English Premiership

Fulham ditch bid to sign Jol

2010-07-22 13:34
Fulham logo (File)
London - Fulham have been forced to drop their bid to hire Ajax coach Martin Jol as their new manager after failing to persuade the Dutch club to enter talks over compensation.

The west London club had targeted former Tottenham boss Jol as the man they wanted to take charge at Craven Cottage following Roy Hodgson's move to Liverpool.

It is believed Jol was keen to return to the Premier League and Fulham had agreed a contract with the Dutchman after being told there was an "exit clause" in his Ajax deal that would allow him to leave.

But Ajax insisted that clause was not valid and the Amsterdam outfit made it clear there was no chance of Jol being allowed to go.

Jol was unhappy at Ajax after initially being told there would be little money available to sign new players, even if stars like Maarten Stekelenburg, Luis Suarez and Gregory van der Wiel were sold.

But he has since held constructive talks with Ajax chief executive Rik van den Boog, who offered assurances that any funds generated from the possible departures of big names would be ploughed back into team strengthening.

"On Thursday morning, following talks with Ajax, the club can confirm that it has ceased negotiations for the release of Martin Jol from his contract with the Dutch Club," a statement on Fulham's website read.

"Although Fulham had agreed personal terms with Martin Jol, Ajax were not willing to allow him to leave under any circumstances, and have held him to the terms of the contract he signed last summer.

"When Fulham commenced negotiations with Martin Jol, the club was informed that an exit clause existed in his contract with Ajax.

"Subsequent negotiations revealed that the clause was no longer valid and Ajax position remained steadfast in their desire to keep their manager, therefore dialogue between the two clubs has now ended."

After spending several weeks in a failed attempt to land Jol, beaten Europa League finalists Fulham now have just three weeks to appoint a new boss before the start of the Premier League season.

Ray Lewington is currently in charge on a caretaker basis, but the likes of Cardiff manager Dave Jones and Ivory Coast coach Sven Goran Eriksson are likely to feature on their wanted list.

"Since Roy Hodgson indicated that he wanted to leave Fulham, a short list of potential managers was identified, and the club is committed to ensuring that the right candidate is brought on board to continue the club's progress, in the soonest timeframe possible," the Fulham statement continued.

"Ray Lewington will remain in charge of all first-team matters as caretaker manager and the club would like to thank Ray, his backroom staff and all the players for their patience and professionalism ahead of the Premier League season."

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