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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 07:32:09 AM

Title: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 07:32:09 AM (
Fulham FC set to trump Blackburn Rovers for Portsmouth striker Piquionne

According to reports Blackburn Rovers are set to miss out on Portsmouth marksman Frederic Piquionne. claims Fulham are leading the chase for the French striker ahead of Rovers and West Ham United.

Piquionne is keen to stay in England now his loan spell at Fratton Park has come to an end.

Lyon are thought to be willing to sell the Frenchman for a fee of £3 million and a number of Premier League sides are weighing up a move for the forward.

Fulham are believed to have contacted Lyon to discuss a possible move and are keen to tie up a deal to take him to Craven Cottage.

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 07:33:39 AM (
Fulham - Target Goes to Chemical City?
The tabloid press are implying that a potential, according to the tabloid press, transfer target has slipped through our hands.

With Chris Smalling destined for Old Trafford the hacks had us down as being interested in signing the Rochdale centre-back, Craig Dawson.

Dawson has endured a fantastic season as Rochdale enjoyed a promotion campaign for the first time in some forty-odd years.

But if the tabloid hacks are correct, Gordon Strachan, up at Middlesbrough, has persuaded the youngster to join Middlesbrough and chance his arm in the Championship, for a fee of some £500,000.

If we have missed out on this one it`ll still be interesting to see how he copes with the jump from Division Two to Championship level!

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 07:35:25 AM (
Fulham - Making My Case
Given our recent success, it's difficult to make the argument that Fulham are in need of a major overhaul.

There is no reason to believe that the squad, as it's currently constructed, would have any trouble competing on the same level for a third consecutive season. However, I believe this approach would be inviting disaster in the long-term.

Fulham have one of the older squads in the Premier League. Experience and professionalism have their advantages, particularly in Hodgson's highly-organized brand of football, but age eventually takes its toll on squad performance. The club needs to take advantage of our recent success, and hopefully the appeal of playing for a manager like Roy Hodgson, to recruit youthful talent that can sustain success in the long-term.

With our financial structure in mind, here's my case for improving the squad.

Jamie O'Hara (23) £4-6m - Finding a long-term replacement for Danny Murphy (33) is the most important task Fulham face. We've seen how poorly the club performs without Murphy directing traffic in midfield. O'Hara was outstanding during his loan at Portsmouth this season. He's ready for first team football and would be a perfect replacement for Murphy.

Some might argue for Stephen Ireland, who seems to be on the way out at Man City. My opinion of Ireland has dropped in recent months as I've seen a decided lack of motivation since he fell out of the first team. I'm not convinced he has the work ethic Fulham need. I have no doubts about O'Hara's effort.

Steven Fletcher (23) £4-5m - My high opinion of Fletcher is not shared by all, but I'm convinced he's destined to be a solid forward in the Premier League. His hold-up play is not as accomplished as Zamora's, but solid and should get better as he matures. He has a very good shot and did very well setting up others to score this season. His goal in the 6-1 drubbing at the hands of Man City and his work in the Claret's final match versus Spurs standout in my memory. I believe he has a bright future at the right club. I'm not suggesting that he'll immediately displace Zamora (29) or Johnson (29), but he's a great long-term prospect and a short-term replacement for Nevland, Kamara and Elm, who are confirmed and/or poised to make their exits.

Darren Ambrose (26) £1-2m - This is a bit of a punt. I'm not sure about Ambrose overall ability. What I am certain about is his free kick ability - it's exceptional. Our inability to score from free kick situations has been a source of irritation for me. Danny Murphy has been the designated taker, but he's hardly threatening in that role. Clint Dempsey and Paul Konchesky have shown some aptitude, but rarely put anything on frame. His ability to score from open play in the Premier League is a question, but I suspect he'll be at least as effective as Zoltan Gera (31), who despite his Europa League exploits, only bagged two goals in the Premier League. With Crystal Palace in administration, Ambrose may be a cheap solution to augment our attack. I doubt he'll start, but he'd be a great option to bring on late in close matches.

Nathaniel Clyne (19) £1-2m - As with Ambrose, I'd love to take advantage of the financial situation at Crystal Palace to add cover at right back. John Pantsil has one year left on his contract (not that he's going anywhere) and Stephen Kelly has failed to impress. Clyne is very highly-regarded and the possibility of he and Christopher Buchtmann forming a great fullback partnership for the future is quite appealing.

Anthony Gardner (28) £1-2m - Relegation has brought financial chaos to Hull City. They'll be looking to offload salary. At 6'5', Gardner has the physical tools to be a successful central defender. He's had some fitness issues over the past few seasons, which could be a concern, but that could be minimized by his role as substitute. I think working with a manager like Hodgson would improve his organizational play and make him a solid backup for Hughes or Hangeland.

