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General Category => Archive => Daily Fulham Stuff => Topic started by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:06:39 AM

Title: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:06:39 AM
An ode to Steed Malbranque, a player so wonderful even Tony Blair loved him

As fans of Fulham, Tottenham and Sunderland will attest, Steed Malbranque was a lovely, lovely football. Even Tony Blair loved him.

It’s 2005. Tony Blair has been invited, for reasons that aren’t immediately obvious, onto BBC’s Football Focus programme to give his views on the beautiful game.

The nation is unsure whether to take his opinion on anything – particularly something as important as football – seriously. However, to give the former Prime Minister his dues, on this occasion he may be onto something.

Sporting an unnecessarily open-necked shirt and asked to name the Premier League players who had caught his eye, he gave three responses: Teddy Sheringham, Arjan de Zeeuw, and Steed Malbranque.

The first, fair enough. The second is a story for another day.

Blair was a man who knew his football. Remember his headers with Kevin Keegan? We know that his love of Newcastle was entirely genuine and that he wouldn’t have pretended to support them just because they were the nearest major club to his constituency.

This was an era when the Premier League was graced with Thierry Henry and Ruud van Nistelrooy. Paul Scholes was at his peak. Few had the foresight to invest their hopes in a midfielder who would go on to provide more assists than the Manchester United legend.

Malbranque made his name at Fulham as a record signing, arriving as a highly-rated France Under-21 international costing £4.5million. By 2001, as a 20-year-old, he had already made 50 appearances for Lyon.

At Craven Cottage, he quickly earned a reputation as a phenomenally hard-working player, linking up with the likes of Luis Boa Morte and Brian McBride. Those were the days, weren’t they?

A move to Tottenham Hotspur followed, where his tackling ability became more apparent than ever. In line with the step up he had made, he resolved to work even harder.

Just as he had in west London, he would achieve cult hero status at Spurs.

“Steeeed,” White Hart Lane would cry whenever he came on or off the field, and all the more vociferously on the handful of times he scored for the club. Maybe it was because he kept them in such suspense before making his debut, having had to wait 10 weeks for his first appearance due to injury.

Of course, he is one of the last Tottenham players to win a trophy, playing his part in their Carling Cup triumph in 2008.

In the semi-final thrashing of Arsenal, he notched the fifth goal in the dying seconds. It was no more than the icing on the cake, a tap-in, but it was absolutely glorious.

At the other end, and unfortunately just as memorable, came his comedic own goal against Sevilla in the UEFA Cup. It was a night when the La Liga outfit – incidentally, managed by a certain Juande Ramos – were almost certain to go through, though Spurs gave themselves hope as they came from two goals down, only to lose 4-3 on aggregate.

Christian Poulsen leapt up with the header. Malbranque’s response was to flap at it, legs flailing, and before he knew it, the ball was in the back of the net. Martin Jol decided he would never be put on the near post at corners again.

It had taken a little while for the fans to warm to their new £2million signing. Perhaps on account of his injuries, his first campaign was underwhelming and it took time for the Belgian-born star to become instrumental.

Never the bridegroom but always in the wedding party, his display in the classic 6-4 win over Reading was overshadowed by Dimitar Berbatov’s four goals.

The 2007-08 season started in traumatic fashion with Jol’s underhand sacking in October, yet for Malbranque himself, the campaign brought progress.

Admittedly, he wasn’t cut from the same cloth as the midfielders Mauricio Pochettino would entertain, but this was a very different time. Expectations are a little higher than they were then, Malbranque captured the hearts of the Spurs faithful by sheer exertion.

Onto Sunderland, he followed in the footsteps of two other ex-Lilywhites in Teemu Tainio and Pascal Chimbonda.

The Black Cats were looking increasingly like a Tottenham tribute act, featuring old boys Andy Reid, Darren Bent, and Frazier Campbell, as well as loanee Alan Hutton.

And Ricky Sbragia managed to exploit Malbranque’s versatility, using him both on the left and right and to great effect.

With the end of his time at the Stadium of Light came the end of English football’s love affair with Steed Malbranque.

Upon quitting Lyon, he had made some fairly disparaging comments not about the club itself but about the quality of Ligue 1, and chose to spend his best years across the water in England.

It was only in the twilight of his career that he headed back to Lyon, via Saint-Etienne, before ending with a brief stint in Caen.

French fans may have forgotten all about him by that time, as he never ventured into the senior international team.

The peak of his career coincided with Les Bleus finishing the 2006 World Cup as runners-up, with Franck Ribery announcing himself on the global stage. It would have taken something truly spectacular to make it into that XI.

While it lasted, the pace and determination he showed at Fulham, and subsequently at Tottenham, was something to behold. So, here’s to you, Mr Blair, for your incredible foresight.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:07:09 AM
Carvalho’s time to shine

Fabio Carvalho has the happy habit of making a striking first impression. When Colin Omogbehin was sufficiently impressed by the slight playmaker’s potential at Balham to offer him a trial with Fulham, the youngster stole the show at Tottenham scoring twice and making three goals to spark an astonishing comeback to win 5-3. He made his debut for the under 18s at the tender age of fifteen – bagging a hat-trick against Reading on his first start – and, as we all know, the youngster also scored on his first Premier League start against Southampton last season.

It is Carvalho’s poise and technical excellence that stands out when you first watch him. He takes supreme care of the ball, as you would expect from a youngster honed in the Sporting Lisbon youth system, but his leadership qualities have been recognised from an early age, as he was handed the England armband at under 15 and under 16 levels. Carvalho adjusted very quickly to both education and football in England after moving here with his family aged eleven and there was soon a steady stream of scouts flocking to Balham to watch his assured displays.

His name has been whispered quietly at Motspur Park as the next talent to watch for many years. They don’t like to put pressure on their young proteges at the Fulham academy, but Carvalho thrives on the opportunity to show just what he can do. There might have been concerns about whether he could make the step up from youth level to senior football, especially after a stellar 2020 which saw him record eleven goals and eight assists as he split his time between Steve Wigley’s all-conquering under 18s and the under 23s.

