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Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 19 December 2018

Fulham appoint Claudio Ranieri as new manager after sacking Slavisa Jokanovic

Jokanovic was given his marching orders on Wednesday with the club bottom of the Premier League having won only one of their 12 league matches

Claudio Ranieri has been appointed manager of Fulham after the Premier League club sacked Slavisa Jokanovic on Wednesday. Reuters
Claudio Ranieri has been appointed manager of Fulham after the Premier League club sacked Slavisa Jokanovic on Wednesday. Reuters

Fulham have appointed Claudio Ranieri as manager after parting ways with Slavisa Jokanovic.

Jokanovic was given his marching orders on Wednesday with the club bottom of the Premier League having won only one of their 12 league matches in which they have shipped 31 goals.

The Serb, 50, had been in charge at Craven Cottage since 2015 and last season guided them to the top-tier via the Championship play-offs after beating Aston Villa 1-0 in the final at Wembley.

Fulham's return to the top flight has proved a chastening experience thus far though, with Sunday's 2-0 defeat at Liverpool their sixth league defeat in a row.

Ranieri, 67, guided unheralded Leicester City to the Premier League title in 2016, has been out of work since leaving French club Nantes in the summer.

"It is an honour to accept [chairman] Mr [Shahid] Khan's invitation and opportunity to lead Fulham, a fantastic club with tradition and history," Ranieri told the club's official website.

"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."

The club said the former Chelsea, Juventus and Inter Milan manager had been given a "multi-year" contract.

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Khan thanked Jokanovic for his work at the club.

"I wasn't anticipating having to make this announcement related to Slavisa 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," said the Fulham chairman.

"Slavisa 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 Slavisa and joins me in wishing him success and good fortune, wherever his next stop may be."

Ranieri's first game in charge will be after the current international break on November 24 when Fulham host fellow strugglers Southampton at Craven Cottage.

He will then face former clubs Chelsea and Leicester City in successive games.

Ranieri attended Leicester's 0-0 home game to Burnley last Saturday to pay tribute to late chairman Vichai Srivaddhanaprabha who died in a helicopter crash earlier this month.