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Bilic returns to management

Filed: Friday, 28th September 2018
By: Staff Writer

Former Hammers boss Slaven Bilic has been appointed as the new manager of Saudi Arabian club Al-Ittihad.

Bilic, who was fired by West Ham United last November following a poor start to the 2017/18 campaign has completed his return to management having spent almost a year out of the game.

And despite previously insisting that he was happy in England and seeking a permanent role in either the Premier League or the Football League, the 49-year-old has instead accepted the Saudi's lucrative offer.

"The Ittihad Board has signed a contract with international Croatian coach Slaven Bilic," read a statement released by Al-Ittihad. "Bilic will train Ittihad for three seasons.

"The contract was signed in New York and the ceremony was attended by Firas Al-Turki, Assistant Chairman of Ittihad's Board. The Board wished Bilic all success in his new mission to help Ittihad regain its outstanding performances."

Previously managed by Ramon Diaz, Al-Ittihad are without a win in the league so far this season, having picked up just a single point from their opening four matches - not unlike West Ham last season.

The team, who play in the Saudi Professional League and are known as "the people's club", share a motto that will be familiar to Bilic following his time in east London - "more than just a football club".

Al-Ittihad become Bilic's fifth club since turning his hand to management, having previously enjoyed spells with Hadjuk Split, Lokomotiv Moscow, Besiktas and West Ham.

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