Felix Magath sacked by Fulham: Magath 'surprised' to be given the sack at struggling club

Kit Symons has been put in charge on a caretaker basis

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The Independent Football

Felix Magath declared himself “disappointed and surprised” to have been replaced as Fulham manager on Thursday, insisting he had been “sure” he would turn things around for the bottom side in the Championship.

A statement on the club’s official website confirmed chairman Shahid Khan had acted following the Cottagers’ dismal start to the campaign, with under-21 coach Kit Symons taking up the reins on a caretaker basis.

Magath, speaking in a statement via German news agency DPA, said: “I am disappointed and surprised, because I am sure that I would have stopped the downfall of the club with drastic changes in the squad to a young team, although the first results of the season have not shown this.”

Fulham, relegated from the Premier League last season, have picked up only one point from their seven games.

The final straw for Khan was Wednesday night’s 5-3 defeat at leaders Nottingham Forest, where visiting fans once again called for the German to be sacked. Fulham threw away a 3-2 lead.

In a statement on Fulham’s website, Khan 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 on Saturday. I thank our supporters for standing by us during these most difficult of times on the pitch, and promise better days ahead.”

Magath was appointed Fulham’s third manager of last season in February, replacing René Meulensteen – but was unable to save them from the drop.


The 61-year-old’s managerial methods came under fire from former players with ex-skipper Brede Hangeland, who was released in the summer, claiming he had actually “made things worse” after taking over. Fulham overhauled their squad in the summer, also releasing long-serving players including Steve Sidwell and Damien Duff, but they spent £11million to bring striker Ross McCormack in from Leeds.


However, a largely youthful side built around captain Scott Parker have looked out of their depth so far this term.

Magath was in charge for 20 matches in total and his side won just four of them, the last victory coming against Norwich City in April.

Symons will oversee Saturday’s  visit of Blackburn Rovers, and is among the names being linked with the now vacant role, along with Steve Clarke and Chris Hughton.

Former Cottagers captain Danny Murphy also revealed his interest in returning to the club to help get the team out of its current “mess”.

The 37-year-old, now a TV pundit, told BBC Radio Five Live: “I’ve always said I’d like to go back to Fulham at some point because I’ve got a great affinity for the club.

“As of now I’ve not spoken to anybody at the club regarding asking me to go and do anything at the club, which is fine – it’s not something I’m expecting. But if they did want to speak to me, of course I’d be open-minded to that.

“I would never disregard something like that because ultimately that’s what I want to do – get involved in football in a coaching and managing role. But for now, I suppose it’s first and foremost finding the candidates who can get Fulham out of this mess. If people in the hierarchy at the club think that’s somebody with much more experience than somebody like me, then that’s fine.”