Author Topic: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.02.10)  (Read 6759 times)

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.02.10)
« Reply #20 on: February 27, 2010, 07:13:55 AM »

The debt league: How much do clubs owe?

Pompey entering administration has left other fans fretting about their team's safety.

Ben Chu assesses the state of financial play in the top flight

Saturday, 27 February 2010

The recent bond prospectus revealed that the Glazers (pictured) lost Manchester United £35m attempting to hedge against a rise in interest rates.

Portsmouth have finally gone into administration. And to judge by the recent public interventions by a succession of Premier League chairmen, there is a palpable fear that other top-flight clubs could also be in danger.

In January, the Wolves owner, Steve Morgan, called for some "common sense" on Premier League finances. This month, David Gold the co-owner of West Ham and Dave Whelan of Wigan chimed in, suggesting the Premier League should impose new regulation on clubs to save them from their financial profligacy.

So owners are clearly increasingly worried about the finances of the league. But how concerned should fans be that their own club might follow Portsmouth down the road to financial ruin? The answer to that depends, in part, on the nature of the debt loaded on to each club.

Premier League debt comes in several different forms. Several clubs have borrowed directly from banks. These loans tend to come with a variable interest rate and relatively short repayment dates. Liverpool have come unstuck with this type of borrowing. The Royal Bank of Scotland is demanding that the club's American owners, who owe the bank £237m, bring in a new investor with £100m to pay down debt as a condition of rolling over its borrowings again this summer.

Other clubs have tapped the bond markets to raise money. Manchester United and Arsenal have issued securities worth £500m and £245m respectively, secured on club assets. Bonds tend to have a longer maturity than bank debt. In Arsenal's case, the club is locked in at a reasonable interest rate for 20 years. But some bonds are kinder than others. United's recent offering gives them just seven years in which to repay the money, and at a higher rate of interest.

Yet the most expensive debt in the Premier League is the £200m so-called "payment-in-kind notes" which the Glazer family took out when they acquired United in 2005. This summer the annual interest rate on that tranche of borrowing will rise to an astonishing 16.5 per cent, with full repayment due in 2017.

The accounts of many clubs, such as Fulham, Aston Villa and Wigan, show that they are beneficiaries of loans from their owners, or rather usually other companies which also belong to their benefactors. On the face of it, this type of financing looks safe and cheap as it tends to come with a very low interest rate (often zero) and no urgency on repayment. The owners of the dark side and Manchester City have even written off their soft loans of £701m and £305m respectively in recent months, making these two clubs debt-free.

But can smaller clubs expect such debt forgiveness from their owners should they run into financial crisis or their benefactor decides to sell up? The grim fate of Portsmouth should be a warning. Alexandre Gaydamak sold the South Coast club last year, but he still wanted £28m of his investment back; a demand that seems to have helped push Pompey under.

Yet debt should really be only one part of the concern for fans. Even if owners write off what they are owed, their other function is to absorb losses made by the club and provide working capital. If that backing (often a condition of banks continuing to lend) disappears, clubs will be in big trouble. Relegation and the accompanying fall in television revenue are likely to spell bankruptcy.

So fans also need to look at the extent to which their club is living beyond its means as a stand-alone business. Balancing the books is the sign of a healthy club. By this measure – with only six out of 20 clubs showing an operating profit in their most recent accounts – the Premier League is looking desperately sick.

Manchester United

Turnover: £278.5m

Operating profit: £91.3m

Net debt: £716.6m

Interest payment: £68.5m

Manchester United's Byzantine finances are essentially a tale of massive profits and massive interest payments. The club's 08-09 accounts showed that the Red Devils paid £42m of interest on their £500m of bank loans. And the interest charge on the "payment-in-kind" loan, secured on the controlling shares in the club of the Glazer family, was £26m. But the PIK loan "rolls up" the interest, so the value of that debt rose to £202m in the year. Last month the Glazer family issued a £500m bond with an interest rate of 9 per cent and maturity date of 2017. The proceeds will be used to pay off the existing bank loans. The bond prospectus also makes provision for up to £70m to be taken out of the club "for general purposes, including repaying existing indebtedness". This is assumed to mean paying off some of the Glazers' PIK debt, on which the interest rate will rise to 16.5 per cent this August. The full PIK debt is repayable in 2017. The recent bond prospectus also revealed that the Glazers lost the club £35m attempting to hedge against a rise in interest rates.


