Former Fulham manager Scott Parker was refused entry to the Cottagers training ground as he tried to pick up his belongings and say his final farewell to the players, according to the Daily Mail.
The 40-year-old had recently left the west London side after agreeing to mutually terminate his contract at Craven Cottage to join fellow Championship side AFC Bournemouth – and it came after weeks of speculation about his future after suffering relegation with his former side last season.
After leaving the club in a messy fashion, this news may come as little surprise to many but as per the same Daily Mail report, this exclusion from the Fulham training ground came because the manager had recently been on holiday and there were Covid-19 concerns with the Cottagers recently returning to pre-season training.
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Despite guiding Fulham to a play-off final win in 2020 and signing 11 players in the last summer window to try and secure their Premier League status, Parker was unable to steer his side to safety and finished 11 points away from 17th-place Burnley, despite ending up just one spot below Sean Dyche’s side.
This symbolised the gulf in class between the likes of Fulham, West Brom and Sheffield United and other top-flight teams – but Parker wasn’t sticking around after becoming unsettled at Craven Cottage and will now pursue a fresh challenge on the south coast as Marco Silva takes his old job.
Another former England international in Jonathan Woodgate took over from Jason Tindall in February and helped the Cherries to reach the play-offs – but was unable to guide them to the Premier League after losing out to Brentford in the semi-finals.
Perhaps this story isn’t as much of a big deal as some would make it out to be, especially with Covid-19 precautions and Fulham keen to protect their players from outsiders, but it does seem strange he wasn’t even able to grab his belongings as he made the move down to Bournemouth.
The players have had many highs and lows with Parker and whether it’s a socially distanced chat or a video call with his old players, we can only hope he is able to say a proper goodbye to the players he’s worked with over the past couple of years, especially because this was his first managerial spell and therefore a special one for him personally.
Let’s not forget the former central midfielder also played for Fulham before moving into the managerial hot seat – so it would be a shame if this summer’s saga has negatively affected his standing with the West London side’s fans.