LONDON -- Fulham fired manager Rene Meulensteen and appointed Felix Magath on Friday, saying "action was required" in its bid to avoid relegation from the Premier League.
The London club made the announcement in a statement, naming the German as its new manager on an 18-month contract. While Fulham's statement failed to mention Meulensteen's fate, the Dutchman later told BBC Radio 5 that he had been relieved of his duties at Fulham.
"Our club has shown promise in recent matches, but the fact is we have not won a league match since Jan. 1," Fulham owner and chairman Shahid Khan said. "Given our form, we can no longer merely hope that our fortunes will finally turn. And with 12 matches remaining and at least four points separating us from safety, we certainly can no longer post empty results. Action was required."
The club is bottom of the table with 20 points from 26 matches.
Magath has vast experience coaching clubs in the Bundesliga, but has never managed a Premier League team. Magath led Hamburg to European glory as a player and twice coached at the club. Earlier Friday, the 60-year-old Magath ruled out a coaching job at relegation-threatened Hamburg. He hasn't coached since leaving Wolfsburg in October 2012.
But Khan welcomed the German's experience, saying he had faith Magath could lift Fulham out of the relegation zone.
"I'm especially impressed with the reputation Felix has for coming into clubs at difficult times, often late in the season, and lifting them to their potential and beyond," Khan said. "Felix knows that is precisely the task awaiting him at Fulham, and he made it abundantly clear that he wants and is ready for the opportunity."
Fulham said it would make an announcement soon about the club's backroom staff.