Turnover: £312.3m

Operating profit: £58.8m

Net debt: £297.0m

Interest payment: £16.6m

A pocket of financial sanity. The club's 08-09 accounts show the outstanding value of the bonds issued to finance the building of the Emirates stadium at £244.9m. But this is repayable over a 20 to 22-year term at a fixed interest rate of 5.3 per cent. The club is also paying off some of the principal sum of the bond each year (£5.3m in 08-09), which means that Arsenal, managed by Arsène Wenger, will not be saddled with debt indefinitely. The bank loan taken out by the club with Barclays to finance the Highbury Square apartment complex, on the site of Arsenal's former ground, stood at £137m, with a repayment date of December 2010 and an interest rate of 2-2.5 per cent above the London inter-bank lending rate (Libor). Since then, however, the club has reduced the property bank loan to £47.1m, financed by selling apartments at Highbury Square for a discount. The main financial risk for the club would be a failure to fill the Emirates.


Turnover: £164.2m

Operating profit: £24.9m

Net debt: £261.7m

Interest payment: £36.5m

The clearest possible example of the madness of a leveraged buyout in football. Liverpool's relatively healthy operating profits in 07-08 were wiped out by interest payments on their borrowings from the Royal Bank of Scotland and the US bank Wachovia. Since Liverpool refinanced in the summer, the new managing director of the club, Christian Purslow, has claimed that the club's debt has come down to £237m.

West Ham

Turnover: £71.6m

Operating profit: –£32.8m

Net debt: £114.9m

Interest payment: £3.0m

As the new co-owner David Gold puts it: "a car crash". West Ham's 07-08 accounts showed that they owed £114.9m, more than its annual turnover. The accounts also showed the club had breached covenants on a £35m bank loan. The new repayment date for that loan, from a syndicate of five banks, is August 2011. This is, no doubt, the reason why the Hammers' new owners are urgently seeking to raise £40m from new investors.


Turnover: £53.7m

Operating profit: –£2.1m

Net debt: £164.0m

Interest payment: £1.0m

The colossal size of Fulham's net borrowing reflects the debt it owes to Mohamed al-Fayed. The 07-08 accounts show that the club owes the Harrods owner £159m. However, this is said to be unsecured, interest-free and with no fixed repayment timetable. The club also has a £4.5m bank loan from NatWest, secured on Fulham's future broadcasting income and repayable within a year, on which it paid interest of 7.11 per cent.

Aston Villa

Turnover: £75.6m

Operating profit: –£13.1m

Net debt: £72.3m

Interest payment: £5.7m

Aston Villa's 07-08 accounts show the club has a £13m bank loan secured on the club's assets. £2.5m of this is repayable in three instalments each year until 2012. It also has a £10m overdraft. But Villa's biggest debt is to their American owner, Randy Lerner, who has lent the club £49.5m. These loans are repayable in full in December 2016. Villa paid £4.1m in interest in the year on Lerner's loan, on top of £1.37m to service the bank loan.


Turnover: £63.5m

Operating profit: –£2.4m

Net debt: £48.8m

Interest payment: £0.7m

Another club that survives by the grace of wealthy benefactors. The club's 07-08 accounts show that the Black Cats owed £35.2m to their immediate parent company. This was unsecured, interest-free and with no repayment date. The club also had a £13.6m bank overdraft, guaranteed by the owners. Ellis Short, the American businessman who took full control of the club last May, has given conflicting signals over how much he is willing to spend in order to push Sunderland up the table. The latest word is that he wants to reduce the wage bill.

Bolton Wanderers

Turnover: £52.3m

Operating profit: –£5.3m

Net debt: £58.4m

Interest payment: £3.9m

Not a healthy picture. Bolton rely on the backing of their owner Edwin Davies. The latest accounts show that the club owes its parent company £55.9m. Moreover, this borrowing does not come for free: £23m is repayable on demand and has an interest rate of 10 per cent. A further £11.5m is secured on future TV money. The threat of relegation is real – as is the prospect of a financial crunch.

Hull City

Turnover: £11.2m

Operating profit: –£9.2m

Net debt: £17.1m

Interest payment: £0.4m

An accident waiting to happen. The note from the accountants in the club's 07-08 accounts says that if the Tigers are relegated they will need to generate a financial surplus of £23m to avoid meltdown this financial year. And even if Hull survive in the Premier League, they will need to generate a £16m surplus. The accounts also show a £22m bank loan, with £12m repayable within a year.

