Martin Jol sacked as Fulham manager as Rene Meulensteen takes charge
Fulham have sacked manager Martin Jol with Rene Meulensteen assuming responsibility for the first team with immediate effect.
The Dutchman has been under increasing pressure following the Cottagers' miserable start to the season and Saturday's 3-0 defeat at West Ham proved to be the final straw for chairman Shahid Khan.
"Today I spoke with Martin to thank him for his efforts on behalf of Fulham Football Club over the past three seasons and, in particular, since my becoming chairman earlier this year," Khan said in a statement on the club's official website.
"Martin was very gracious and I appreciate his understanding of the situation. There is no question Martin is an excellent football man and he has my utmost respect for the commitment he made to our club.
"However, our poor form and results this season are undeniable, and Fulham supporters deserve better. With more than half the season still ahead, an immediate change was necessary."
Former Spurs boss Jol, 57, took charge at Craven Cottage in June 2011 but Fulham have managed to win only three of their 13 Premier League games this season and the loss at West Ham was their sixth successive defeat in all competitions.
"It was a privilege to manage Fulham, one of the great clubs in the Premier League or anywhere in the world," Jol said.
"I am disappointed in this season but know there are better days ahead for Fulham and its supporters. I will always treasure my experience here and want to thank Mr Khan and everyone at Fulham for the opportunity."
Dutchman Meulensteen, 49, was appointed as Fulham's head coach on November 13 after working at Manchester United alongside Sir Alex Ferguson between 2007 and last summer.
"Rene Meulensteen was brought to Fulham to assist Martin and today was offered the challenge and opportunity to step in for Martin," Khan said.
"I thank Rene for accepting and now we move forward. I have great confidence in Rene and high expectations for our squad to respond."
Meulensteen, who takes over a team 18th in the Premier League ahead of Wednesday's home game against Tottenham, said: "I appreciate the faith Mr. Khan has put in me and will do my very best to honour his trust.
"We aim to get Fulham back on track, starting Wednesday night."
Meulensteen is adamant that he did not expect this chain of events.
"I totally disagree with that because it has been a quite long process of me bringing myself into Fulham and I spoke numerous times with people at Fulham," Meulensteen told Sky Sports News.
"I have known Martin for many, many years and my departure from Manchester United took some time but eventually I felt it was the right thing to do to come to Fulham and to help Martin at Fulham Football Club.
"It was definitely not something that I was anticipating. We wanted to turn this corner together.
Meulensteen, who has already spoken to Jol following his departure, is to hold talks with Fulham chief executive Alistair Mackintosh on Sunday evening and he believes he can turn around the struggling Premier League club's fortunes.
He said: "We know what position we are in. It's a position that Fulham don't want to be in, the staff don't want to be in and the players don't want to be in.
"But this is where we are at and if I am given a responsibility of making sure that I carry out the manager's job for the foreseeable future then we have to do our utmost to get Fulham back up the table.
"The most important thing is that we close our ranks, we know where we are in the league and it is not the place Fulham wants to be.
"It's a massive challenge but at the end of the day when you are faced with a challenge like this it comes down to making sure that you get the basic things right."