London - Fulham
appointed Italian veteran Claudio Ranieri as manager on Wednesday after
sacking Slavisa Jokanovic in a bid to beat the drop from the Premier
Jokanovic led Fulham back into England's top flight in May 2018 but
the 50-year-old Serbian has struggled to adapt to life in the Premier
After 12 games, Fulham sit bottom of the pile with just five points and one win from 12 games.
Ranieri, who famously led Leicester to a fairytale Premier League
title in 2016, was a free agent after being sacked by French Ligue 1
club Nantes one game before the end of last season.
He has been given a "multi-year" contract by Fulham chairperson Shahid Khan.
"It is an honour to accept Mr Khan's invitation and opportunity to
lead Fulham, a fantastic club with tradition and history," Ranieri told
the club's official website.
"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."
Khan thanked Jokanovic, the first managerial casualty of the season in the Premier League, for his work at the club.
"I wasn't anticipating having to make this announcement related to
Slavisa and wish the circumstances were such that I didn't have to, 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," said the Fulham chairman.
"Slavisa will always have my appreciation and respect for everything he did to return Fulham to top-flight football."
comes only weeks after his former boss at Leicester, club owner Vichai
Srivaddhanaprabha, died with four others when his helicopter plummeted
into a car park outside the King Power stadium shortly after a match
against West Ham.
"I was terribly shaken by the news," Ranieri told Sky Sport Italia two weeks ago.
"He was a good man and always had a positive word for everyone."
Italian journeyman Ranieri has previously coached Napoli, Fiorentina,
Atletico Madrid, Chelsea, Valencia, Juventus, Roma, Inter Milan and the
Greek national team.
But winning the title with Leicester two years ago remains the affable 67-year-old's biggest career achievement.
Leicester started that 2015/16 league campaign on odds of 5 000/1 to
win the Premier League crown. Ranieri faces a similarly formidable
challenge if he is to lift Fulham out of the doldrums.
But he believes the Londoners can be competitive again. He will take
charge of his first game in 10 days' time when Fulham welcome fellow
strugglers Southampton to Craven Cottage.
"This Fulham squad has exceptional talent that is contrary to its
position in the table. I know this team is very capable of better
performances, which we will work on straight away as we prepare for
Southampton at the Cottage," added Ranieri.
Ranieri will then face former clubs Chelsea and Leicester in successive games.