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 07:37:10 AM (
Player of the Season Vote
Tuesday 18th May 2010

he 2009/10 season will go down as one of Fulham's most memorable in recent years. The Whites showed great resolve, stamina and skill to attain a healthy finishing position in the Barclays Premier League and reach the quarter-finals of the FA Cup.

However the real story of the season was Fulham's remarkable run in the UEFA Europa League. Their campaign started back in July 2009 against Lithuanian hopefuls FK Vetra. A nervous victory in Amkar Perm in the following round secured our passage in to the group stage, while a brave win in Basel booked our place in the last 32.

The subsequent defeat of cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk impressed many, while the comeback against Juventus still sends shivers down the spine. A fine quarter-final dismissal of German champions Wolfsburg ensued, with another memorable comeback seeing off Hamburg in the semi-final (second leg) at the Cottage.

It was an adventure filled with glory and elation and the players certainly excelled themselves throughout the campaign.

The preliminary round of voting is now open for the Player of the Season 2009/10. The five players who amass the most votes in the preliminary round will then go through to the final round of voting which will see the Player of the Season 2009/10 named. Voting for the preliminary round closes at midday Monday 24th May.

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 07:38:43 AM (
Cottagers Daily Rumor Mill : Are Fulham interested in the Slovenia captain Robert Koren?

Robert Koren was just released by West Bromwich Albion yesterday. Koren is a 29 year old Slovenian midfielder, who is also the Slovenia National Team captain.

According to the Skysports article, "Race on for Koren"  his agent mentions many clubs have already shown interest in his client. Also, according to this article it mentions four teams that have been tracking him. This article states the four teams are Newcastle, Wolves, Fulham, and Swansea.

This is just another rumor that has a link to interest from Fulham. If anything progresses more than just a rumor involving Fulham I will certainly have an update on the situation.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 07:39:57 AM (
Fulham - New Striker Targeted!
Yesterday it was young Maynard at Bristol City who the papers viewed as a possible striker target for Fulham.

Today the rumour mill is suggesting a completely different name - that of Frederik Piquionne, the Portsmouth striker who is deemed as certain to exit Fratton Park this summer.

Piquionne`s registration is held by the French club, Lyon, and the rumour mill suggests that a fee of as little as little as £3 million could be enough to see him pitch up on the banks of the River Thames with Fulham, reportedly, edging ahead of the competition.

Would his signing meet with your approval?
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 07:41:18 AM (
Fulham Join Race for Koren?
After having previously raided The Hawthorns for Zoltan Gera and Jonathan Greening, could a third signing be on the cards?

Newly promoted West Bromwich Albion have released Robert Koren, deciding not to take up the years option on his contract and the Slovenian midfielder is available on a free transfer.

But, if Fulham are to secure his signature they will have to fight off stiff opposition with representative, Zoran Krneta predicting a whole host of clubs being interested in getting someone who is willing to remain in England.

This is what Krneta had to say on the subject,

'In my opinion we will get at least 10 offers for Robert."

'There are a lot of interested clubs and I can reveal, that in the first two hours after the news was published on West Bromwich Albion's website, I got calls from four clubs."

'We will talk about his future today, but I repeat, we won't have any problems with finding him a new club and also a good club."

'I'm sure about it as he is a really good and respected footballer."

'He is the one who will choose his club, but I guess he will look for a good contract and also team, where he will be able to play every week.'
'He is in his best years and he would like to stay in England, where everybody knows him and where he made his name."

Good buy, bad buy or should we be looking higher up the skills ladder?

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 07:42:41 AM (
Transfer Speculation – The First Edition (of Many)
May 18, 2010
With Fulham’s season now officially in the books, it is time to start wild speculation over who might be coming to the cottage this summer courtesy of Mohammed Al-Fayed. Here is a run down of the positions that I think we need to look for and who the potential candidates are:

1) Striker – Whilst a certain Mr.Zamora has captured the hearts and minds of the Fulham faithful this season with a comeback comparable to Fulhams very own against Juventus, a partner for him up front would be ideal. This may be a little harsh on Fulham’s forgotten man Andrew Johnson, but with questions over not only his fitness but his impact on the way the team (and more importantly Zamora) plays mean that it looks like Roy will be looking for some striking reinforcements.  I would like to see Carlton Cole arrive, but his supposed £15m asking price and probable high wages would mean I cannot see him making the trip across London. More Likely is Frederic Piquionne, who would come as a backup for Zamora (meaning Elm would make way) and/or Nicky Maynard who looks like more of  work in progress but it would be exciting to have a promising English youngster on the books. Off the top of my head I am drawing a bit of a blank when it comes to strikers, but Fulham will undoubtebly be linked with anyone and everyone over the next few months.

