Jol returns to Premier League as Fulham manager
Martin Jol was hired as manager of Premier League side Fulham on
Tuesday, returning to London four years after an acrimonious exit
from Tottenham that burst his burgeoning reputation in England.
The 55-year-old Dutchman signed an initial two-year contract
with Fulham – with the option of a 12-month extension – as a
replacement for Mark Hughes, who resigned last week after just one
season in charge.
Fired by Spurs despite becoming a popular figure at White Hart
Lane after guiding the club to two fifth-place finishes in his two
full seasons in charge, Jol will feel he has some unfinished
business to attend to as he returns to England’s top division.
”I could have gone to other countries but I was waiting for the
opportunity to come back to England,” Jol said. ”I’m very happy
to be back and especially at a club like Fulham.”
Jol, who will be Fulham’s third manager in as many seasons, was
close to joining Fulham last offseason, but Ajax – the team he was
coaching at the time – refused to release him from his
He has been out of work since quitting the Amsterdam club in
December, following a slump in fortunes after leading the side to a
second-place finish in the league and a spot in the Champions
Jol will start working at Fulham from June 23 and has a campaign
in the Europa League to look forward to after the team qualified
for the competition via the continent’s Fair Play standings.
Jol is already looking at bolstering his squad at Craven Cottage
to cope with the demand of playing on both domestic and European
”The last time Fulham were in the Europa League (when it
reached the final in 2010), they were 12th in the table, but it is
my hope that we can build a squad that is strong enough to compete
in all of these competitions,” Jol said.
”But it would be ridiculous to say that I’m not happy with
being in the Europa League.”
Fulham, which has never won a major trophy, finished eighth in
the Premier League last season after a strong run of results
following the turn of the year.
It is a club that, considering its size and relatively meager
spending in recent seasons, has overperformed since 2008, initially
under Roy Hodgson and then belatedly under Hughes.
”I know that he will dedicate himself to helping us move
forward, and is with us for the long term, to help us build and
progress,” chairman Mohamed Al Fayed said.
”We have enjoyed three incredibly successful years, and my
hopes and dreams for this club are for that journey to continue. I
know that with his wealth of experience and success, Martin is the
right man to help us do this.”
A former player with clubs including Bayern Munich, West
Bromwich Albion and Coventry City, Jol coached Dutch teams Roda JC
Kerkrade and RKC Waalwijk before moving to Tottenham.
After being ditched by Tottenham two months into his third
season in charge, Jol coached Hamburg for two seasons before