sport

Khan to stand by Magath

Fulham owner Shahid Khan remains convinced that Felix Magath is the right man to lead the club back to the Premier League and is committed to seeing out a long-term project at Craven Cottage.

Khan has sacked Martin Jol and Rene Meulensteen since he bought the club from Mohamed Al Fayed a year ago but the changes could not prevent Fulham from being relegated and the pressure has increased on Magath following four straight defeats which have left them bottom of the table.

However, Khan still believes it was the right decision to take over the club and has outlined his vision for the future, which has Magath very much at the heart of a rebuilding process.

"I have no regrets about buying Fulham," he told the London Evening Standard. "Absolutely not. This is a perfect club for what we wanted to do.

"It's absolutely historic, small and has just the perfect fan base. It brings me a lot of joy and pleasure.

"We invested significantly last year and we're investing significantly this year but we're doing it in a way which is for the long haul. We're moving forward, even on bricks and mortar, waiting on approval at Craven Cottage.

"It's a great venue but we need to improve it. But we are not going about it in a foolish manner. Clubs shouldn't be counting on an owner just as a benefactor.

"I'm very optimistic and, under Felix's leadership, we want to come up and be a sustainable club in the future.

"We're basically at the reinvigoration stage. It's almost going back to the future."

Khan has also explained the thinking behind the managerial changes at Fulham over the past year, saying: "[The sackings were] very little to do with me.

"It was to do with the results and then the manager decides whether they have the internal strength, the fortitude to make the club successful. Or they feel a change is better.

"We chose Felix as we wanted somebody with experience of dealing with the threat of relegation. Even then, we knew we might not be successful and if, God forbid, the worst happened how would we deal with it.

"We knew the Championship was more physical. You've got to have a Plan A [to avoid relegation] and a Plan B [for promotion]. Felix was the ideal person to execute both plans."

Magath, meanwhile, has reiterated his view that the previous regime is to blame for the club's troubles because Al Fayed failed to sign good enough players.

"The problem we had was that the owner before had not spent money," said Magath. "The club sold the best players and brought in average players. You cannot go on doing that for a long time. That is why we are struggling. Now we have the chance to change things. I also did this in Stuttgart in 2002. They were a club without money.

"I did that for years at Schalke 04. I took out older players and put in younger ones. I learned to work with them. We were very good, very successful and we developed some players for the national team."