2) Central Midfield – This is an area that requires some attention in the ‘playmaker’ capacity. Danny Murphy has had a good season but he is noticeably starting to tire and it looks like a new, younger, centre mid is a priority. Steven Sidwell would be available at bargain basement prices and has been touted as a replacement for Murphy. If anyone could get Sidwells career back on track it is Roy and I think this could potentially be a tidy piece of business for Fulham. My favoured signing would be Mark Noble who has run the Hammers midfield for many a season now and would be a like for like replacement for Murphy. He is also young (23!!) and English which are two big positives. If West Ham are serious about their clearout I would be disappointed if Fulham did not make a run for Noble, especially if a club like Stoke, Blackburn or Sunderland got him. On a side note, Jack Collison would be a superb purchase as well.

3) Defenders - A backup centre back seems to be the order of the day in the offseason. Fulham already have a Hughes replacement in Chris Baird, so cover for Hangeland is what is needed. Paul Scharner has been mooted as a potential pick up, but he wants to play in midfield so may be out of the question. The other question is over left back where Paul Konchesky has no cover. Bringing in Nicky Shorey would be a great move but I don’t think he would be happy swapping one bench for another.

More transfer speculation soon!
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 07:44:42 AM (
What the back pages say: West Ham reject Fulham, Birmingham and Stoke bids for Carlton Cole, Tim Cahill joy at Everton deal, Premier League's £2bn turnover

Arsenal will demand £50million from Barcelona after captain Cesc Fabregas asked to leave yesterday following talks with Arsene Wenger.
He's yours for £50m - Gunners cave in over Cesc
Also: Rafa Benitez will meet Inter chiefs this week about the manager's post
Rafa Benitez to meet Inter about taking Mourinho's job

Cesc Fabregas has told Arsenal he wants to join Barcelona this summer.
Also: Tiger Woods has received another massive snub with his ex-coach Butch Harmon turning down the chance to work with him again.
Cesc Fabregas will cost Barcelona over £40million to prise him away from Arsenal.
Also: Chris Ashton completed a rags to riches campaign last  night when he was named the Guinness Premiership player of the year.
Manchester United face a summer-long battle to hang on to the golden boy of England's World Cup campaign as Barcelona prepare a massive bid for Wayne Rooney.
Also: World Cup-winning hooker Steve Thompson is in talks to return to the Premiership next season with Leeds.
Cesc Fabregas looks set to quit Arsenal for Barcelona after telling boss Arsene Wenger he wants to go in a face-to-face meeting.
Also: Eoin Morgan and Craig Kieswetter have been tipped to translate their sensational Twenty20 form into Test match success.
Arsenal face a battle to keep Cesc Fabregas after the Spain midfielder told Arsene Wenger yesterday that he wants to rejoin Barcelona.
Also: Saracens will be without Brendan Venter, their director of rugby, for the Guinness Premiership final against Leicester on May 29.
Cesc Fabregas' seven-year stay in north London could come to an end as early as this week after he told Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger that he wanted to rejoin Barcelona.
Also: West Ham United have rejected bids from Fulham, Birmingham and Stoke for striker Carlton Cole.
The 20 Premier League clubs harvested another financial bonanza last year, recording a combined turnover of £1.9billion, yet three-quarters of them were reliant on owners investing or loaning money - £1.84billion altogether, mostly to subsidise spending on players' wages.
Also: UEFA's president Michel Platini yesterday offered his personal support to Lord  Triesman and said that while England's 2018 bid had been damaged by the furore surrounding the former Football Association chairman's secretly taped allegations about rival bidders, it could recover.
Cesc Fabregas has finally made up his mind to quit Arsenal and join his boyhood club Barcelona in a £30million move that could have huge implications for the future of manager Arsene Wenger.
Also: Tim Cahill described signing a new long-term contract with Everton yesterday as'a massive moment in my career'.

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 07:48:44 AM (
West Ham want £15m for Carlton Cole as clear-out begins
West Ham United have rejected bids from Fulham, Birmingham City and Stoke City for striker Carlton Cole.

Who will buy?: West Ham have already turned down three offers for £15 million-rated striker Carlton Cole Photo: AP
It is understood that all the offers have fallen well short of the £15 million West Ham want for the 26 year-old.
Cole arrived from Chelsea for £1 million in the summer of 2006 and has developed into an England international although he missed out on Fabio Capello's 30-strong provisional World Cup squad.

There has been talk of interest in him from Arsenal and Aston Villa but only bids from the three other Premier League clubs, and according to sources, one from abroad have been lodged.

The fact that the identity of the foreign club has not been disclosed suggests it is closest to West Ham's asking price and a deal might still be done.

Cole's difficult season has been blighted by injury but he is still regarded as one of West Ham's prize assets, although passing a medical will not be regarded as a formality given his history of knee problems.

His sale would provide funds for a manager to rebuild the squad. Avram Grant is set to be named in the role after Portsmouth agreed to let him leave without seeking compensation.

David Sullivan, West Ham's co-chairman, would only say on Tuesday that he would "have a new manager in place within the next two weeks" but, according to sources close to Grant, the Israeli feels he has secured a three-year deal on a salary of £1.3 million to succeed Gianfranco Zola.

