Claudio Ranieri has been fired by Premier League side Fulham on Thursday evening after just 16 games in charge at Craven Cottage. The Italian was let go by the struggling Premier League club who fell to a 2-0 defeat at Southampton on Wednesday night, the club’s 19th defeat in 28 league games this season as the Cottagers languish in the relegation zone just a season after beating Aston Villa in the Championship playoff final.
Fulham chairman Shahid Khan hailed Ranieri as a “risk free” appointment when he succeeded Slavisa Jokanovic in November, but the 67-year-old failed to turn their fortunes around. The former Leicester City manager arrived with the club bottom of the table having taken only five points from their opening 12 matches. He guided them to a 3-2 victory over Southampton in his first match in charge, but has managed just two further wins since. Ironically, his last match was against Southampton.
Afterwards, the 2016 Premier League title winner at Leicester expressed his thoughts on the club’s decision to let him go: “I am obviously disappointed with the recent results and that we could not build on the good start we made following my appointment. Finally, I would like to thank the Club, the players and the fans for the support they have given me during my time at the Club.”
Khan on his part said: “Claudio walked into a difficult situation, inheriting a side that gained only one point in its prior eight matches, and he provided an immediate boost by leading our Club to nine points in his first eight matches as Manager. Though we were unable to maintain that pace thereafter, I am grateful for his effort. Claudio leaves Fulham as our friend and he will undoubtedly experience success again soon.”
Following the decision to sack Ranieri, Fulham moved to appoint former England international Scott Parker in an interim role until a full time replacement is found. According to a statement by the club, the chairman, Shahid Khan named the former Chelsea and Tottenham Hotspur midfielder as caretaker manager following his conversation with Ranieri.
“I am asking Scott Parker to serve as our Caretaker Manager. Scott’s immediate assignment is merely to help us stabilize, grow and rediscover ourselves as a football club. If Scott can answer that challenge, and our players respond to the opportunity, perhaps victories will follow in the months ahead,” Khan said of Parker’s appointment.