November 14 – Claudio Ranieri, the much-travelled Italian who shocked world football by leading unheralded Leicester City to the 2016 Premier League title as 5000-1 outsiders in one of the greatest team sport achievements of all time, is back in the top flight after being appointed manager of Fulham in succession to Slavisa Jokanovic.
In the first high-profile sacking of the English season, Jokanovic, who guided Fulham to promotion, was dismissed with the club sitting bottom of the division with five points from 12 matches.
Fulham chairman Shahid Khan said he had taken the decision reluctantly but felt a change was needed.
“I wasn’t anticipating having to make this announcement related to Slavisa and wish the circumstances were such that I didn’t have to,” Khan said in a statement. “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.”
“Making a change without having the right answer or succession plan was not an option., So having someone of Claudio’s calibre ready to accept our challenge was comforting but, most of all, essential. Claudio is risk-free and ready-made for the Premier League, and particularly so for what we need at this moment at Fulham.
“His recent body of work with Leicester City is literally legendary, and then you look at Claudio’s experience with big clubs throughout Europe, and it’s pretty evident we are welcoming an extraordinary football man to Fulham Football Club.”
Ranieri, who most recently coached French side Nantes, has plenty of premier league know-how having also managed Fulham’s bitterest rivals Chelsea as well as Valencia, Juventus, Inter Milan, Roma and Monaco plus a failed spell as Greece boss.
“It is an honour to accept Mr Khan’s invitation and opportunity to lead Fulham, a fantastic club with tradition and history,” he said. “ 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.”
Ranieri’s first game in charge will see Fulham host Southampton on November 24.
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