West Ham have asked three other clubs for permission to speak to their managers: Blackburn Rovers' Sam Allardyce, Blackpool's Ian Holloway and Cardiff City's David Jones. Holloway and Jones are involved in Saturday's Championship play-off final.

However, now that Grant has secured his release from the final two years of his contract without compensation being paid – he received a sympathetic hearing from Portsmouth's administrator Andrew Andronikou and also argued that the club had made the deal void by defaulting on his wages – it appears certain he will take the post.

The other three contenders are regarded as options only if there is a last-minute hitch with Grant.

West Ham will conduct a clear-out of players. Sullivan had said that all bar Scott Parker was for sale. Matthew Upson is set to ask for a move and Robert Green is understood to be keen to try to play abroad.

Alessandro Diamanti has already been told to find a new club while Giullermo Franco will not receive a new contract and is a free agent. The club are unlikely to take up options on Ilan or Mido, who arrived only in January.

Inter Milan are interested in the young Swiss defender Fabio Daprela, but have not made a bid as yet, while Sullivan is considering a move for Tottenham Hotspur's Jamie O'Hara and may offer either Upson or James Tomkins in exchange. He is also interested in Portsmouth's Kevin-Prince Boateng.

West Ham's attempts to sign France international Sidney Govou have failed. It had been hoped the 30-year-old Lyon striker was close to agreeing a deal, and terms looked to have been reached, but he informed West Ham late on Monday that he was likely to move to Turkey, probably to big-spending Galatasaray.

On Tuesday West Ham released a "10-point plan" on their website of how Sullivan and David Gold want to take the club forward. The points included the recruitment of a "high-calibre" manager and signing new players because "for too long the focus has been on players leaving rather than arriving".

Meanwhile Zola, who has returned to Italy, is waiting to hear from the League Managers' Association when a date will be set for his Premier League arbitration hearing. Zola he started legal proceedings against West Ham following his sacking last week for an alleged breach of contract.

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 07:51:18 AM (

CELTIC have opened talks with Hull about rescuing Jimmy Bullard from his KC Stadium nightmare.

The Scottish giants are leading the chase to sign the England midfielder on a 12-month loan deal.

Cash-strapped Tigers had been hoping to sell Bullard to the highest bidder to get him off the wage bill.

The former Fulham and Wigan star is the club’s highest-paid player on £45,000 a week.

But no-one has shown an interest in taking Bullard on a permanent deal because of concerns over his long-term fitness.

It means the Tigers have no choice but to ship him out on loan, with Celtic being the player’s preferred destination.

Bullard, Hull’s record £5m signing in January 2009, is keen to leave the Tigers following their relegation from the Premier League, which has forced him to agree to have 30 per cent of his wages deferred for the next three months.

He has made just 15 appearances and suffered two career-threatening knee injuries which saw him spend months on the sidelines.

Meanwhile, Nick Barmby is set to avoid the Hull cull and sign a new 12-month deal.

The veteran midfielder, 36, is out of contract next month, but chairman Adam Pearson is willing to offer him a new deal that will include a coaching role.

Up to eight players are facing the axe as Pearson attempts to reduce Hull’s crippling wage bill.

But the former England, Liverpool and Tottenham star is one of the club’s lowest earners and could stay on despite relegation back to the Championship.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 07:59:51 AM (
Rafael Benitez loses an option after Juventus run out of patience with Liverpool manager
Rafael Benitez's options should he leave Liverpool this summer narrowed on Monday after Juventus, who had been pursuing the Spaniard, closed in on appointing Luigi del Neri as their manager.

The Turin club had offered Benítez a £3.5 million-a-year contract over four seasons and promised him a £60 million transfer fund for this summer alone as part of an ambitious plan to take Juventus to the Champions League title by 2013.
Just two weeks ago sources at Juventus had suggested the deal was done, but Benítez failed to give the Italian side a definite answer and missed a series of deadlines set by the club to declare his intentions.

The arrival of Beppe Marotta as technical director, to be confirmed tomorrow, heralded a change of policy for the club’s incoming president Andrea Agnelli. Marotta, presently working alongside Del Neri at Sampdoria, expressed a preference for an Italian manager. It is also believed Juventus’s patience with Benítez has been running thin for some time.

Benítez’s future at Anfield, though, remains uncertain. It is thought he is unlikely to replace Leonardo, who left his post as manager of AC Milan last week after just one season, after the club expressed their intention to appoint a former player to the position. The Dutch duo of Frank Rijkaard, presently at Galatasaray, and Marco van Basten are believed to be the front-runners.

Benítez is also thought to be a contender to replace Jose Mourinho at Inter Milan, should the Portuguese choose to succumb to the overtures of Real Madrid.

