Football

Fulham Director Had Bonkers Idea To Mend Relationship With Manager

Fulham Director Had Bonkers Idea To Mend Relationship With Manager

Craig Kline, an American employed by Fulham as their director of statistical recruitment, left the club in acrimonious and farcical circumstances last week.

After being told he his services were no longer required, the Mail on Sunday reports that Kline called the police. Some lengthy talks with officers - where he apparently aired his grievances regarding his dismissal took place at some picnic tables - before he eventually departed the club's training ground.

Kline had been hired by Tony Khan, Fulham's director of football operations and also the son of owner Shahid Khan. Kline had wielded serious influence at the club, using a statistical model to direct to the club's transfer policy. Under his model, the signing of players such as Tammy Abraham, Aaron Mooy and Glenn Murray were all rejected.

Matters reportedly came to boiling point last week when Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic sent players, recruited using Kline's model, to train with the club's U23s. Kline objected to the manager's decision.

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A particularly interesting - and very amusing - anecdote regarding Kline's time at the club comes from The Guardian's Daniel Taylor. In an attempt to create the impression that everything was rosy between him and Jokanovic, Kline proposed that they contrive a ridiculous press conference scene which would go viral.

Kline’s suggestion, I’m reliably informed, was to propose that he dressed up as a sumo wrestler and burst into one of Jokanovic’s press conferences to challenge him to a fight. At which point, the manager would rip off his clothes to show that he, too, was dressed sumo-style. They would grapple for a few minutes in front of the journalists and, according to the logic, this little sketch would go viral and demonstrate they did actually get on. Perhaps unsurprisingly, Jokanovic turned the idea down.

See Also: James McClean Calls Out 'Cowards' In The Crowd At West Brom Game

PJ Browne
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