But Carvalho banished any doubt by blossoming when offered the opportunity to join the first team squad for training. He might have scored on his senior debut with a bit more luck when he was introduced as a substitute against Sheffield Wednesday in the League Cup and he threatened to spark a late revival at Stamford Bridge when Scott Parker summoned him from the bench for a Premier League bow with Fulham 2-0 down. The former Fulham boss described him as ‘a shining light’ in a dismal season, something underlined by the quality of his finish at Southampton that briefly brought an already relegated side back into a game that looked beyond them. He didn’t look overawed at Old Trafford either, denied another goal only by a smart David de Gea block.

With continuing concern about just how well Tom Cairney’s knees will withstand the rigours of a Championship campaign, the teenager has the perfect chance to nail down a starting spot at the start of the new season. Marco Silva has certainly been impressed by the eighteen year-old’s contributions to date – he has featured in every Fulham pre-season fixture this summer – and he already looks like the frontrunner to take the number ten role in the club captain’s absence. Carvalho can play out wide but it is in the hole where he is most effective as an a perceptive passer who also loves to take on defenders and has an eye for goal.

Silva has spoken about his desire to play adventurous football and provide Aleskandar Mitrovic with the sort of service that the Serbian has previously thrived on at this level. A confident Carvalho would pose a serious problem to Championship defences, fitting the blueprint of ‘fast, attacking football’ that Joe Bryan revealed the new boss had laid down to his charges, and add energy to a side that has previously looked lethargic in the final third. His numbers at youth level are outstanding – he has scored fifteen with thirteen assists in 38 under-18 appearances and netted sixteen in 33 matches with six assists for the under-23s – and, if given the opportunity to flourish in the senior side this season, there’s every chance Carvalho can continue his meteoric rise.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:08:30 AM
Marco Silva makes admission on futures of key Fulham players as Wolves, Man City, Sheffield United and Roma circle

Fulham manager Marco Silva has revealed that he is confident that the club can keep hold of all of their key players this summer but conceded circumstances might change in the coming weeks.

Following their relegation from the Premier League last season, Fulham have seen a number of their key players linked with potential moves away from Craven Cottage.

Aleksander Mitrovic has been consistently linked with a potential departure and it has been reported that AS Roma are interested in the Serbia international. While Russian side Dynamo Moscow are believed to have had a £16 million offer already rejected for his services.

Silva has recently revealed that the forward is going to be a key part of his plans next season in the Championship and insisted that he wants him to remain with Fulham.

Elsewhere in the squad, Tom Cairney has been linked with a potential move to Sheffield United to re-unite with Slavisa Jokanovic. While defender Antonee Robinson has been reportedly on the radars of both Wolves and Manchester City this summer.

Speaking to Football London, Silva has now revealed that he feels confident that Fulham will not lose any of their key players at this stage in the window. Although he did admit that things might change nearer towards the end of the transfer window.

He said: “I’m really confident that we can keep our best players.

“We know all the players would prefer to be in the Premier League than the Championship.

“But we’re here at Fulham football club. They want to be part of it, they have a desire to go back to the Premier League with Fulham but of course the market is open and you cannot say for 100% sure that this squad, these players, will be here until the end of the market.

“It’s not something just in my hands. But for now there is not one sign that a player will leave the club. If you ask me in one week, two weeks or three weeks some things may change but for now I’m working with them to achieve what we want at the end of the season.”

The verdict

This update should provide some encouragement for Fulham supporters and shows that Silva is expecting to have his best players ready and available for them next season in the Championship.

Should they manage to keep hold of the likes of Mitrovic, Robinson and Cairney then they will be looking strong to mount another promotion push from the English second tier.

It is always daunting for clubs when they drop out of the Premier League and see other top-flight clubs circle for some of their best and most influential performers.

However, Fulham showed with their stance on Dynamo Moscow’s offer for Mitrovic that they are not willing to sell their key men this summer unless they receive offers too good to turn down.

All of their key players so far appear to be fully on board with what Silva is trying to do heading into the new campaign. Therefore, you would not imagine any of them kicking up too much of a fuss and trying to force through a move elsewhere. However, with so much time still left in the window Silva is right to remain optimistic but also realistic that things could yet change.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:10:00 AM
Fresh Fulham injury update on key midfielder that could scupper a potential Sheffield United move

Fulham manager Marco Silva has said 30-year-old midfielder Tom Cairney is not yet ready to return to full training in an interview with South London Press, with their opening game in just nine days.

The Scottish playmaker has not been seen in the Cottagers’ first-team squad since their Boxing Day clash against Newcastle United and has spent the summer attempting to recover from a severe knee injury.

But despite being out for over seven months now, the midfielder is still not ready to return to action in west London and is likely to miss the start of the season as Silva’s side take on Middlesbrough next Sunday, which may also have an impact on a promotion rival.

Football League World understands Sheffield United boss Slavisa Jokanovic wanted to make Cairney his first signing at Bramall Lane but since the exclusive from May, it’s unclear whether this remains the case with the 30-year-old set to spend some extra time on the sidelines.

After the departure of John Lundstram in the summer and highly-rated Sander Berge potentially following him after generating a considerable amount of interest from top-flight teams in England and Italy, Jokanovic has identified his area as one he needs to strengthen before the window closes.

There is still a month to go until deadline day, but his injury could make a potential deal between Sheffield United and Fulham impossible until January.

The Verdict:

Although Slavisa Jokanovic already knows Tom Cairney well from their time together at Craven Cottage, this is a signing the Serbian shouldn’t look to complete in this window considering the 30-year-old is still on the road to recovery.

Whether he would even pass a medical by the end of August remains to be seen, but officials at Sheffield United should be focusing heavily on other targets considering the fact they haven’t brought in a single signing thus far.

