Troubled English Premier League side, Fulham, have sacked their manager, Slavisa Jokanovic and replaced him with former Leicester City manager, Claudio Ranieri.
Shahid Khan, Chairman of the club made the announcement on Wednesday.
Ranieri, who led Leicester City to the Premier League title in 2016, was given a multi-year contract to lead Fulham, who currently sit at the bottom of the table with five points from 12 matches. Fulham’s next match is Saturday, November 24, versus Southampton at Craven Cottage.
“It is an honour to accept Mr. Khan’s invitation and opportunity to lead Fulham, a fantastic club with tradition and history,” Ranieri said. “The objective at Fulham should never be to merely survive in the Premier League. We must at all times be a difficult opponent and should expect to succeed. This Fulham squad has exceptional talent that is contrary to its position in the table. I know this team is very capable of better performances, which we will work on straight away as we prepare for Southampton at the Cottage.”
Khan thanked Jokanović for his service to Fulham, where he led the Club to two consecutive Play-Off appearances in the Sky Bet Championship and a 1-0 win over Aston Villa at Wembley Stadium in May to secure promotion to the Premier League.
“I wasn’t anticipating having to make this announcement related to Slaviša and wish the circumstances were such that I didn’t have to, but our path this season has led me to make what I know is the correct decision, at the right time, for our players, the Club and our supporters,” Khan said. “Slaviša will always have my appreciation and respect for everything he did to return Fulham to top-flight football. I am hoping everyone in the Fulham Family shares my heartfelt sentiments for Slaviša and joins me in wishing him success and good fortune, wherever his next stop may be.”
Khan said he and his son Tony Khan, Vice Chairman and Director of Football Operations at FFC, considered and spoke with a number of potential candidates within the past week, with Ranieri becoming their mutual and obvious choice. Tony Khan and his staff will continue to oversee First Team player recruitment and contractual agreements, and he will work closely with Ranieri.
“Making a change without having the right answer or succession plan was not an option, so having someone of Claudio’s calibre ready to accept our challenge was comforting but, most of all, essential,” Khan said. “Claudio is risk-free and ready-made for the Premier League, and particularly so for what we need at this moment at Fulham. His recent body of work with Leicester City is literally legendary, and then you look at Claudio’s experience with Chelsea and big clubs throughout Europe, and it’s pretty evident we are welcoming an extraordinary football man to Fulham Football Club.”
Fulham are currently 20th on the Premier League table.