Inter owner Massimo Moratti is believed to be confident he can convince Benítez to overcome his reticence to replace Mourinho, with whom the Spaniard had such a fractious relationship during his time at Chelsea, after a season in which he has taken Inter to a domestic league and cup double and the Champions League final.

But with every day that passes and Benítez remains at Anfield, the prospect of the former Valencia manager remaining at Anfield grows more likely. The Liverpool manager has held two meetings with the club’s chairman, Martin Broughton, but it is believed no decision on whether he will stay has been made.

The longer the saga over Benítez’s fate drags on without clarification either way, though, the more uncertain the futures of the likes of Fernando Torres, Steven Gerrard and Javier Mascherano will grow. All three are believed to be considering their positions.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 08:03:36 AM (
Questions over health of Premier League as scale owners' loans revealed
• Turnover bonanza offset by spending on players' wages
• Rules for 2012-13 season require clubs to live within means

The 20 Premier League clubs harvested another financial bonanza last year, recording a combined turnover of £1.9bn, yet three-quarters of them were reliant on owners investing or loaning money – £1.84bn altogether, mostly to subsidise spending on players' wages.

That figure, from a review by the Guardian of the clubs' 2008-09 accounts, the latest which are publicly available, poses a major question for the English clubs about whether they can be in the financial health required by Uefa when its new "financial fair play" rules come into force.

The rules, which look certain to be passed at Uefa's summer congress on 27 May, require all clubs in European competitions to be living within their income, not funded by "benefactors", from the start of the 2012-13 season.

This season's Double winners Chelsea made a £47m loss in 2008-09 due mainly to spending on players. Roman Abramovich's funding of such repeated losses has taken his investment in the club, in the form of a loan to the holding company, to £726m since he took over in 2003.

Arsenal, however, made a record £316m turnover last year and a £46m profit, and Manchester United, who still had a huge £278m turnover, also made a profit. That was principally because Cristiano Ronaldo was sold for £81m, so counter-balancing the £69m interest payable on the £717m debts the Glazer family owners have imposed on the club.

Tottenham Hotspur were second to Arsenal in profitability and look financially healthy, although the cost of players signed for Harry Redknapp will only become clear when the accounts for 2009-10 are published.

Apart from those clubs, which finished in this season's top four, those aspiring to Premier League heights have needed significant investment from owners. Manchester City's was the most spectacular: Sheikh Mansour of Abu Dhabi invested £395m as equity, not loans, between his takeover in August 2008 and January this year. At Aston Villa Randy Lerner loaned £105m from his US holding company, charging interest to the club.

Several clubs' accounts state they would not even be solvent without the support of their owners.

Fulham's rise from penury in the 1990s at a clapped-out Craven Cottage to the Premier League, culminating in this season's march to the Europa League final, has been financed by interest free loans from Mohamed Al Fayed, which reached £183m in 2009. The accounts state that Fayed's holding company, incorporated in the British Virgin Islands, a tax haven, had given assurances that "no repayment demand will be made which would cause [the club] to become technically insolvent".

• At Sunderland, where the US owner Ellis Short has invested £67.5m in return for shares, and £10m in an interest-free loan, paying off debts and subsidising a £26m loss last year, the accounts state that Short has given "indications of his willingness to continue to support the [club] for the foreseeable future. On this basis [the club is] considered to be a going concern."

• At Liverpool, the two US owners Tom Hicks and George Gillett paid £144m in loans from their Cayman Islands holding company, at 10 per cent annual interest, to keep the club going. However, Liverpool still borrowed £250m from Royal Bank of Scotland and Wachovia, £185m of which was the borrowing Hicks and Gillett took out themselves to buy the club in the first place. Liverpool incurred interest charges of £40m, made a £55m loss, and in the accounts the auditors, KPMG, state that the banks' short-term extensions to the loans, and the search for longer-term investment "indicate the existence of a material uncertainty which may cast significant doubt on the [club's] ability to continue as a going concern".

The total debt of the Premier League's current 20 clubs in 2008-09, owed to banks and owners, was £2.9bn. That includes Wolves, Burnley and Birmingham City, who were in the Championship that year. If the debts of Newcastle United and Middlesbrough, who were in the Premier League then, were included instead, the clubs owed very close to the £3bn debt figure of which the former FA chairman, Lord Triesman, warned in his speech of October 2008.

In response, a furious Premier League chief executive, Richard Scudamore, argued the debts were "sustainable". However, the insolvent collapse this season of Portsmouth – whose various owners have loaned a total of £53m – has now demonstrated that clubs' finances were certainly not always sustainable. The Premier League has since introduced a series of measures it hopes will maintain stability, most importantly the need for clubs to show the league their budgets, and means to service them, in March in advance of the season to come.

Despite the imminence of the Uefa break-even rules, the Premier League is still wedded to the idea of owners putting money in to fund spending on players.

"The new financial criteria give us increased powers of scrutiny and intervention and will go a long way to preventing another 'Portsmouth'," a Premier League spokesman said.