They aren’t in a sticky situation because of this, Jokanovic has already said this is the best team he has inherited in England so far, but he will still want to address his centre-back and central midfield positions that currently look the weakest as things stand.

A move in January could be a good option though if Cairney returns to his old self and can stay fit when he finally does make his long-awaited return. He needs to prove his fitness before the Blades make a transfer move for him though.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:10:54 AM
Report: CEO tells club that Fulham intend to sign £7m man; five-year deal agreed

Championship side Fulham will step up their pursuit of Rodrigo Muniz today after CEO Alistair Mackintosh told Flamengo that a bid would be submitted on Friday, as reported by O Dia.

After days of difficult discussions, it seems Fulham are on the verge of agreeing a deal for a man who has also been the subject of enquiries from Atletico Madrid, Al-Nassr, Genk and Middlesbrough – a varying crop of clubs if there ever was one.

Craven Cottage has always felt like the most likely destination for Muniz, Marco Silva having contacted the striker in an attempt to lure him to West London. 

Muniz, for what it’s worth, was flattered by Silva’s willingness to go the extra mile.

The former Everton and Watford coach apparently sees similarities between the 20-year-old and a baby-faced Richarlison, the Brazil international forward he brought to Vicarage Road as a little-known youngster back 2017.

Will Rodrigo Muniz be Fulham’s answer to Richarlison?

According to O Dia, Flamengo had doubts about whether Fulham were willing to meet their demands for Muniz. The Cottagers saw a loan offer rejected last week.

But Mackintosh, the club’s long-serving CEO, has now taken the step of contacting Santos director Bruno Spindel directly; making it clear that Fulham would be happy to reach a compromise as they look to fight off competition from Championship rivals Middlesbrough.

Boro offered £4 million up front but Muniz turned down a switch to the Riverside, awaiting an offer from Fulham instead.

It is understood that Fulham will pay £7 million across two instalments, having agreed a five-year deal with Muniz.

It remains to be seen whether Muniz is viewed as someone capable of slotting straight into the starting XI and making an immediate impact, a la Richarlison during his debut season at Watford.

In his introductory press conference this week, Silva suggested that exit-linked Aleksandar Mitrovic still had a part to play at Craven Cottage, but stressed the Serbian international cannot be relied on to score every single goal in 2021/22 (West London Sport).
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:12:27 AM
Fulham’s Opoku set for Vejle loan move, Fossey on trial with Rotherham United – Rutzler

Fulham’s Marlon Fossey is currently on trial with Rotherham United whilst Jerome Opoku is ‘set to join’ Danish outfit Vejle on loan, as per The Athletic’s Peter Rutzler.

Fulham’s summer transfer business looks to be in full swing after a slow start to the pre-season.

Scott Parker’s delayed exit undoubtedly slowed things down for the Whites following their relegation from the Premier League, but Marco Silva kicked off his tenure with the double signing of Harry Wilson and Paulo Gazzaniga earlier this month and now the club looks set to do some offloading.

It looks to be the younger players that Fulham are focusing on now though, with The Athletic reporter Rutzler tweeting earlier today:

Opoku, 22, has spent the past two seasons out on loan in the EFL. The defender spent the second half of the 2019/20 campaign with Accrington Stanley and last time round was at Plymouth Argyle, where he featured 33 times in League One.

Fossey, also 22, had a brief loan spell with Shrewsbury Town last season but managed just seven League One outings for the club – he’s now on trial with Rotherham United who were relegated from the Championship last time round, with a view to a loan move as per Rutzler.

We’re yet to see very much of Fossey in action but a loan to Rotherham could be the experience he needs to kick-start his career.

The defender is a product of the Fulham academy and has been playing for the club’s development side for the past few seasons now, but is yet to make his league debut for the club.

Opoku meanwhile had a really active season with Plymouth last time round and a loan move to Vejle is an exciting opportunity – the club’s domestic season has just started but after two games they sit bottom of the Danish top flight table.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:13:01 AM
Cairney Stay Fit?

Every Fulham fan would have been dismayed to learn after Marco Silva’s press conference yesterday that Tom Cairney is still not back in full training seven months after his last first team appearance for the Whites. We all know the difference our peerless playmaker makes when he is fit to play those precise passes through midfield, but equally we have become accustomed to the fact that the management of persistent knee problems mean the likelihood of him being an ever-present again in a gruelling Championship campaign is close to zero.

Cairney’s wretched run of injuries has undoubtedly hampered Fulham’s performance in recent years. On song – and part of the formidable midfield trio alongside Kevin McDonald and Stefan Johansen, who have sadly both departed this summer – he was simply unplayable. He played his best football in that mesmerising season under Slavisa Jokanovic when the Whites won 23 games on the trot and, bounced back from that not being enough to secure automatic promotion, to triumph in the play-offs. In his emotional post-match interview at Wembley, it became clear that Cairney had been playing through the pain barrier for some time – which makes his consistency all the more remarkable.

Cairney’s place in Fulham folklore is assured as the only man in history to lead the club to two Wembley triumphs. Nobody needs reminding just how effortlessly he tucked away the beatifully crafted goal to beat Aston Villa, but his contribution in the tussle with Brentford two years later should not be overlooked. Deployed in a deeper role, the Scottish midfelder might have eschewed some his attacking instincts but grafted to prevent Brentford from playing and played a pivotal part in a memorable victory.

It is fashionable these days to question Cairney’s leadership credentials – as he is far from the conventional vocal captain – but instead he leads by example on the field. While he may have struggled to replicate his best form in the top flight (and injuries have clearly robbed him of the chance to shine at times – he was outstanding in Fulham’s first league win against West Brom last year), he is the ideal number ten in a possession-based Championship side. His vision, range of passing and ability to turn defence into attack effortlessly are all vital attributes that Marco Silva would love to call upon regularly. The numbers remain staggering – Cairney’s scored 37 goals, made 28 more in 217 appearances since Fulham signed him from Blackburn for what now looks like a bargain £3.5m back in 2015.

