Are Fulham no longer a laughing stock in the Premiership? In past years, Fulham have been a team which opposition fans could have a chuckle at, whether it be for their total lack of away form or for establishing a statue in Michael Jackson’s honour. Fulham have been the a laughing stock for years but not anymore.
So what has lead me to praise Fulham for a dramatic turn around? Well one reason is their continued qualification into the Europa league; which has given them something to brag about. They even reached the final a few years ago before being defeated by Athletico Madrid, however they managed to defeat teams such as Juventus and Hamburg FC on the way. In the past few years Fulham have managed to qualify through the fair play league, which is testament to how cleanly Fulham have played the game.
Fulham have recently announced record revenue of £77.1million for the 2010/11 season, according to figures released for the year ending June 30, 2011. Fulham then posted a profit of £5.4million, before interest and taxation, and enjoyed a 4.9% increase in attendance, which saw Craven Cottage secure a 98% occupancy figure for the season. It was these record profits that prompted the owner to say “As always, I am determined to ensure the club moves in the right direction whilst remaining true to our history, heritage and past traditions.”
Now Fulham have some of the most technically talented players in the Premier League; players like Dembele and Bryan Ruiz are starting to gain the attention of other Premier League teams. Most recently, Clint Dempsey was the subject of an 8 million pound bid from Seville FC which Fulham were able to reject because of their financial security. Although Fulham do have an issue with players ages, most Fulham players are coming into the twilight of their careers, but with academy players slowly coming through the ranks Fulham have some respectable options.
Martin Jol is one of three respectable managers to have graced the club over the past few years. Fulham have developed a knack of picking the right man to run their football club with Roy Hodgson starting the Fulham revolution and earning a move to Liverpool. Welshman Mark Hughes continued Roy’s hard work before leaving at the end of the season; leaving Fulham to appoint Martin Jol who so far apart from some questionable results hasn’t done a bad job. All three men have something in common and that is an impressive CV. They haven’t appointed a Mickey Mouse ex-player that fancies a chance at management or an assistant that just isn’t up for the job (a Steve Kean.)
This leads me to summarise that Fulham are now the envy of Premier League clubs, being able to buy and keep players without breaking the bank. They’ve shown remarkable consistence over the past few years, not being threatened by relegation like past years. So to Fulham I say a job well done and if they can continue like they’ve done they can go very far.
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