Fulham have earlier today reported they have employed Felix Magath as first team manager of the club, replacing Rene Meulensteen.
Fulham owner Shahid Khan released a statement on the Fulham website regarding Magath's appointment:
"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 1st. 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."
“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.”
Ironically, Rene Meulensteen was not even mentioned in the statement, leading to some confusion regarding what exactly had happened to Meulensteen.
In due time Meulensteen would confirm his sacking, as well as give his pennies worth on the breaking news in an interview with BBC Sport:
"They have hit the panic button on emotion and fear - but hey ho, that's football".
I knew the owners were freaking out a little bit that there was the possibility of the club going down.
"The way forward that we have discussed with the club was about longevity and in this case it is clearly an act of fear.
"I have not had a lot of time and people who came to the Manchester United and Liverpool games could see what I was trying to put in place.
"I couldn't care less what they put in the statement, to be honest" [a reference to the fact he was not mentioned when Magath was announced manager].
Meulensteen may have only won four of his 17 games, but with Fulham showing a marked improvement in their last two matches against Manchester United and Liverpool, and with Meulensteen buying several players, as well as getting rid of the many lazy players the team had in the January transfer window, one would have presumed he would have been given more time.
Instead, his sacking represents his third disappointment in European management where he has left before his time. His first European venture was with Danish club Brondby in 2006. Meulensteen resigned half way through the season after Brondby had slipped from 2nd to 7th in a matter of months.
In Meulensteen's last club, Anzhi, he lasted only 18 days. To be fair, this can be attributed to the club scaling down as several hgh profile coaches and players left the club in a hurry.
As for Meulensteen's successor, Felix Magath, he has exclusively managed in Germany and has had much success. Magath has won three Bundesliga titles (twice with Bayern Munich and once with Wolfburg) as well as several other German domestic titles.
At the age of 60, coming into a foreign league does represent a risk, although with the trophies Magath has won, it must be presumed he is expected to turn the team into winners. Magath earned the nicknames: Saddam (after Saddam Hussein) and 'the last dictator in Europe'. With these titles the Fulham players will know they have no scope to slack off with Magath in charge.