Silva stated yesterday that Cairney is probably still a few weeks away from a possible return to the side. That gives the Portugese head coach a headache as to who to use to fill a position that has been pivotal in the success of his previous sides, as he likes to use a number ten behind a loan forward. It may be that Fabio Carvalho, impressive in his cameos towards the end of last season, seizes a chance to shine. But no one could doubt how crucial Cairney is to Fulham’s fortunes – and he will be as desperate as anyone to end a hugely frustrating spell on the sidelines.

It will be doubly disappointing as Cairney seems to be the perfect player to thrive in Silva’s ideal system. The former Everton and Watford manager will be the fifth boss that the Scottish international has worked under at Craven Cottage. He had to endure being shoved out on the right under Kit Symons, before shining in the central role he made his own once Jokanovic took charge. Claudio Ranieri was never sold on Cairney’s importance and you felt that his creative talents were somewhat shackled under Scott Parker. The man himself knows just how long a Championship campaign is – and let’s hope he can make his mark on Silva’s first season when those injury issues abate. A prolonged period away from the treatement is precisely what Fulham and Cairney crave.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:16:16 AM
2021-22 EFL season: Key dates, rule changes and everything else you need to know

Ahead of the new campaign, which starts next week, we provide a rundown of all the important dates and information as 72 clubs gear up for another hectic season

The EFL reopens for business this time next week.

Friday, August 6 sees Bournemouth host newly-relegated West Bromwich Albion in the curtain-raiser.

It marks the start of nine months of competition, with 72 clubs gunning for all very different objectives - and crucially the fans are back, unlike the vast majority of the past 17 months.

Five new clubs will be entering the EFL, with Sutton United making their Football League debut after promotion from the National League.

Hartlepool United join them in League Two next season, after a four-year absence. Meanwhile, Albion, Fulham and Sheffield United return to the second tier after spells in the Premier League.

A new season not only means new teams and new players but also a few other notable differences.

Here's all you need to know ahead of the 2021-22 campaign.

Key dates

The season begins on Friday, August 6 with Bournemouth versus West Brom in the Championship.

The following day sees the bulk of clubs in the second tier and Leagues One and Two start their campaigns.

The final day of the League One season is scheduled for April 30, 2022. League Two concludes on May 7 with the Championship's last day taking place the day after on May 8.

The League One play-off final is set for May 21, League Two on May 28 and the Championship on May 29. All three take place at Wembley.

The Carabao Cup final is back at a more familiar date this year, on February 27, with the Papa John's Trophy showpiece slated for April 3.

New rules


One of the key alterations compared to last season will be the re-introduction of the three substitutes rule.

Clubs were allowed to make five changes per game, as opposed to the usual three, in new rules brought in upon football's restart in June 2020 following the Covid-enforced break.

Now, with clubs enjoying a longer rest period between seasons, the EFL have confirmed the ending of the temporary change

From next season, in the Championship, League One and League Two, teams will be able to name seven substitutes but only use a maximum of three.

There will also be concussion changes granted, if required in games.


The game’s leading bodies have agreed new guidance which limits the number of headers players are permitted to make.

The recommendations, based on multiple studies undertaken in recent months, restricts players to 10 “higher-force” headers a week in training.

These are typically headers following a long pass (more than 35m) or from crosses, corners or free-kicks.

“Our heading guidance now reaches across all players, at all levels of the game,” said FA chief executive Mark Bullingham.


Accidental handball in the build-up to a goal will no longer be deemed an offence. The crucial word here is 'build-up'.

It will still be an offence if an accidental handball directly creates the chance that scores the goal, or scores the goal itself.

There is also new language around how a player makes their body 'unnaturally bigger' in a handball situation.

The new language is: "A player is considered to have made their body unnaturally bigger when the position of their hand/arm is not a consequence of, or justifiable by, the player's body movement for that specific situation. By having their hand/arm in such a position, the player takes a risk of their hand/arm being hit by the ball and being penalised."

What this means is the handball law no longer specifies that a particular position, or anything other than a standard silhouette of a body, are considered 'unnatural'.

League Cup ties and FA Cup replays

The EFL has confirmed that the Carabao Cup semi-finals will revert to being two legs, after one-off games took place last season.

That was to deal with fixture congestion in a tightly-packed season. Semi-finalists will revert to playing two games, one home and one away.

Meanwhile, FA Cup replays will return up to and including the fourth round for the upcoming campaign.

New match ball

German sports brand Puma will produce the official match ball for all EFL competitions next season, including the Sky Bet Championship, League One, League Two, Carabao Cup and Papa John’s Trophy.

Transfer windows

The summer window is open now and closes at 11pm on Tuesday, August 31.

The January window is set to open for permanent and loan deals on January 1 and close on January 31.

Of course, loan deals are crucial to many clubs in the EFL but it's worth remembering they can only include a maximum of five loanees in their 18-man matchday squad.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:17:29 AM
he roller-coaster ride of Fulham

WHEN Fulham kick-off the 2021-22 season against Middlesbrough on August 8 at Craven Cottage, it will herald the start of their fifth consecutive campaign of changing divisions. Promoted twice, in 2018 and 2020, Fulham have also suffered two relegations, in 2019 and 2021, and undoubtedly, they will be among the favourites for promotion from the Championship in 2022. Life is rarely dull in Stevenage Road, London SW6.

Fulham have recently published their 2019-20 financial statements (why does it take so long for football clubs to reveal their finances?) and although the they were successful on the pitch, they posted a pre-tax loss of £ 49 million. This should come as no great surprise as the club saw its revenues drop by 58% in 2019-20 to £ 58 million, once more underlining the imbalance between the Premier League and the English Football Club  – in 2018-19 they generated £ 137.7 million.

