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Fulham have announced that the former Celtic business director Jim Hone will succeed Bruce Langham as their chief executive.

Langham was sacked shortly before he was due to appear at a meeting of the Fulham Supporters’ Trust and the decision bemused supporters who thought that he was finally beginning to come to terms with his role. The club promised the supporters they would have a successor in place quickly and Hone, who has managed Celtic’s football business activities for five years, will start work on December 1.

Chairman Mohamed Fayed said: “Celtic is one of the biggest and most successful clubs in Europe and Jim

Hone has played a significant part in that success. He has an excellent pedigree and reputation within the football industry. I am very pleased that he has joined Fulham. His appointment is just one more piece in the jigsaw which will ultimately bring my dream of Fulham as one of Europe’s top teams to fulfillment.”

Hone added: “I am delighted to take on this job at such an exciting time in Fulham’s development. I am also looking forward to working with Chris Coleman who has made such an admirable start to his managerial career. It takes a lot of people to build a successful football club, including the fans and supporters, and I intend to be part of the team which does that at Fulham. The financial success of a club is inextricably linked to success on the field. I am sure that we can build a business here at sensible cost which will deliver outstanding football and financial success.’

Coleman said he was ‘looking forward to work with’ Hone, 45, a long-term Celtic supporter who was installed as executive director of British Aerospace’s operating arm when he was in his twenties.