New Fulham owner Shahid Khan has met with manager Martin Jol for the first time during a stop-off on the club’s pre-season training trip to Costa Rica.
Khan, who owns the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team, bought the club off Mohamed Al Fayed last week ending the 84-year-old businessman’s 16-year association with the Cottagers.
Jol and club captain Brede Hangeland were flown from Costa Rica to Jacksonville to meet the new owner on Friday and the Dutch manager is hoping to form a strong working relationship with his new boss.
“I’m delighted that Mr Khan has such a passion for football and has great ambitions for what we can achieve,” he said.
“A link with the Jacksonville Jaguars is very exciting and I know we’re all looking forward to a successful future together.
“Mr Al Fayed was a fantastic chairman and I would like to publicly thank him for what he did for Fulham and the fans. Without him, the club would not be in this position so we all owe him a great debt of gratitude as he passes his custodianship over to Mr Khan.”
American billionaire Khan was in London last week to complete the takeover but did not get chance to meet with Jol and will be present for the Cottagers’ pre-season friendly against Deportivo Saprissa this weekend.
“The one regret from last week was leaving London without the opportunity to meet with Martin Jol or Brede Hangeland,” he said.
“I’d like to take this opportunity to publicly welcome Martin and Brede, thank them for their commitment to Fulham and wish them the best as we begin our 13th season in the Barclays Premier League.”
Hangeland has been with Fulham since 2008 and has played a key role in the club maintaining its Premier League status and reaching the Europa League final in 2010.
And the big Norwegian admits there was an air of excitement amongst the players as news of the takeover was revealed last week.
“This week we’ve been in Costa Rica for our pre-season training camp, where last weekend’s announcement was greeted with much positivity and excitement,” he said.
“We’re only a few weeks away from the start of the new season, and we’re very much looking forward to sharing the experience and journey with our new friends here in the States.
“We want to make it a campaign to remember for everyone involved.”