Jol: A man with a history of always wanting more

Fulham are not the first team to experience the Dutchman's prowess in the art of negotiation

A few months into his time at Tottenham Hotspur, Martin Jol was sitting in his office at the training ground when there was a knock at the door. A club official appeared in the doorway dangling some car keys and outside was a brand new Porsche, a present from chairman Daniel Levy to Jol to mark the manager's 49th birthday.

The £70,000 sports car was also Levy's way of saying "thank you" after Jol turned the team's fortunes around with the minimum of fuss. The Dutchman had taken over and steadied the ship after the ill-judged appointment of Jacques Santini had left Levy with egg on his face. Jol took one look at the car, stuck out his Desperate Dan chin and joked: "It's a pity it's not a Cabriolet."

Fulham can't say they haven't been warned. Jol appears to be one of those insecure types who are constantly concerned that the grass might be greener on the other side of the fence, that he could do better somewhere else. He is the guy who wins the lottery but complains that it's not a rollover.

During his three-year spell at Tottenham he was jovial at times, spiky at others, but always driven. Jol is not alone among managers in wanting to better himself and in showing little shame in using one club as a stepping stone to manage another, bigger, one elsewhere. No one is criticising Roy Hodgson, for example, for walking away from Fulham.

However, Jol does have previous when it comes to playing one side off brazenly against another. He did it in 2007 when he was doing well at Spurs, but was only too happy to court the attentions of Newcastle until he was spotted by club officials in the company of the Newcastle chairman, Freddy Shepherd, who at that time was in search of another new manager.

The winner three years ago was Jol, who was able to use the interest from Newcastle to engineer himself another pay rise at Tottenham. In many respects the situation was a forerunner of the recent battle for his services between Fulham and his current employers Ajax.

The significant difference with this year's stand-off is that Jol is not trying to negotiate a fatter pay packet for himself, but a transfer budget that will allow him to build on narrowly finishing second behind Steve McClaren's FC Twente side in the Dutch Eredivisie. Some in the Ntherlands don't believe he is all that good anyway and claim that his stock is higher in England, which is one of the attractions for Jol of a return.

It is not unusual for any employee to use the threat that he might leave to take up a post elsewhere as a bargaining chip to negotiate himself a better deal in his current job. Perhaps it is simply that Jol is more ruthless about the situation, that he is unconcerned about leaving those involved with a bad taste in their mouths. He seemed to show little mind for Levy's feelings regarding the birthday Porsche. The Spurs chairman is understood to have been hurt at Jol's apparent lack of gratitude for the car, and the grievance remained until Levy gave the manager the sack in October 2007 after an indifferent start to the season. They have patched up their differences and are now back on cordial terms again.

The events in Amsterdam of the past two days show, however, that Jol remains as belligerent as ever. He can be a tough person to deal with, as Fulham owner, Mohamed al-Fayed, and chief executive, Alistair Mackintosh, have been finding out over the past 48 hours. They had set their hearts on Jol as the man to replace Hodgson, and believed they had secured his services before they found he was using their interest as a lever to strengthen his position at Ajax.

One thing has been made abundantly clear to Fulham in the chaotic last couple of days. Jol is not totally committed to Fulham, or to Ajax. Even if he did agree to take over at Fulham there can be little doubt that it would only be considered by Jol a stepping stone towards moving to a bigger club as soon as possible. The example of Hodgson taking charge at Liverpool is all the incentive Jol needs to see that Fulham could be a bridge for him to greater things.

In which case it would only be a matter of time before Fulham were caught in the same dilemma in which Ajax now find themselves. And there would be a good chance that Jol would be heading off to pastures new at high speed, probably driving that birthday Porsche that Levy gave him.

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's most starring part
News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
News
We are phenomenally good at recognising faces; the study showed that humans have been selected to be unique and easily recognisable
science

Human faces unique 'because we don't recognise each other by smell'

Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
news

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Student
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise
student

Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?

Bleacher Report

Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week