Wigan Athletic

Turnover: £46.3m

Operating profit: –£17.0m

Net debt: £54.0m

Interest payment: £1.5m

The club's latest accounts make it plain that all that stands between Wigan and oblivion is Dave Whelan. The owner has put £39m into the club in the form of an unsecured, interest-free loan with no fixed repayment date. The club also has an overdraft and bank loan from Barclays of £18.7m, repayable on demand, on which Wigan paid £1.5m in interest in 08-09. The club ran at an operating loss of £17m in that year and the accounts note "further losses are anticipated in 2010 and 2011".

Tottenham Hotspur

Turnover: £113.0m

Operating profit: £18.4m

Net debt: £45.9m

Interest payment: £8.0m

Spurs have gone into debt to build a new training ground in Enfield. The club is paying an annual interest rate of 7.29 per cent on £30m of its borrowings. But it does not have to pay this back until 2024. A planned new 56,000-seat stadium should increase match-day revenues, although it remains to be seen how much the project itself will cost, or the terms of the financing.

Stoke City

Turnover: £11.2m

Operating profit: –£7.8m

Net debt: £2.3m

Interest payment: £0.5m

The Potters' 07-08 accounts showed negligible debt, but do make it clear how dependent the club is on its benefactor, Peter Coates, the owner of the bet365 online betting company. Revenue will have increased thanks to the Premier League TV money. But so will their outgoings. Last summer, the club spent £10m in luring Robert Huth and Tuncay Sanli to the Britannia Stadium.


Turnover: £79.7m

Operating profit: £6.3m

Net debt: £37.9m

Interest payment: £4.1m

Uncertainty reigns. £27m of the Toffees' borrowings – secured on future ticket sales – are spread over a relatively long period. But the 7.79 per cent interest rate meant that £4.1m of cash left the club in 08-09. The plan to increase match-day revenues by building a new 50,000-seat stadium in Kirkby was thrown into disarray last year when the Government rejected the proposal.


Turnover: £11.2m

Operating profit: –£8.9m

Net debt: £11.9m

Interest payment: £2.7m

According to the 08-09 accounts, the Clarets' chairman, Barry Kilby, and seven other directors had the right to claim full repayment of their £6.97m loans out of the club's new Premier League revenues following last summer's promotion. The chairman is aiming for a profit this financial year to improve the club's balance sheet.


Turnover: £70.5m

Profit: –£17.0m

Net debt: £57.7m

Interest payment: £6.6m

Portsmouth owed £28m to their former owner Alexandre Gaydamak, £18m to their owner, Balram Chainrai, and £5m to agents and other creditors. The club was also being pursued for £7.4m of unpaid taxes by Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs. Administration means a nine-point deduction and just about certain relegation from the Premier League. Now the fight will begin by the club's creditors to get their money back. First in line will be those other clubs still owed money by Pompey.


Turnover: £18.2m

Operating profit: –£1.6m

Net debt: £13.0m

Interest payment: £0m

Wolves spent heavily to win promotion in 2007 and the club's 07-08 accounts reflect that. The effort was financed by new owner, Steve Morgan, who is now owed £13m by the club, although this is interest-free. Morgan tried to buy Liverpool in 2004 and says he was prepared to put £70m of cash into the Merseyside club to do so. Looking at Wolves' zero interest bill for 07-08, many Liverpool fans will probably wish he had been successful.

the dark side

Turnover: £190.0m

Operating profit: –£11.4m

Net debt: £511.6m

Interest payment: £0.7m

the dark side's 07-08 accounts show the club falling short of its goal of financial sufficiency. The accounts also showed a debt of £488m to its owner, Roman Abramovich. But last December the club released a statement revealing that this had been converted to equity, leaving the club "virtually debt-free". Those same results also featured an exceptional payment of £12.6m to Luiz Felipe Scolari and three coaching staff following the Brazilian's sacking as manager last season.

Birmingham City

Turnover: £49.8m

Operating profit: £13.7m

Net debt: £12.0m

Interest payment: £0.26m

Hope, perhaps, for Hammers fans. Birmingham City's 07-08 accounts reflect the golden legacy of David Gold, David Sullivan and Karren Brady. The accounts are evidence that a middle-ranking club without a ridiculously wealthy sugar daddy can run its finances in a sensible manner. The club's main debt was a £14.7m loan from its parent company, but this appears to be interest-free. Birmingham's new owner, Hong Kong businessman Carson Yeung, has a solid base on which to build.

