Curbishley joins Fulham as technical director

Fulham have appointed former West Ham manager Alan Curbishley as their first-team technical director.

The hiring of Curbishley comes as somewhat of a surprise given the 56-year-old has been away from the football scene for five years.

Prior to his elongated hiatus, he managed the Hammers for two seasons (2006-08) but he made his name as a manager in his 15 seasons in charge of Charlton (1991-2006).

Curbishley's addition to the Cottagers' football department continues the reshuffle which saw manager Martin Jol axed and Rene Meulensteen instated as the Dutchman's replacement.

Meulensteen said: "I'm very happy that Alan has joined us as I know his expertise will be invaluable as we enter the remaining months of the season.

"Following Martin (Jol's) departure I discussed with both (CEO) Alistair Mackintosh and the chairman (Shahid Khan) the challenges we face, and I was delighted that they supported the idea of additional support within the coaching team.

"Alan has a proven track record in the industry and understands full well what it takes to succeed.

"I look forward to sharing ideas and listening to advice, to ensure Fulham Football Club remains where it belongs: in the Premier League."

Curbishley also played 458 senior games in England in a career which spanned 18 seasons (1975-1993).

Fulham find themselves in a spot of bother close to the halfway point of the Premier League season with just 13 points from 17 matches to be in the relegation zone in 19th spot.