Fulham may have offloaded some of their bigger earners after relegation in 2019, reducing their wages from £ 92.6 million to £ 72.6 million, but the wage-to-income ratio almost doubled in 2020 from 67.2% to an intimidating 125.2%.

The club’s bottom line was improved by a £ 25 million profit from player trading, a tenfold increase on 2018-19. Their last notable sale was Ryan Sessegnon who moved to Tottenham for around £ 25 million in August 2019.

Fortunately, Fulham have a generous, and it would seem, patient owner who has funded the club’s ambitious plans, including something of a spending spree when promotion to the Premier was achieved in 2018. Fulham spent over £ 100 million in 2018-19, the third highest outlay in English football that season, but the data-driven acquisition of mostly little-known but potential-rich players didn’t yield the envisaged success – Fulham went through three managers and were relegated after looking naïve and lacking in experience. The club is still paying for that summer of high enthusiasm and even higher hopes.

A more cautious approach in 2019-20 saw them win promotion again via the play-offs. Shahid Khan, the owner since 2013, injected £ 78 million of cash into the club in 2020, which has been converted into equity. Without Khan’s backing, Fulham’s finances would look a little scary.

But they still need to have more than one eye on Financial Fair Play. Their loss limit for 2019-20 was £ 61 million, so they were heading ominously towards that figure. However, the rules have been loosened a little around FFP due to the pandemic and will treat 2019-20 and 2020-21 as a single season and work on an average loss over the two.

As well as relegation in 2019, the 2019-20 season was hampered by the pandemic, which meant matchday income dropped by 48% to £ 5.6 million and broadcasting revenues were 60% lower at £43.7 million. Even commercial income, which has held up well at many clubs, dropped by 52% to £ 8.5 million. Overall, Fulham’s revenues were the highest in the Championship, although Leeds, West Bromwich Albion, Huddersfield, Swansea and Stoke were not far behind. Fulham’s matchday income should increase in the near future as the redevelopment of the Riverside stand nears completion, a project that will add more than 4,000 to the capacity of the popular and iconic Craven Cottage.

But Fulham’s swift return at the end of 2019-20 should come as no great shock given their wage bill, which was the second highest in the Championship after Leeds United, who were also promoted. There are also parachute payments to consider, Fulham received £ 42 million and were one of seven clubs benefitting from post-relegation compensation.

Fulham’s status at the moment is a club with strong ownership that just cannot consolidate in the top flight. Their financial strength gives them an advantage over many clubs, but after securing promotion, they come up against opponents with greater resources and more savvy.

Stability is needed for Fulham to look beyond one-season stays in the Premier League, which includes both income and team management, as well as a pragmatic mindset. Just a few seasons among the elite, as opposed to the current game of snakes and ladders, would make such a difference to one of English football’s most popular institutions, both on and off the pitch.

Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:18:03 AM
‘It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity’: Mika Biereth completes move to Arsenal from Fulham

Striker Mika Biereth has completed his move to Arsenal from Fulham and will go into the U23 squad.

Biereth, 18, scored 21 times for Fulham U18s last season and also possesses prior experience of playing at U23 level.

It is anticipated that Biereth will be the main striker for Arsenal U23s this season, with Tyreece John-Jules and Nikolaj Moller having both been loaned out.

After finalising his move, Biereth told ‘It feels great and I’m really excited to be here.

‘It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I couldn’t really turn it down. I think now with the recent track record of youth going into the first team, I thought it was a great project to try and be a part of.’
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:18:38 AM
Fulham win race to sign player after Mackintosh involvement – Set to sign five-year deal, awaiting document

Fulham’s offer for Flamengo striker Rodrigo Muniz has been accepted, the Brazilian media says.

According to outlet O Dia, the bid was made on Thursday following a contact from the Cottagers’ CEO Alistair Mackintosh. The positive reply was given on Friday morning.

Reporter Venê Casagrande writes that Muniz has even received the papers from the Championship side already, and now prepares to complete the move, which only depends on a document to arrive at the Brazilian club.

Fulham’s latest bid on the table was of €4m up front plus €4m in a second instalment. They’re letting Flamengo keep 20% of a future transfer.

Casagrande writes that Flamengo also had an offer from Middlesbrough, and actually weren’t confident that Fulham would make a bid for a permanent transfer, as the Whites’ first offer for a loan with an option to buy had been turned down.

However, with the ‘distrust’ from the Rio de Janeiro side, Mackintosh called director Bruno Spindel to sort the final details.

It’s said that Flamengo tried to convince Muniz’s representatives of taking Boro’s offer, as the Riverside club had put on the table €5m and would let them keep 50% of a future move. However, the player and agents chose Fulham instead.

The striker is set to join the Cottagers on a five-year deal, with a ‘very good’ salary.

Yesterday, we covered all the details of his chat with Marco Silva, which had also been revealed by Venê Casagrande.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:19:29 AM
Biereth makes Arsenal move

Arsenal have this afternoon confirmed the capture of young Fulham forward Mika Biereth.

The teenager, who scored 21 goals in 21 league games as Fulham’s under 18s retained their Premier League South title last season, rejected the Whites’ offer of a professional contract and instead opted to join the Gunners.

The eighteen year-old told Arsenal’s official website: “It feels great and I’m really excited to be here. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I couldn’t really turn it down. I think now with the recent track record of youth going into the first team, I thought it was a great project to try and be a part of.”

Biereth joined Fulham in 2018 and made his debut for the under 18s as a fourteen year-old against Reading that February. He signed a two-year scholarship with the club in July 2019 and fired two hat-tricks against Tottenham and Leicester as Steve Wigley’s youngsters successfully defended their league title. He scored a total of 25 goals in 41 appearances at youth level in his Fulham career, creating fifteen assists.

