years.”
Houston was appointed as caretaker manager in December 2009, when his predecessor Craig Levein was appointed as Scotland manager. He was appointed manager on a permanent basis at the end of that season, following Dundee United’s 3-0 Scottish Cup victory over Ross County in May and led the club into Europe for the past three seasons.
Houston was earlier granted permission to speak to English championship side Blackpool about their vacant managerial position, but the English side denied that they had spoken to the former Scotland assistant.
There has been speculation that former Hearts, Dundee United and Scotland manager Craig Levein could return to Tannadice to replace his former right hand man. As well as recently sacked Bristol City manager Derek McInnes.
Dundee United currently sit in 8th place in the league.