Fireman Felix fails to fight Fulham flames and is sacked
Championship strugglers Fulham (9/2 to be relegated) have announced the sacking of manager Felix Magath. The news follows the departure of Ole Gunnar Solskjaer at fellow recently relegated club Cardiff City, just hours before.
On their official website, the Cottagers announced: “Fulham chairman Shahid Khan today named Kit Symons as caretaker manager of Fulham Football Club and will personally and immediately lead a thorough search for the new first team manager of the club.”
Khan, meanwhile, said: “This is an unfortunate but necessary change. 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.”
The Cottagers have decided to take the decision after the German won just four of his 20 games in charge, since taking over from Rene Meulensteen in February, and gained one point this season.
Magath’s final moment as Fulham boss was the unfortunate loss to table-toppers Nottingham Forest, where they came from 2-0 down to go 3-2 up, before losing 5-3.
Following the game, the former Bayern Munich boss, 61, said: “It is a catastrophe. I have never had that before in my career and I am very sorry for our fans.
“I ask for patience from the fans. I have no doubt we can get up the table.
“We were very unlucky, we played a good game but things were not good enough for us.
“We should have had a fourth goal when we were 3-2 up and the game would be done but we didn’t and we made one mistake and they equalise and it revived them.
“I am very sad and think all the time about our performance and playing style.
“Rebuilding is always difficult, but I don’t think about my position. I just work with my team.
“I talk to the owner every week, I speak to him and agree with him. But he is in charge. Who is paying, who is the man who makes the decisions? It is clear.”
Well the owner, Khan, decided that six losses out of seven was not good enough for a club like Fulham, and will now pass duties onto Symons, who takes over as caretaker manager.
Magath took over Fulham in February when they were suffering in the Premier League. Nicknamed the ‘Fireman’ in his home country because of his remarkable achievements getting clubs out of trouble against the odds, it seems his appointment was a match made in heaven.
However, the club was relegated that season and, despite spending heavily on new recruits (including £11m man Ross McCormack) this summer, it has not inspired performances on the pitch.
What Fulham will miss is a man who was thrice voted German top-flight Manager of the Season (more than any other), and won the Bundesliga three times as well – two with Bayern and one incredibly with unfancied Wolfsburg.
As a player, meanwhile, he has two World Cup runners-up medals, a European Championship title and he scored the winning goal for his then club Hamburg in the 1983 European Cup final.
Fulham are now 22/1 chances to be promoted back to the Premier League this term.