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Friday 14 February 2014

Fulham appoint Felix Magath as first-team manager

Former Bayern Munich and Wolfsburg manager takes over at Craven Cottage

  • Felix Magath celebrating the most recent of his three Bundesliga titles, with Wolfsburg

  • Fulham chairman Shahid Khan, left, said action was required by the club

Fulham have announced the hiring of Felix Magath as first-team manager with immediate effect.

The announcement was made jointly by the club chairman Shahid Khan and CEO Alistair Mackintosh and it added that Magath has received an 18-month contract with further news on the backroom staff "to be made in the near future".

"I’m especially impressed with the reputation Felix has for coming into clubs at difficult times"
Shahid Khan

Magath, 60, becomes the first German to manage in the Barclays Premier League and joins Fulham having a rich history as a player and coach in the Bundesliga. As coach of Bayern Munich he won two domestic titles, in 2005 and 2006, and another with Wolfsburg, his last club, in 2009, before leaving there in late 2012. As a player, he won the European Cup with Hamburg, whom he also coached twice.

The appointment by Fulham was made with the club bottom of the Barclays Premier League on 20 points from 26 matches and four points from safety. Magath's first match in charge at Fulham will be the trip to West Bromwich Albion in the Barclays Premier League on Saturday, 22 February.

"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,” Khan said. “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."

Magath is the latest managerial appointment made by Fulham this season. In December, former Manchester United assistant manager Rene Meulensteen became head coach after the exit of manager Martin Jol.

Action was required, says chairman

"Our Club has shown promise in recent matches, but the fact is we have not won a league match since January 1,”Khan said. “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.”

Mackintosh also issued a statement on the Fulham website.

"The opportunity to bring in a manager with the experience of Felix Magath would typically be unlikely at this point in the season,” Mackintosh said. “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.”

"Fulham is a fantastic working environment for every coach and footballer"
Felix Magath

Magath commented on the appointment on his Facebook page.

"Here we go again, I'm returning to football," he said. "I am manager of Fulham. It's a fantastic working environment for every coach and footballer.

"This traditional and great club and its owner Shahid Khan have totally convinced me and made me the manager. I would like to thank the club and the owner for this trust.

"I'm looking forward to [going to] London and especially the fans and employees of Fulham, and the backroom staff and team there."

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Key Points

  • Felix Magath named as Fulham first-team manager
  • Magath is first German to manage in Barclays Premier League after agreeing an 18-month deal
  • The 60-year-old has won three Bundesliga titles
Tags: Fulham