Blackburn Rovers

Turnover: £50.9m

Operating profit: –£6.8m

Net debt: £20.3m

Interest payment: £0.8m

Precarious. The latest accounts show bank debt, secured on the club's assets, projected to increase to £20m. This loan is repayable by May 2012. The estate of the club's late benefactor, Jack Walker, has lent some £6m interest-free. But there does not appear to be an open-ended commitment to fund the club's losses. As the chairman, John Williams, warns in the accounts: "Without external funding we are inevitably moving from a trading club to a net selling club".

Manchester City

Turnover: £87.0m

Operating profit: –£34.2m

Net debt: £194.4m

Interest payment: £14.4m

The normal rules of business do not apply to Manchester City. The latest accounts show a company with a turnover of £87m running at an operating loss of £34m and with an accumulated debt to Sheikh Mansour bin Zayed Al-Nahyan of Abu Dhabi of £194m. Since then, the club has spent £117m on players, including Emmanuel Adebayor and Carlos Tevez. But last month Sheikh Mansour converted Manchester City's entire £305m debt to him into equity.
« Last Edit: February 27, 2010, 07:18:07 AM by White Noise »

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.02.10)
« Reply #21 on: February 27, 2010, 07:22:55 AM »

Emile Heskey has been indifferent, Bobby Zamora has had a good season but is not an England player and Capello now has an injury doubt over Jermain Defoe. Capello never seems completely convinced by Peter Crouch either.

For me, Carlton Cole is the man. He’s strong, a nuisance, the penny has dropped and he’s really improved for the team.

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.02.10)
« Reply #22 on: February 27, 2010, 07:28:34 AM »

Amauri blow for Juventus

Juventus striker Amauri is set to miss three to four weeks with a thigh injury.

The 29-year-old was substituted during yesterday's 0-0 Europa League draw with Ajax, which saw them book a last-16 clash with Fulham on aggregate.

A statement on the Juventus website read: "This morning Amauri underwent tests following the injury suffered yesterday during the match against Ajax.

"The tests confirmed the diagnosis made after the match. The prognosis is of 25 days."

The injury looks certain to rule him out of both legs of the tie against Fulham.

He joins Gianluigi Buffon on the sidelines, with the Italy goalkeeper set to be out for a month after also suffering a thigh injury.

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.02.10)
« Reply #23 on: February 27, 2010, 07:35:47 AM »

Steve Bruce retains backing of Sunderland owners

Steve Bruce insists morale in the Sunderland dressing room is still good

George Caulkin

Steve Bruce has been offered reassurances that his position at Sunderland is under no immediate threat despite a damaging sequence of 13 league matches without a victory in which his team have tumbled down the table.

After climbing to sixth, Sunderland are fourteenth in the Barclays Premier League, just three points clear of the bottom three. They host Fulham tomorrow, the first of four consecutive fixtures at the Stadium of Light.

Bruce, who was appointed on a three-year contract in June, described that run yesterday as a “wonderful opportunity” for his stuttering side, who have failed to win a league match since Arsenal were beaten 1-0 on Wearside more than three months ago.

While the manager’s role has become a topic of conjecture among some supporters, who have been left perturbed by another campaign that has degenerated into a skirmish with relegation, Bruce is adamant that he retains the backing of Sunderland’s owners.

“This club has never had a sustained period of stability and that’s what it needs,” he said. “That was the biggest challenge I had when I came in. But I’ve had no pressure from within the club, only support, that’s for sure.

“Pressure gets piled on from outside, but I really don’t feel that, not ever. I take the job on and the one thing that drives me is the fear of failure. I don’t want to fail. I’ve waited for a long time to come to a club like this and I’ll do my absolute best to make a success of it.

“It’s not easy. And I’ve spoken to many managers who’ve been here before me and they’ve said the same: ‘It ain’t easy to live with the expectation.’ We’ve got to get better at it and put that right, but it can only take time.”

After beating Arsenal and Liverpool and drawing with Manchester United at Old Trafford, Sunderland recognise that they have since underachieved. “What’s happened is upsetting,” Kieran Richardson, the midfield player, said. “I do feel upset about it because after that great start we had, we think we should be in the top ten now.”

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.02.10)
« Reply #24 on: February 27, 2010, 07:39:46 AM »
Fulham FC is delighted to announce official travel arrangements to take fans to and from Turin for the Club's UEFA Europa League clash with Juventus on Thursday 11th March.