It is understood the two London clubs have yet to reach agreement over compensation for the young striker – and this could be eventually determined by a tribunal.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:21:19 AM
Charlton Matchday Preview


The opposition

    Charlton begin the 2021/22 season in League One having missed out on a Play-Off spot on goal difference last campaign.
    Nigel Adkins’ side have put in stellar showings against higher league opposition in their pre-season. The Addicks recorded draws at both Championship Reading and Premier League Crystal Palace.
    This fixture also concludes Charlton’s pre-season before they begin their league campaign at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

FAQs and safety info

Important information for supporters attending the game can be found here.


A match pass is available priced at £5 to access the livestream. Supporters with an existing FFCtv monthly subscription can also watch as part of their subscription.


Those wishing to buy tickets on the gate can do so, but will be charged an extra £5.


Fans are advised that there is no District Line service. Alternatives to Putney Bridge tube station include Hammersmith tube station – though be aware there is also no Circle Line. A replacement bus service will be in operation.


The Met Office is reporting a 30 per cent chance of showers into the second half with temperatures around 21 degrees.

Player insight

Joe Bryan can’t wait to see fans return in numbers for the visit of Charlton.

“I can’t wait,” he told FFCtv. “It’s been a long time; I know we had them a couple of times last year, but it didn’t feel like full capacity. It’ll be nice to see everyone with a smile on their face with nice weather – we’ll have fun.”

Pre-match quotes

"To have fans back will be a fantastic sensation for all of us. And football will be back again. We had a fantastic feeling in the last European competition with the national team."

Marco Silva

"We go into the Fulham game looking to get more game time into the players and then obviously at the start of the season against Sheffield Wednesday."

Nigel Adkins
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:22:25 AM
Biereth makes Arsenal move

Arsenal have this afternoon confirmed the capture of young Fulham forward Mika Biereth.

The teenager, who scored 21 goals in 21 league games as Fulham’s under 18s retained their Premier League South title last season, rejected the Whites’ offer of a professional contract and instead opted to join the Gunners.

The eighteen year-old told Arsenal’s official website: “It feels great and I’m really excited to be here. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity and I couldn’t really turn it down. I think now with the recent track record of youth going into the first team, I thought it was a great project to try and be a part of.”

Biereth joined Fulham in 2018 and made his debut for the under 18s as a fourteen year-old against Reading that February. He signed a two-year scholarship with the club in July 2019 and fired two hat-tricks against Tottenham and Leicester as Steve Wigley’s youngsters successfully defended their league title. He scored a total of 25 goals in 41 appearances at youth level in his Fulham career, creating fifteen assists.

It is understood the two London clubs have yet to reach agreement over compensation for the young striker – and this could be eventually determined by a tribunal.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:22:49 AM
Muniz set for Fulham medical

Rodrigo Muniz is poised to undergo a medical in Brazil ahead of his proposed permanent transfer from Flamengo to Fulham, according to reports this afternoon.

Leading Brazilian journalist Vene Casagrande reports that Flamengo’s directors have concluded negotiations with Muniz and the striker’s representatives and that the player will have his medical in Brazil before travelling to London to meet his new team-mates. Flamengo accepted Fulham’s offer of around £7m in two staggered payments after the Londoners switched from an initial loan approach in order to secure the 20 year-old’s services. The Brazilian outfit are also entitled to a 20% sell-on clause, which they believe to be an excellent return for a player who only broke into their first team last year.

Flamengo are also understood to believe that a successful deal for Muniz could strengthen ties with leading European clubs. Fulham, following a successful intervention from chief executive Alistair Mackintosh, reached agreement with both Flamengo and Muniz, who has verbally agreed a five year contract at Craven Cottage, after being impressed by new manager Marco Silva’s personal approach. Both Genk and Al-Nasr had agreed fees with Flamengo but were rejected by the young forward in favour of the move to London.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:23:36 AM
Squad Numbers Confirmed

Fulham’s squad numbers for the 2021/22 season have now been confirmed.

The Club has a new number 1 following the departure of long-time incumbent Marcus Bettinelli. His good mate Marek Rodák now takes the shirt, following in the footsteps of the likes of Edwin van der Sar, Mark Schwarzer and Alphonse Areola.

Fellow goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga has taken 21, which was recently vacated by Harrison Reed.

As a defensive midfielder, Reedy fancied the unoccupied number 6 jersey which had been worn with such distinction by Kevin McDonald over the last five seasons.

After joining Bristol City on loan and thereby vacating his squad number of 5, Alfie Mawson has now reverted back to the first digits he inherited at Fulham – 26 – leaving 5 open for Terence Kongolo.

Another coveted shirt became available this summer after Stefan Johansen’s move to Queens Park Rangers, with Harry Wilson an obvious candidate to take it having worn 8 for Wales during the recent European Championship.

Elsewhere, Fabio Carvalho has dropped 20 digits since his breakthrough season, swapping 48 for 28.

Full list

1. Marek Rodák

2. Kenny Tete

3. Michael Hector

4. Denis Odoi

5. Terence Kongolo

6. Harrison Reed

7. Neeskens Kebano

8. Harry Wilson

9. Aleksandar Mitrović

10. Tom Cairney

11. Anthony Knockaert

13. Tim Ream

14. Bobby De Cordova-Reid

16. Tosin

17. Ivan Cavaleiro

20. Maxime Le Marchand

21. Paulo Gazzaniga

22. Cyrus Christie

23. Joe Bryan

24. Jean Michaël Seri

25. Josh Onomah

26. Alfie Mawson

28. Fabio Carvalho

29. Frank Anguissa

31. Fabri

33. Antonee Robinson

35. Tyrese Francois

43. Steven Sessegnon

47. Aboubakar Kamara

49. Luca Ashby-Hammond

61. Sylvester Jasper

65. Jay Stansfield
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:25:47 AM
Fulham closing in on third signing – Rodrigo Muniz set for medical

Fulham appear to be closing in on signing number three, with Flamengo striker Rodrigo Muniz set to undergo a medical.

It emerged earlier today that Fulham were edging ahead of the competition in the battle for Rodrigo Muniz’s signature.