"The benefactor model of investment is not one the Premier League wants to see outlawed. It is important that it is done in a sustainable way; however, we don't want to discourage investment into our league, which has benefited clubs of all sizes."
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 11:22:28 AM (
Lansdown rubbishes reports linking Fulham with Maynard

Bristol City chairman Steve Lansdown has rubbished media speculation linking star striker Nicky Maynard with Europa League runners-up Fulham.

National newspaper reports this week suggested Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is lining-up a bid in excess of £4m for Maynard, who scored 21 goals for the Championship side last season, 20 in the league itself.

According to reports, the Cottagers are looking for a potential replacement for Bobby Zamora, the former Bristol Rovers striker, who is supposedly being courted by Everton and Aston Villa.

A hot property after finishing as the Championship's second-highest goal-scorer, 23-year-old Maynard has also been linked with Wolves and West Brom.

But Lansdown poured cold water on the speculation, insisting City have yet to receive a single inquiry for Maynard, let alone a firm offer.

He said: "This is nothing more than press speculation and, just because something is reported in a newspaper, does not mean it is going to happen.

"I've seen the stories and I can assure our supporters we have not had any contact from Fulham, or any other club for that matter, with regard to Nicky Maynard. If Fulham or any other club wants to talk to us about one of our players, then they should contact us directly rather than go through the media.

"At this moment in time, there has been no interest shown by any club in any of our players."

He added: "We know Nicky well and we know his agent and have a good relationship with him. He wouldn't be putting these stories about."
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 11:23:57 AM,19528,11661_6162116,00.html? (,19528,11661_6162116,00.html?)
Blues move for Konchesky
McLeish tables bid for Fulham full-back

Sky Sports News understands Birmingham City have made an offer for Fulham defender Paul Konchesky.

The 29-year-old, who has one year to run on his current deal at Craven Cottage, has been a virtual ever-present in the Fulham team since joining from West Ham in 2007.

But it is believed Roy Hodgson is keen on signing Aston Villa left-back Nicky Shorey on a permanent basis after joining the club on loan in January, suggesting the Cottagers boss would be willing to do business for Konchesky.

That has alerted the likes of Birmingham and Bolton and the West Midlands club have stepped up their interest in the twice-capped England International.

Alex McLeish's side were the surprise packages in the Premier League this season, finishing the campaign in an impressive ninth position and have been in the hunt for a left-back after playing the majority of the season with centre-half Liam Ridgewell filling in.

David Murphy, the usual left-back, has been injured all season while second-choice Gregory Vignal has not managed to secure a new deal despite spending a season-long spell at City this year.

The Blues have made rapid moves in the transfer market as they prepare for their second successive season in the top-flight with Manchester United goalkeeper Ben Foster due to sign at St Andrews in the coming days while former Barcelona youngster Enric Valles will also been arriving in July.

McLeish has reportedly offered £8million for Wigan winger Charles N'Zogbia while the Scottish boss has also been linked with moves for Carlton Cole and Kris Boyd in recent weeks.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 11:25:38 AM (
Birmingham make bid for Fulham left-back Paul Konchesky

Birmingham have launched a bid to prise Paul Konchesky away from Fulham.

Days after ending on the losing side in the Europa League final, Konchesky may have played his final game for the Cottagers.

Birmingham boss Alex McLeish is a big fan of the left-back and is confident that a bid in the region of £2.5million will be enough to tempt Fulham to sell.

Former West Ham defender Konchesky has rebuilt his career after being pushed out of Upton Park. He started his career at Charlton but may now be ready for his first club outside of London.

Konchesky has been twice capped by England and was a key member of the team in Fulham's remarkable European adventure.

McLeish is expecting a busy summer in the transfer market and is also weighing up a move for West Ham striker Carlton Cole.

Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 11:27:44 AM (
Fuham's Season of Victories

It was freezing cold in Hamburg, but the passion, courage and strength shown by the Whites warmed the hearts of everyone watching; from the fans in the stadium, to the people at home, many of whom are not typically Fulham supporters – everyone was cheering us on, the only British team to make it to the final.

Zamora’s game was impeccable, and in spite of his leg injury he skilfully took the ball towards the Spanish net before flicking to Zoltan Gera whose cross to Simon Davies ended in a great equalising goal. It was this determination and team work that knocked the wind out of Atletico. We seized on this, taking control for most of the second half. Gera, Konchesky, Hughes and Hangeland worked hard to deny the Spaniards any advantage, and Schwarzer did an excellent job when the ball did go Atletico’s way. In the end, after playing 63 matches in just ten months, it is understandable, and tribute to us that we kept the ball out of the goal right up until the final four minutes of extra time, Atletico were just that bit faster on the ball.

