Fayed issues furious response to Mark Hughes

 

The Fulham chairman, Mohamed al Fayed, yesterday issued a withering critique of the club's former manager, Mark Hughes, labelling the Welshman a "flop" and a "strange man" and questioning both his courage and ambition.

In a remarkable open letter published on the club's official website, Fayed excoriated the 47-year-old Welshman, insisting he did not even have the decency to offer a full explanation when he turned down a two-year contract extension at the last minute before walking out on Craven Cottage.

The retail magnate also moved to offer his support to Hughes's successor, Martin Jol, claiming he had wanted to appoint the Dutchman ahead of the former Manchester City coach last year and describing him as a "top" manager despite winning just one of his opening nine Premier League games.

Fayed wrote: "What a strange man Mark Hughes is. Sacked by Manchester City, he was becoming a forgotten man when I rescued him to become manager of Fulham. Even when results were bad, I did not put pressure on him. I gave him every support – financial, moral and personal.

"He fully negotiated a two-year extension to his contract. On the day he was due to sign, he walked out without the courtesy of a proper explanation. And now he insults the club, saying it lacks ambition.

"He is not just disrespectful but entirely wrong. Fulham has just announced plans for a splendid new riverside stand that will substantially increase the capacity of Craven Cottage.

"We shall endeavour to prosper without him simply because, when the challenge came, it was not the club but Mark Hughes who lacked the courage and ambition to take on the task of leadership. If people are looking for a flop, they only have to look no further than the man who has lost his spark."

The Egyptian's remarks serve as a furious response to comments made by Hughes in an interview with The Independent last weekend in which he suggested he was forced to leave Craven Cottage last summer – after just one season in charge – because the club refused to back his plans to turn Fulham into a top-10 side.

"The assumption was that I was jumping ship because I had another job to jump into," said Hughes, who was widely linked with Aston Villa prior to the appointment of Alex McLeish. "That was never the case. It was a point in time where I felt my ambition for where I wanted to take the club was not matched."

News
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
Friends is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year
tvSeries celebrates 20th anniversary
News
news
Life and Style
Jack Cooksey goes for the grand unveiling - moments before dropping his new iPhone 6 on the floor
iphone launch
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Liam Neeson said he wouldn't
tv

Liam Neeson's Downton dreams

Sport
Yaya Touré (left) and Bayern Munich’s Spanish defender Juan Bernat
football
Arts and Entertainment
A spell in the sun: Emma Stone and Colin Firth star in ‘Magic in the Moonlight’
filmReview: Magic In The Moonlight
Sport
A 'Sir Alex Feguson' tattoo
football

Arts and Entertainment
Ben Whishaw is replacing Colin Firth as the voice of Paddington Bear
tv

Thriller is set in the secret world of British espionage

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