Marco Silva is looking to further bolster his ranks ahead of the new campaign after the eye-catching signings of Harry Wilson and Paulo Gazzaniga and now, reports from overseas have claimed a third signing could be on the way.

According to Brazilian reporter Vene Casagrande, Rodrigo Muniz is set to undergo medical checks in Brazil before a proposed move to Fulham.

Discussions took place in Portugal between Flamengo’s directors and representatives of Muniz and now, he is poised to seal a move to Craven Cottage.

Reports emerged earlier this week claiming Fulham’s Championship rivals Middlesbrough were interested in a deal. However, fresh reports appear to have dented Neil Warnock’s hopes of adding the 20-year-old to his attacking ranks.

Another eye-catching signing for Silva
After bringing in Wilson and Gazzaniga, Marco Silva looks to be on the path to securing another intriguing acquisition.

Young Brazilian attacker Muniz looks to be a promising talent for the future, so it will be interesting to see how he fares in the Championship should a move go through.

An unknown quantity
Muniz is a bit of an unknown quantity as it stands, having only made 30 senior appearances during his career. With Flamengo, he has played 24 times for the first-team, chipping in with five goals and two assists in the process.

Should a move go through, fans will be paying close attention to the youngster as they look to see just what Muniz could bring to Craven Cottage.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:26:18 AM
Opoku joins Vejle on loan

Fulham defender Jerome Opoku has joined Velje Boldklub on a season long loan, the Danish club have confirmed this evening.

The 22 year-old, comfortable either at centre back or on the left side of defence, has enjoyed successful loan spells at Accrington Stanley and Plymouth Argyle in recent seasons and has decided to move to Denmark for further first team football. The Danish SuperLiga side have an option to make the deal permanent next summer should Opoku’s loan go well. He has been training with Velje this week as all parties were waiting for the paperwork to be finalised.

Opoku told Velje’s website: “I believe I can contribute here. The club has good facilities and a clear footballing philosophy. Both appeal to me greatly. I will let the coaching staff judge my potential, but I am ambitious. Vejle Boldklub is a club that has shown it can develop young players in a competitive environment and that was a big reason for choosing to come here. I look forward to pulling on the red shirt and fighting for a first team spot”.

Opoku could make his Velje debut in their home clash with Brondby on Sunday afternoon. His new club are also rumoured to be close to signing former Fulham forward Jean Pierre-Tiehi after he turned down a new contract at Craven Cottage earlier this summer.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:28:02 AM
Fulham beat Middlesbrough to Rodrigo Muniz as Neil Warnock looks for answers from other targets

Boro chiefs are disappointed to miss out on Muniz, but attention will quickly turn elsewhere

Rodrigo Muniz of Flamengo celebrates after scoring (Image: Getty Images)

Fulham are set to beat Middlesbrough to the signing of Rodrigo Muniz, Neil Warnock has confirmed.

Boro were hopeful of landing the Flamengo striker and chief executive Neil Bausor has been away this week locked in talks with club and player representatives.

Conflicting reports have emerged from South America over the course of the week, the latest of which claimed Fulham look set to win the battle to sign the 20-year-old. And Warnock has confirmed that to be the case, to the disappointment of Boro chiefs who had worked hard on finalising a deal.

"It looks like it," he said, before adding with a smile: "I think it was Inter Milan, Fulham or Middlesbrough. I can’t believe he’s turned us down."

Asked what Muniz would have offered, Warnock said: "He’s just a different type of player, he’s got energy, pace. Still a bit of a gamble but Steve wanted to gamble with that age group and we are disappointed as a lot of work went into it.

"It’s left us a bit short. We have missed out on one or two players because we’ve waited so it’s been a difficult period but I’m sure we’ll come up with something."

Warnock says there is no update on Martin Payero, with Boro still working on financial matters as they attempt to tie up the deal to bring the Argentinian midfielder to Teesside.

Warnock hopes to speak to Bausor in the coming days to get a transfer update, with the boss stressing the need for answers from targets as the Championship season fast approaches.

He said: "Obviously he (Bausor) is speaking to other people all the time, he’s still speaking about Payero but we’ll just have to see about that.

"I honestly haven’t got a clue tonight. I was supposed to be talking to Neil today but I couldn’t get hold of him.

"I’ll have a chat with him tomorrow because we need answers for these lads in the next few days, one way or another. I don’t worry. Yes, it will help but something else will crop up."
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 12:28:42 AM
Warnock admits defeat in Muniz race

Neil Warnock admitted defeat tonight in the race to sign Rodrigo Muniz – confirming that the Brazilian striker would not be coming to the Riverside Stadium this summer.

Speaking after Boro’s friendly win at Rotherham United tonight – where Fulham full back Marlon Fossey played the full ninety minutes as a trialist for the Millers – Warnock conceded that his interest in the 20 year-old forward was over. “It looks like it. I think it was Inter Milan, Fulham or Middlesbrough. I can’t believe he’s turned us down.

“He’s just a different type of player, he’s got energy, pace. Still a bit of a gamble but [chairman] Steve [Gibson] wanted to gamble with that age group and we are disappointed as a lot of work went into it. “It’s left us a bit short. We have missed out on one or two players because we’ve waited so it’s been a difficult period but I’m sure we’ll come up with something.”

Brazilian reports this afternoon claimed that Muniz was poised to take a medical ahead of a proposed £6.8m move to Craven Cottage after the Whites moved ahead of their Championship rivals in the race to sign the Brazilian title winner. Marco Silva had made Muniz his top summer target and Fulham chief executive Alistair Mackintosh’s personal intervention in the negotiations had broken an impasse.

Fulham face Middlesbrough in their Championship opener at the Cottage on Sunday 8 August.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 09:32:45 AM
Middlesbrough dealt Marcus Tavernier setback as Neil Warnock provides injury update ahead of Championship opener at Fulham
Middlesbrough are sweating over the fitness of Marcus Tavernier ahead of their Championship opener with Fulham next weekend.