Spaces are limited so book today to guarantee your seat on the plane.

The Fulham Flyer Overnight Package includes the following:

Return Direct Flights from London Gatwick (including standard catering) leaving Wednesday morning 10th March and returning after the game on Thursday 11th March.

Transfer from the airport to the hotel upon arrival on Wednesday.

One night stay in either a 4* Superior Hotel or 4* Tourist Hotel well located in Turin based on two people sharing a twin room (cost is based per person with additional single supplement of £35pp)

Breakfast on Thursday morning

Transfer from the hotel to the stadium

Match ticket

Transfer from the stadium back to the airport after the match on Thursday 11th March

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.02.10)
« Reply #25 on: February 27, 2010, 08:25:56 AM »

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.02.10)
« Reply #26 on: February 27, 2010, 08:28:39 AM »

Up next: Sunderland (a)

by Dan on February 27, 2010

Anybody foolish enough to take too much optimism with them to Wearside on Sunday needs to remember just how good Fulham have been at playing people into form this season. Gareth Bale hadn’t won a Premier League match in his three years at Tottenham before we allowed the Welsh full-back to orchestrate a win at White Hart Lane, Blackburn ended a worrying winless run against us at Ewood Park and the trait can be traced back several years.

Pressure seems to be building on Steve Bruce at the Stadium of Light. From afar, it seems like Ellis Short doesn’t tolerate failure. It didn’t look like Sunderland’s new owner would have much to worry about during some heady autumn months as the Mackems roared off with all the accleration of one of those TGV trains. Sunderland rocketed towards the upper reaches of the table, fired by the goals of Darren Bent and there was a solidity about their midfield that never really existed under Roy Keane. Bruce brought Lee Cattermole with him from Wigan and paired him with the tenacious and yet talented Lorik Cana, a notable capture from Marseille.

Slowly but surely things started to unravel, though. Bruce blamed Liverpool for unsettling Kenwyne Jones, unplayable on his day but someone who sometimes plays in the relaxed manner of many a Trindadian, but there have been whispers of dressing room unrest. Certainly Steed Malbranque has faded after a promising start to the campaign and was widely tipped to move on last month. Bruce looks set to welcome back the fiesty Cattermole into midfield as he seeks to end an alarming 14-match winless run that stretches back to the day a beachball-assisted Bent strike beat Liverpool.

Being drawn into another relegation battle would probably prompt Short into replacing his manager and, although you’d think Sunderland have far too much quality to be pulled into such a scrap, they are currently just three points above Bolton Wanderers, who sit in 18th place. When you consider that the Black Cats can call upon the likes of Craig Gordon, Anton Ferdinand, Michael Turner, Kieron Richardson and Andy Reid, it’s not hard to find yourself agreeing with the perception that Sunderland are underachieving.

That being said, it certainly won’t be easy for Hodgson’s side, especially after their European exploits on Thursday night. You get the sense that Premier League opposition still target home games against Fulham as real opportunities to pick up three points and it has been our travel sickness that has somewhat undermined our bid to establish ourselves as top ten finishers in recent years. The Stadium of Light will be buzzing with hope, if not belief, and Fulham will have to have their wits about them.

How Hodgson lines up might also have some bearing on the game. Stephen Kelly did well at left back against Shakhtar but it’s inconceivable that the Irishman will keep Nicky Shorey out of Sunday’s line-up. The on-loan full-back might just have a sniff of an England recall now that Wayne Bridge has opted out of international football, although he hardly needs an incentive to perform, with Fulham holding an option to sign the former Reading defender permanently in the summer. Chris Baird should start at right back again.

The composition of the midfield might well remain the same, unless Hodgson sees fit to rest one of his wide midfielders who did so much backtracking in Donetsk. That could neccesitate a move into a wider role for Zoltan Gera, who has excelled in the hole this season, and those of us who have been underwhelmed by Dickson Etuhu’s displays since his return from the African Nations Cup will be hoping for an imposing performance from the Nigerian as he returns to one of his old stomping grounds.

Hodgson’s biggest poser will come up front. Should he decide to stick with the 4-4-1-1 formation that has worked so well since a lack of strikers prompted it’s introduction before Christmas, then you’d fancy the beanpole David Elm to plough a lone farrow rather than the raw Stefano Okaka if Bobby Zamora fails to beat his Achilles injury.