I am full of pride for Roy and the boys – what they achieved in Hamburg and throughout the entire season, is nothing short of phenomenal. They led us to victory over Shakhtar Donetsk, Wolfsburg and Juventus taking us in triumph all the way to the Europa League Final. And it is in triumph that we end this season; we might not have won in terms of lifting the cup, but what we did win is worth much, much more than a piece of silver.

We succeeded where all the other British teams failed. We fought bravely against all odds, earning our place in the final. We showed that good players who work hard, and who show great character, spirit and skill are key to developing a team that can inspire and lead and win; and, of course, an incredible manager, Roy Hodgson, who has rightfully earned his place in history.

We won’t look back on this season with regret, but with pride. Because we won what many teams fail to win in a lifetime – an unprecedented degree of respect and support that saw British football fans unite and cheer on Fulham with heart.

Thank you to Roy, to the players and of course to you, the fans for your fantastic support. We’re still standing; we still believe; and we’ll be back even stronger next season after the boys have had a well earned rest.  Come on you Whites!
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 12:55:44 PM (
Fulham boss Hodgson targets released West Brom midfielder Koren

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson is moving for released West Brom midfielder Robert Koren.

The Slovenia skipper, 29, is heading for the World Cup without a club but Cottagers boss Roy Hodgson is a long-time admirer.

Koren, who is also interesting Newcastle and Celtic, played in Norway for Lillestrom when Hodgson was manager at Viking Stavanger.

The player fell out with Hawthorns boss Roberto Di Matteo, who branded him "selfish" when Koren refused to shake his hand after being subbed against Scunthorpe.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 01:03:56 PM (
Birmingham City make bid for Paul Konchesky

BIRMINGHAM City have made a bid to sign Fulham full-back Paul Konchesky.

Reports in the Midlands suggest the Blues have stepped up their interest in the 29-year-old, who has a year left on his contract at Craven Cottage.

The former West Ham defender has been a virtual ever-present since moving across the capital in 2007.

Should Konch leave, Hodgson may choose to keep Aston Villa loanee Nicky Shorey at the club.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 01:05:48 PM (
Bobby Moore: Leader of men

Robert Frederick Chelsea Moore left an impression upon the competition that will never be forgotten. From lifting the trophy in 1966 to a tackle defined as one of the greatest ever at the 1970 finals, Moore proved his undoubted class at three World Cups.

Respected by greats such as Pele and Franz Beckenbauer as one of the best defenders to have played the game, Moore is truly a legend of the game.

A product of the West Ham youth system and born in Barking, East Londoner Moore made his first team debut for the Hammers at the age of 17 in September 1958 against Manchester United and soon became a regular in the side.

In 1962, he earned his first call-up into the England squad, a month after taking over as captain of West Ham. Moore, who had been a youth international star, was named in England's pre-tournament squad for the 1962 finals in Chile despite having not won a cap.

After making his international debut in 4-0 friendly defeat of Peru in Lima he was named in the squad for the finals and played in every game before England went out in the quarter-finals. It was a meteoric rise as a player who had just turned 21.

Twelve months later, with usual skipper Jimmy Armfield injured, Moore would be named as England captain for the first time after winning only 12 caps, becoming the country's youngest ever skipper. He took the armband permanently 12 months later, and would wear it for the next 10 years.

His success at international level was mirrored in club football. West Ham won the FA Cup in 1964 and a year later they lifted the European Cup Winners' Cup though a championship would elude him in domestic football.

The 1966 World Cup, played on home soil, was where Moore would be immortalised, eventually lifting the Jules Rimet trophy before a packed Wembley Stadium. The image of Moore holding aloft the trophy remains imprinted in the mind's eye of all English football fans.

Yet Moore almost never made it to the finals, after he refused to sign a new contract with West Ham in a dispute over the sum of £10. Moore would have been ineligible to play in the World Cup as a player without a club and England manager Alf Ramsey had to act as a mediator between Moore and Hammers manager Ron Greenwood. After a meeting at the England team hotel, Moore eventually signed a one-month contract with West Ham to cover the duration of the World Cup.

England won the final with a 4-2 extra-time victory over West Germany at Wembley, but if Geoff Hurst, the hat-trick hero of that final, is to be believed then Moore very nearly didn't play at all. In his autobiography, Hurst claims manager Alf Ramsey was considering dropping Moore and playing Norman Hunter instead. But Moore did play, and would lift the trophy.

Moore was instrumental in England's first goal. He was fouled by Wolfgang Overath, and quickly got up to deliver a perfectly-weighted ball for Hurst to head home what was an equaliser. Moore was named "Player Of Players" for the tournament, recognition of his performances throughout the finals.

"My captain, my leader, my right-hand man," Alf Ramsey said. "He was the spirit and the heartbeat of the team. A cool, calculating footballer I could trust with my life. He was the supreme professional, the best I ever worked with. Without him England would never have won the World Cup."