The 22-year-old has picked up a hamstring issue and missed Boro’s pre-season friendlies against York and Rotherham.

When asked about the playmaker after his side’s 1-0 win over Rotherham, Warnock said: “Different reports really. I was told he might miss the start of the season then I was told he might not miss the start of the season.

“He's nicked his hamstring but it's not a severe grade or anything, we'll have to wait and see.

“I'm still optimistic he might be involved next week.

“He gives us so much more. I've had to give him a bit of a roasting because his warm-ups have not been so good.

“When I've watched him on video training, he hasn't warmed up properly then he's exploding into games.

"He has to warm up properly. We've had a chat and I think he's taken it on board, not just for now but for his career.”

Boro winger Isaiah Jones was also forced off with an injury against Rotherham in the first half after starting as a left wing-back.

"I think he smashed his nose and the doc thinks he might have fractured his eye-socket as well,” replied Warnock when asked about Jones.

“I spoke to his agent this morning and he's telling me he's better going out on loan. I said when did you speak to him last, he said about a week ago, I said he's playing tonight!”

Boro winger Sammy Ameobi is also set to miss the Fulham game with a knee injury.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 09:34:02 AM
The Transfer Tavern‘s EFL spy has suggested that Adam Armstrong might end up at Fulham this window.

The Blackburn striker has established himself as one of the most lethal second-tier goalscorers in recent seasons, scoring 44 times in the Championship across the last two years combined, including 28 last term.

Armstrong’s form has led to plenty of Premier League interest, with the likes of Southampton, West Ham and others battling it out for his signature.

But the Rovers frontman has made just a handful of Premier League appearances during his teenage years with Newcastle and doesn’t have a top-flight goal to his name.

With that in mind, another season at Championship level could benefit the 24-year-old, especially in a Fulham side that are expected to score plenty and challenge for promotion once again.

New Cottagers manager Marco Silva currently has Aleksandar Mitrovic at his disposal, but the Serbian scored just three times in the league last season and didn’t look up for the challenge for the majority of 2020-2021.

And with Fulham desperately needing another name regardless of whether Mitrovic sticks around, the EFL insider exclusively told The Transfer Tavern:

“Adam Armstrong from Blackburn could be one, similar to Dwight Gayle, but has more goals in his game in my opinion.

“He’s proven now and a good bid might get him to move to a big club like Fulham, with its wealth.”
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 09:35:28 AM
Fulham in Talks to Sign Rodrigo Muniz From Flamengo

According to Peter Rutzler of the Athletic, Fulham are in talks to sign Brazilian striker Rodrigo Muniz from Flamengo. The Cottagers are looking to add another striker to bolster their attacking depth.

Fulham Looking to Sign Rodrigo Muniz
The Cottagers Looking to Add Depth in Attack

Fulham are in talks to sign 20-year-old Brazilian striker Rodrigo Muniz from Flamengo. The West-London side have started talks with Flamengo, but are yet to reach an agreement with the Brazilian club. Despite the interest from Brazil, Fulham are reportedly leading the race to sign the 20-year-old striker.

In recent years, Fulham have been very thin on centre-forwards. As the only recognised senior centre-forward, the Cottagers had relied heavily on Aleksandar Mitrovic to find the net. The lack of depth in the position was very visible during their last season as Fulham struggled in front of the goal. The normally reliable Mitrovic had a disappointing season, scoring just three goals in 27 league appearances.

The resulting lack of goals saw Fulham having the second-worst goal scoring record in the Premier League last season, finishing only behind Sheffield United. To make matters worse, two of their leading goalscorers from last season, Ademola Lookman and Josh Maja, returned to their parent clubs after the end of their loan spell.

Rodrigo Muniz, on the other hand, had his breakout season in the Brazilian league this season. The striker scored ten goals in 25 appearances for Flamengo, helping them win Brazilian Super Cup and Campeonato Carioca. Despite his rich vein of form, Muniz has been struggling for starts with Roger Ceni opting for Gabriel Barbosa ahead of the 20-year-old.

Fulham Hoping for a Quick Return to the Premier League
The hopes are high at Craven Cottage with Fulham looking to get back into the Premier League after suffering yet another relegation last season. The Cottagers have signed former Watford and Everton manager Marco Silva in their pursuit to return. They have also signed former Tottenham goalkeeper Paulo Gazzaniga on a free transfer.

While Liverpool’s Harry Wilson joined completed a £12 million move from Merseyside. If Rodrigo Muniz signs for the Cottager, he will be the third player to arrive at Craven Cottage this season.
Title: Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff - 31/07/21...
Post by: whitejc on July 31, 2021, 09:36:54 AM
Fulham, Stoke, Bournemouth enter transfer chase for Championship attacker

Fulham, Bournemouth and Stoke City are interested in signing Peterborough United attacker Siriki Dembele, according to The Sun.

Dembele played an influential role in helping Peterborough win automatic promotion from League One last season, but his future at the club looks uncertain.

The 24-year-old made 42 appearances in League One last season, scoring 11 goals and chipping in with 12 assists.

Dembele has endured a bit of a stop-start pre-season due to an Achilles problem, but the attacker is attracting plenty of interest ahead of the new campaign.

According to The Sun, Fulham, Bournemouth and Stoke City are all interested in landing the forward, who can play out wide or through the middle.

Dembele has only one year left on his contract at Peterborough, though it is said that Posh are looking to receive £4million for his signature this summer.

The Sun report, though, that Fulham, Bournemouth and Stoke are only willing to pay £2.5million, which could prove to be a stumbling block.

The Verdict

It is clear to see why Dembele is in such demand ahead of the new season.

He is an exciting attacking player who scores goals and creates chances. He’s only young, and his contract situation means that Posh may be forced into selling him and cashing in whilst they still can this summer.

For someone like Fulham and Bournemouth, I think he could thrive, but Peterborough often drive a hard bargain and I can’t see them letting him go.