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Jol replaced by Meulensteen at Fulham

Fulham have parted company with manager Martin Jol and placed Rene Meulensteen in charge of first-team affairs.

Jol, who took the reins at Craven Cottage in June 2011, had been under increasing pressure after the club slipped into the Premier League relegation zone.

Saturday’s 3-0 defeat to West Ham at Upton Park, which saw the visitors fail to muster a shot on target, represented the final straw for Fulham owner Shahid Khan and Jol’s exit was confirmed on Sunday.

Meulensteen, who was appointed as Fulham’s first-team coach in November, will now take over.

“Today (Sunday) 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,” Khan said in a statement.

“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.”

Jol had admitted in the build-up to Saturday’s game that a loss would put his job under serious threat and accepted that results had not been good enough after departing.

“It was a privilege to manage Fulham, one of the great clubs in the Premier League or anywhere in the world,” he said.

“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.”

Meulensteen will assume the fifth managerial role of his career.

After spells in charge of Qatari sides Al-Ittihad and Al Sadd, Meulensteen moved to Manchester United, serving under Alex Ferguson for 12 years in two spells, punctuated by a short spell in charge of Brondby.

After leaving Old Trafford in the wake of the Scot’s retirement, he joined Anzhi Makhachkala’s coaching staff, replacing Guus Hiddink as boss, but only lasting in the role for 16 days as financial turmoil set in at the Russian club.

Meulensteen’s first game in charge will be against Tottenham at Craven Cottage on Wednesday.

Sun 1 December, 2013
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