Fulham fires Kit Symons as Khan looks for fifth manager

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Fulham’s American owner Shad Khan has been here before.

Known for his patient approach with the Jaguars in the NFL, Khan has taken a different approach since purchasing Fulham in the summer of 2013. On Sunday he sacked Kit Symons and will take the international break to search for a replacement. That man will become the fifth manager for Fulham under Khan’s watch.

A former player at Fulham between 1998 and 2001, Symons led the Whites’ academy team for years before he was hired last September to replace Felix Magath in charge of the Fulham first team. Symons brought a positive approach to the club, but in his first senior team managerial position, he failed to produce consistent results and could not sew up the Championship’s worst defensive side.

“No one can ever doubt the effort and commitment that Kit put into Fulham, not only as First Team Manager, but also as a player here, and as a key figure in the success of our Academy,” said Khan in a statement on the Fulham website.

Fulham, in the Premier League for 13 straight seasons before relegation in 2014, currently sits in 12th position in the English second tier owning the most goals scored in the league but also the second-most conceded. The final straw for Symons was a 5-2 drubbing at home by Birmingham City, a team that hadn’t scored in three matches prior to coming to Craven Cottage.

Khan has struggled to find a good fit at Fulham since his purchase. He inherited a squad in transition under Martin Jol, and has since placed Rene Meulensteen, Felix Magath, and Symons in charge.

No names have been truly thrust forward for the open Fulham job yet, although current Hull City boss Steven Bruce and former Leicester City manager Nigel Pearson are the favorites with the bookmakers. Another name being thrown around is American manager Bob Bradley, who told Stabaek he will leave at the end of the season with a Europa League spot already wrapped up for the Norwegian club. Reports say he has an agreement with troubled French club Le Havre to join once his time in Norway comes to an end, but Fulham could be an enticing destination (and an intriguingly good fit) for a manager desperately looking to make a name for himself in the European game.