Fulham have sacked manager Martin Jol after six straight defeats and promoted Rene Meulensteen to become the club’s new boss in a bid to avoid relegation.
Fulham supporters demanded Jol’s departure following the miserable 3-0 defeat at West Ham United on Saturday that leaves the Whites eighteenth in the Premier League table with ten points from thirteen games. Being beaten so easily by a potential relegation rival appears to have been the final straw for Fulham chairman Shahid Khan, who said in a statement on the club’s official website:
“Today I spoke with Martin to thank him for his efforts on behalf of Fulham Football Club over the past three seasons and, in particular, since my becoming chairman earlier this year. Martin was very gracious and I appreciate his understanding of the situation. There is no question Martin is an excellent football man and he has my utmost respect for the commitment he made to our club.
“However, our poor form and results this season are undeniable, and Fulham supporters deserve better. With more than half the season still ahead, an immediate change was necessary.”
The Dutchman succeeded Mark Hughes at Craven Cottage in June 2011 but Fulham have won just three league fixtures all season and looked devoid of ideas at Upton Park. The former Tottenham boss said:
“It was a privilege to manage Fulham, one of the great clubs in the Premier League or anywhere in the world. I am disappointed in this season but know there are better days ahead for Fulham and its supporters. I will always treasure my experience here and want to thank Mr Khan and everyone at Fulham for the opportunity.”
Former Manchester United coach Meulensteen was appointed as Fulham’s head coach having spent five years working alongside Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford. This will the 49 year old’s first managerial role. Chairman Khan added:
“Rene Meulensteen was brought to Fulham to assist Martin and today was offered the challenge and opportunity to step in for Martin. I thank Rene for accepting and now we move forward. I have great confidence in Rene and high expectations for our squad to respond.”
Meulensteen, whose first game game will be a home derby against Tottenham on Wednesday evening, said:
“I appreciate the faith Mr. Khan has put in me and will do my very best to honour his trust. We aim to get Fulham back on track, starting Wednesday night.”