Fulham appoints Magath as manager
Fulham have announced the appointment of Felix Magath as first-team manager on an 18-month contract.
The club have named German Magath as their new boss in a statement on their official website. The statement made no mention of Rene Meulensteen, but the former Manchester United coach, who had been in charge since the sacking of Martin Jol last December, confirmed to Sky Sports that he had been relieved of his duties.
The club revealed that Magath, whose last club job was with Wolfsburg in the Bundesliga from 2011-12, has been given an 18-month contract and that an announcement on the club's backroom staff will be made in the near future. Chairman Shahid Khan is quoted as saying: "I am very happy to welcome Felix Magath to Fulham Football Club. Felix is an accomplished manager with multiple honors in the Bundesliga and a hunger to replicate his success with Fulham in the 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 Jan 1. 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 (the club's CEO) 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."
Mackintosh was also quoted in the statement, saying: "The opportunity to bring in a manager with the experience of Felix Magath would typically be unlikely at this point in the season. However, Felix relishes this challenge. He is very impressed with our squad and commitment by Mr. Khan, and his confidence is precisely what we need over these final three months of the season. I thank Mr. Khan for his support and we are all looking forward to welcoming Felix to Fulham."
Magath, a former midfielder who won over 40 caps for West Germany during his playing career, has only managed in the Bundesliga.
This began with Hamburg in 1995 and also includes time with Nurnberg, Werder Bremen, Eintracht Frankfurt, Stuttgart, Bayern Munich, Schalke and two spells as boss of Wolfsburg. His most successful stint was as Bayern manager, during which he won the league and cup double twice in 2004-05 and 2005-06.
Magath has earned a reputation during his career for saving teams from relegation and he will need to draw on those skills at Craven Cottage with Fulham currently bottom of the Premier League table and four points from safety.