Fulham bring in Felix Magath to replace Meulensteen

Club dismiss Rene Meulensteen and appoint German as manager.

Felix Magath. AFP
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Fulham have taken drastic action in their bid to beat relegation by sacking Rene Meulensteen and appointing Felix Magath as first-team manager.

Former Manchester United coach Meulensteen was appointed head coach under Martin Jol, only to take control of first-team duties on December 1 following his compatriot’s sacking.

However, with the bottom-placed west Londoners four points adrift of Premier League safety chairman Shahid Khan has wielded the axe again.

Magath has been installed as first-team manager on an 18-month contract, with Meulensteen confirming his exit from the club despite the club statement not mentioning his name.

German manager Magath arrives at Craven Cottage with an impressive CV, having led Bayern Munich to successive Bundesliga titles in 2005 and 2006, before achieving the same feat with Wolfsburg in 2009.

Commenting on the decision, chairman Khan told the club’s official website: “I am very happy to welcome Felix Magath to Fulham Football Club.

“Felix is an accomplished manager with multiple honours in the Bundesliga and a hunger to replicate his success with Fulham in the Barclays Premier League.

“I’m especially impressed with the reputation Felix has for coming into clubs at difficult times, often late in the season, and lifting them to their potential and beyond.

“Felix knows that is precisely the task awaiting him at Fulham, and he made it abundantly clear that he wants and is ready for the opportunity.

“Our club has shown promise in recent matches, but the fact is we have not won a league match since January 1.

“Given our form, we can no longer merely hope that our fortunes will finally turn. And with 12 matches remaining and at least four points separating us from safety, we certainly can no longer post empty results. Action was required.

“[Chief executive] Alistair Mackintosh did a wonderful job during the January transfer window to improve our club.

“This week, Alistair recommended Felix, with his history of producing results for clubs with similar challenges as ours, as the new manager of Fulham.

“Alistair’s recommendation received my complete approval and Felix has my unequivocal support.”