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Jean Tigana to leave Fulham

last updated Wednesday 26th March 2003, 12:04 PM
Fulham manager Jean Tigana
Fulham manager
Jean Tigana
Jean Tigana Stories
Fulham manager Jean Tigana, highly regarded by Fulham fans, is set to leave the club in the summer after the club announced his contract would not be extended beyond the end of the season.

In a personal letter to the manager Chairman Mohamed Al Fayed, wrote: 'I have never doubted your abilities as a coach and, equally, do recognise that there have been many achievements during your time at the club of which you can rightly be proud.

'Obviously, our position in the Premier League both this year and last year has been disappointing, particularly given the degree of investment and resources provided, and I am sure you would be the first to agree.'

The contracts of assistant manager Christian Damiano and fitness coach Roger Propos are also not being renewed.

A Fulham spokesman said that, while Jean Tigana and his management team would be concentrating on ensuring the club's Premiership survival and progress up the league during the final seven games of the season, the search for a successor has already begun.

There has been speculation for several weeks over the future of the man brought to Craven Cottage in July 2000, despite Tigana himself admitting publicly he did not want to leave.

Jean Tigana became Fulham manager in July 2000 after working as a football agent in Europe. His sixteen year playing career included spells with French clubs Toulon, Lyon, Bordeaux and Marseille. He won 52 caps for his country.

Between 1993 and 1999 he enjoyed considerable success in France as a manager with Olympic Lyonnais and AC Monaco.

Before coming to Fulham, Christian Damiano was the director of the famed Clairefontaine youth academy which helped to transform France into European and World Champions.

Roger Propos built a reputation as fitness trainer at Marseilles for eleven years and later with Paris St Germain and the Moroccan national team.

Tigana arrived at Craven Cottage seen as the final piece in the jigsaw to take the club back into the top flight.

Fulham set a new record by winning their first 11 games of the season and went on to claim the First Division title with 101 points ahead of Blackburn and took them to the semi-finals of the FA Cup and into the Uefa Cup in his first two seasons in the Premiership.

But he has come under fire recently with Fulham struggling for consistency in the Premiership and some of Tigana's buys have proved to be expensive flops.

Fulham striker Steve Marlet warned recently that Tigana's departure could prompt an exodus of the Cottagers' top French players.
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