German manager Felix Magath has parted ways with Fulham after the former Premier League club have endured an atrocious start to the English Championship season.
Magath, 61, took over back in February but won just four of his 20 games in charge of the Cottagers as the former Bayern Munich, Wolfsburg and Schalke coach failed to get going in England.
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Fulham were relegated out of the PL for the first time in over a decade and Magath’s men have been simply shocking on their return to England’s second-tier. Wednesday evenings 5-3 drubbing at the hands of Nottingham Forest was the final straw for Fulham’s American owner Shahid Khan, as the man who also owns the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars gave the following reason for Magath’s dismissal.
“This is an unfortunate but necessary change,” Khan said. “I am doing what I feel is right and needed for Fulham Football Club, for today as well as tomorrow. I thank our supporters for standing by us during these most difficult of times on the pitch, and promise better days ahead.”
It was also announced that Fulham legend Kit Symons will take over as interim boss while the West London club search for a new manager as they have just one point from their opening seven matches this season.
Whoever takes charge will be Fulham’s fourth coach in less than a year as Martin Jol, Rene Muelensteen and now Magath have all been fired since Khan bought the club from long-time owner Mohamed Al-Fayed in the summer of 2013. Magath’s appointment seemed like a strange one from the very start as he was brought in right after the transfer window and had to work with the new players Muelensteen has just signed. His was adamant on enforcing a strict style of coaching and despite three wins a stretch of five games from March to April (against Newcastle, Aston Villa and Norwich) the Cottagers were relegated.
With many Americans soccer fans having a long-lasting affinity to “Fulhamerica” thanks to the likes of Brian McBride, Clint Dempsey and Carlos Bocanegra, they will wait on anxiously to see who promising young USMNT midfielder Emerson Hyndman will now have as his boss at Craven Cottage.
Simply put, Shahid Khan has to get this appointment right or Fulham will be consigned to life in the England’s second-tier, or perhaps even lower, for many years to come.