Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 25 December 2014

Al Fayed criticises Hughes

Mohamed Al Fayed
Mohamed Al Fayed

Fulham chairman Mohamed Al Fayed has criticised former manager Mark Hughes, labelling him a "strange man" and a "flop".

The former Manchester City boss was at the Craven Cottage helm last season but left in the summer, with speculation linking him with the managerial vacancy at Aston Villa. Hughes claimed at the weekend he did not quit for the Villa Park post eventually filled by Alex McLeish but because Fulham lacked ambition.

In response, Fulham chairman Al Fayed has launched a scathing attack on Hughes in an open letter, saying: "What a strange man Mark Hughes is. Sacked by Manchester City, he was becoming a forgotten man when I rescued him to become manager of Fulham Football Club."

He added: "Even when results were bad, I did not put pressure on him. I gave him every support - financial, moral and personal.

"He fully negotiated a two-year extension to his contract.

"On the day he was due to sign, he walked out without the courtesy of a proper explanation.

"And now he insults the club, saying it lacks ambition, and the players who delivered an eighth position finish last season and a place in the Europa League. He is not just disrespectful but entirely wrong.

"Fulham has just announced plans for a splendid new riverside stand that will substantially increase the capacity of Craven Cottage. In every aspect of its work, Fulham is a progressive club with a top manager in Martin Jol, the man we had really wanted when Hughes was appointed.

"We shall endeavour to prosper without him simply because, when the challenge came, it was not the club but Mark Hughes who lacked the courage and ambition to take on the task of leadership.

"If people are looking for a flop, they only have to no further than the man who has lost his spark."

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