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Official: Claudio Ranieri sacked by Fulham

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Fulham have confirmed that Claudio Ranieri has been sacked despite having less than four months in charge.

The Cottagers hired Ranieri in November to replace Slavisa Jokanovic after a poor start back to life in the Premier League following a four-year spell down in the Championship.

But things under the former Chelsea and Leicester City manager have fared no better with just three wins in 17 matches with 11 of them ending in defeat.

And Wednesday’s 2-0 loss at Southampton proved to the final straw for the Fulham board with the club 10 points adrift of safety in 19th-place in the Premier League table with only another 10 fixtures remaining.

In the defeat at St Mary’s, Fulham supporters even held up a banner for the club owner and referenced his comments on Ranieri’s appointment in the message: “Risk-free? Are you watching Tony Khan?”

Reports emerged earlier today that the Fulham board were to hold a meeting with Ranieri to discuss his future

And now the struggling the Premier League side have confirmed they’ve fired the Italian and named Scott Parker as caretaker manager.

“Following our discussion this afternoon, Claudio Ranieri agreed to my decision that a change was in the best interest of everyone,” read a club statement from Fulham Chairman Shahid Khan.

“No surprise to me, Claudio was a perfect gentleman, as always. Claudio’s tenure at Fulham didn’t produce the outcome we anticipated and needed when I appointed him as Manager in November, but be assured he is not solely to blame for the position we are in today.

“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.

“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.

“What’s most important at this moment, however, is to regroup in a smart and deliberate manner that will serve our long-term vision for sustainable success.

“If we’re able to do that and win some matches to make a stand late in the season, all the better.”

Claudio Ranieri added: “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.”

Parker’s first match in charge of Fulham will come against former club Chelsea at Craven Cottage on Sunday.

LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 02: Claudio Ranieri, Manager of Fulham and Scott Parker, Assistant Coach of Fulham look on during the Premier League match between Chelsea FC and Fulham FC at Stamford Bridge on December 2, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Mike Hewitt/Getty Images)