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The Arizonan

Kline calls the police on Fulham

last updated Wednesday 01st November 2017, 11:36 PM

Fulham Football Club

Police officers were called to Fulham’s training ground on Monday afternoon at the request of Craig Kline, the club’s assistant director of football operations, and friend of vice-chairman Tony Khan, who has left after a series of clashes with key figures.

Officials at Fulham were stunned to learn that the Metropolitan police had been called by Kline who is understood to have had a list of grievances against the club and was interviewed by officers at Motspur Park.

Promoted in February from his role as director of statistical research, Kline’s relationship with the manager, Slavisa Jokanovic, and chief executive Alistair Mackintosh, has been fraught and he has been told by the club not to return.

Kline’s call to the police followed a meeting between him and the club’s billionaire American owner Shahid Khan, father of Tony, who was in the United Kingdom to attend Saturday’s draw at home with Bolton Wanderers and Tuesday’s home defeat by Bristol City.

It was Shahid Khan who told Kline that he was no longer wanted at the club despite having previously enjoyed the support of Tony Khan, who was appointed vice-chairman and director of football operations by his father in February.

There is the possibility that the club might now pursue a legal case against Kline for a series of tweets he posted on Wednesday making serious allegations against the club and senior figures.

They have subsequently been deleted.

Kline is understood to have spoken to the police officers on a picnic bench outside the main building.

Senior Fulham officials also offered to speak to police officers who attended Motspur Park on Monday but were not required to do so.

It is understood that Kline made a series of allegations to Shahid Khan in their Monday meeting similar to those he later tweeted, a meeting which ended in the latter making it clear that Kline, also an American citizen, would not be working for the club again.

Kline and Tony Khan’s friendship dates back to their university days and both are enthusiastic devotees of integrating their own model of data analysis into Fulham’s player recruitment.

Their belief was that the approach could be the basis for the club’s swift return to the Premier League, and Fulham reached the Championship play-offs last season.

However, since he joined the club in October 2014, Kline has found himself at odds with key figures such as Mackintosh and chief operating officer Darren Preston, and is understood to have made serious allegations internally about club practices.

On more than one occasion Kline has been asked to leave the Motspur Park training ground and has then subsequently returned after a cooling-off period.

He has enjoyed the support of Tony Khan, who is also the owner of TruMedia Networks, his own data analytics company. It is understood that there will be no return for Kline this time and the club have already announced that his position will be taken on by another data analyst at the club, James Lovell.

In a statement the Met Police said: "Police were called at approximately 12:40hrs on Monday, 30 October to Motspur Park in New Malden following a report of non-recent threatening behaviour. There have been no arrests and enquiries continue."

Source Sam Wallace at Daily Telegraph
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