However, the lead up to the 1970 World Cup finals was to taint Moore's reputation forever. With the finals in Mexico, England travelled to Colombia pre-tournament. But when shopping for a gift for his wife with Bobby Charlton he was accused of the theft of a bracelet from a jeweller in Bogota. He was released without charge, but that would not be the end of the matter.

England played a pre-tournament match against Ecuador in Quito, but had to stop off in Colombia again en route to Mexico. When England's plane touched down Moore was placed under house arrest for four days. Conspiracy theorists believe that it was designed to cause as much disruption to the defending champions' preparations as possible.

While the rest of the England team travelled on to Mexico, Moore was stranded in Bogota. After days of political pressure the case was dropped and he was able to return to the squad. But the stigma of the arrest was always there and it is thought to be the reason why Moore, despite captaining his country to the ultimate sporting success, never received a knighthood.

The scandal did not seem to affect Moore on the pitch at the World Cup. England's second game was against Brazil in the Estadio Jalisco and those in Guadalajara witnessed two of the most iconic moments in the World Cup. There was Gordon Banks' save from Pele, when he seemed to claw the Brazilian's header from behind him at full stretch and force it over the crossbar, and then Moore's superb tackle on Jarzhinio.

Moore had tracked Jairzinho for 20 yards as he ran towards goal and the England skipper produced an inch-perfect tackle to take the ball off Jairzhino's toe just as he expected to be through on Banks. Brazil may have won the game 1-0, but it was two Englishmen who had provided the historic highlights.

The image of Moore and Pele swapping shirts at the end of the match remains of the World Cup's most memorable. Pele, who was determined to get that particular shirt, considered Moore as the greatest defender he had ever played against.

England only made it to the quarter-finals this time, as West Germany gained revenge with a 3-2 extra-time victory. It would be Moore's final appearance at the World Cup as England failed to make it to the 1974 finals.

Moore's form dipped badly in qualifying for the 1974 tournament, and Alf Ramsey, still in charge of the national side, dropped his skipper for a crucial game against Poland which would decide their fate. England infamously drew the game 1-1, with Moore having to watch from the bench, and forfeited a place in West Germany.

The defender's last appearance for England would come in the next international, a 1-0 defeat to Italy in November 1973. Moore won a record 108 caps for his country, which was eventually broken by Peter Shilton, scoring two goals. He remains the outfield player to have started the most England games, with David Beckham's 115 caps including many appearances from the substitutes' bench.

The end of his international days at the age of 32 also marked a change in direction for his club career. Two months later he left West Ham, after a record 544 appearances, and signed for Fulham. He also played for San Antonio Thunder and Seattle Sounders in the United States before hanging up his boots.

Moore moved into management with a marked lack of success. Stints at Oxford City, Eastern AA in Hong Kong and Southend United saw his involvement in the game come to an unfulfilled end.

Moore suffered from cancer three times in his life, beating testicular in his twenties and colon cancer in 1991. But on February 24, 1993, just seven days after commentating on England's 7-1 win over San Marino at Wembley, he died from bowel cancer at the age of just 51. He was the first member of England's World Cup-winning side to die.

"He was my friend as well as the greatest defender I ever played against," said Pele. "The shirt he wore against me in that 1970 match is my prize possession. The world has lost one of its greatest football players and an honourable gentleman."

A 20ft statue in memory of Booby Moore now stands outside the new Wembley Stadium, with Moore looking down Wembley Way.
Title: Re: Wednesday Fulham Stuff (19/05/10)...
Post by: whitejc on May 19, 2010, 03:52:25 PM (
Dikgacoi dismisses weight concerns

South Africa midfielder Kagisho Dikgacoi insists he has no fears over his fitness heading into the FIFA World Cup™ amid concerns he has gained some weight during his time in England.

The 25-year-old, who plays for Fulham, hardly featured for the Premier League club during his debut season. Like compatriot Benni McCarthy, another player that has spent a large part of 2009/10 on the sidelines, there have been concerns the pair are not up to full fitness heading into next month's global showpiece.

But Dikgacoi said: "That (weight) has been my concern but I worked hard at Fulham. After the training sessions I would go with the physical trainer and the team for some more work, because I wanted to be in the team that will play in the World Cup and I had to do more work to make sure I'm sharp.

"It is very good to be back. I have played with these guys for some time now and although I could not join them in their recent camps in Brazil and Germany, I feel I can comfortably slip back into the team. I think the qualities that got me selected in the first place are still of use to the coach."

The former Golden Arrows star made just seven starts for the Craven Cottage club in the league, while he was also bit-part player during the team's UEFA Europa League run that took them all the way to the final. Reflecting on his first season in England, he added: "I must say it wasn't the best season for me. I was expecting to play as many games as possible, but I can put in many excuses.

"My first game I got a red card and in the second game I got an injury, that took me out for about six weeks. But the positive is that the manager Roy (Hodgson) was excited about me. So hopefully next season it will be the best."