Baresi signs for Fulham

Tuesday 21 May 2002

Italian World Cup winner Franco Baresi has joined Fulham Football Club as Director of Football.

The 42-year-old former AC Milan star will form a formidable partnership with manager Jean Tigana as he takes on a range of duties including scouting, recruitment of players, the academy and the development of women's football.

Jean Tigana will concentrate on his primary responsibility for the first team and in particular player coaching.

A delighted Fulham Chairman, Mohamed Al Fayed, said: 'This is the next step in realising my dream of making Fulham one of the foremost clubs in the world.

'Two years ago I was fortunate enough to attract an international manager with the proven qualities of Jean Tigana and now we have doubly strengthened our team with a man who is not only admired as a world-class footballer but also widely recognised for his knowledge of the game at the highest levels.'

The appointment is part of a planned restructuring of senior management at Fulham in line with the club's ambition to become a major force in world football.

Mr Bruce Langham is also to join the club as Chief Executive Officer after a distinguished career with Telewest Communications plc where he was a group managing director.

Mark Collins, who has held the post of Acting Managing Director since last September will resume his permanent role as Managing Director of Harrods Estates. Mr Collins will remain a director of Fulham Football Club and continue to be actively involved in the management of the club.

Franco Baresi, who is currently Vice President of AC Milan with responsibilities for coaching, scouting and worldwide PR and Marketing, will take up his post on June 1.

Captain of AC Milan for sixteen years and Italian national captain for four years, Baresi played in three World Cups receiving a runners-up medal in 1994 and winning in 1982. He won the European Cup three times, the European Super Cup three times, the Intercontinental Cup twice and the Italian Championship six times.

During a career in which he played 760 games for AC Milan and won 88 caps for Italy, Baresi earned the nicknames The Steel Man and Il Capitano. A legendary figure in world football, he was widely regarded as the greatest Italian defender of all time.

Bruce Langham, 55, held a number of management posts in the airline industry until he joined Telewest Communications in 1991 as General Manager for Scotland. He became Group Managing Director of the Residential Division in 1998 and has been running his own telecommunications consultancy service since August 2000. Mr Langham takes up his post on June 10.

Last night Mr Langham said: 'I am delighted to be joining such a progressive and dynamic organisation as Fulham Football Club and I am looking forward to working with the team to take the business forward and realise the vision of the Chairman, the management and the fans.'