MY FULHAM XI (4-4-1-1): Schwarzer; Baird, Shorey, Hughes, Hangeland; Etuhu, Murphy, Duff, Davies; Gera; Elm. Subs: Zuberbuhler, Smalling, Kelly, Riise, Greening, Nevland, Elm.

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.02.10)
« Reply #27 on: February 27, 2010, 08:32:07 AM »

Saturday interview: Town chief wanting to take derby rivalry to next level

26 February 2010

By Richard Sutcliffe

AS a player, Lee Clark once said the prospect of playing for Sunderland against his beloved Newcastle United was one he could not face.

It was, along with revelations about him sporting a t-shirt denigrating the Black Cats at the 1999 FA Cup final, why he left the Stadium of Light in the summer that followed Peter Reid's side being promoted to the Premier League.

So, when the 37-year-old lifelong member of the Toon Army starts to compare the passion of a Tyne-Wear derby to today's scrap for local pride between Huddersfield Town and Leeds United, then it is worth taking note.

Taking time out from preparing for his third West Yorkshire derby, Clark told the Yorkshire Post: "It is a big game for so many reasons, but most of all for the fans and the people within the club. This is the one people look forward to.

"Huddersfield against Leeds is right up there with the Newcastle-Sunderland derby. It is much more of a rivalry than the West London one between Fulham and Chelsea that I played in.

"The atmosphere would be electric but the rivalry was not quite the same. But in terms of the passion of the fans and the desire of the people, games between Huddersfield and Leeds are very similar to Newcastle v Sunderland.

"This one will be that extra bit special, too. We have all the makings of a fantastic match – the ingredients being a local derby, our positions in the league and the possibility of either extending the points gap between us or narrowing it.

"I would love to have this game in the league above next season. It is a terrific occasion and a fantastic experience but a derby in the Championship would be even more special."

Clark's love of derby football is understandable. In the eight meetings between Newcastle and Sunderland during his two stints at St James' Park, he was never on the losing side for the Magpies while Chelsea triumphed in just one of his four appearances in the West London derby.

Since taking charge at the Galpharm, the former England Under-21 midfielder has maintained the happy knack of delivering in derbies with Town's two tussles against Leeds having yielded four points.

It means Clark is well qualified to impress on his players the importance of today's League One encounter.

He said: "I have stressed since we beat Tranmere on Tuesday night just how important this game is. I have made it quite clear what it means and how we cannot let anyone down.

"It helps that we have a good nucleus of lads who came through our Academy. They are quick to tell the other lads what it is all about.

"I can only speak for my time here, but the two games against Leeds have been the big ones because there has not been much success round Huddersfield.

"An added ingredient this season is both clubs are playing for more than just personal pride. There are points towards the goal we both want to achieve."

A glance at the league table reveals just how crucial the 68th West Yorkshire derby could be in deciding the fate of both clubs this season.

Leeds are in the better position, sitting second with 66 points. Huddersfield are four places and nine points worse off, though Clark's men boast by far the more impressive recent form after taking 22 points from an unbeaten 10-game run.

If Town are to reel in their neighbours and realise Clark's target of automatic promotion, a home win today is imperative.

He said: "The performance means nothing, the result everything. Every one of the teams above us bar Swindon have to come here and that is something we are pleased about because we have a good home record.

"It gives us an opportunity to take points off them. To win a derby, you need to have controlled aggression. You also have to show composure to make sure you play the game and not the occasion.

"You can also not afford to get caught up in what is happening on the terraces. Some players can get a little over-excited and approach it in the wrong way.

"We will have to do all those things to have a chance of winning the derby."

In contrast to Huddersfield, United's form has been disappointing since the turn of the year with Tuesday's win over Oldham Athletic being only their second league victory in nine outings.

The slump has seen what at the start of 2010 was an eight-point lead at the top of League One evaporate and leave Leeds trailing Norwich City by three points.

It has also left many of the Elland Road faithful worrying that the season could culminate in play-off heartache for the third consecutive season.

Clark is hoping to add to those nerves today, though he admits Simon Grayson's men will have been buoyed by the midweek win over Latics.

He said: "People talk about a blip because they are not winning every game. But don't forget the defeat to Walsall was their first home loss of the season.

"Leeds at home will be very tough. They are in second position, and people say the table never lies. I would swap places like a shot with Simon in terms of where our teams are in the league.

"Their destiny is in their own hands. For us to do something in terms of those above us, we have to continue our own form but also hope the other teams lose games.

"Simon does not have to worry about that. But if we can win this weekend then it will narrow the gap between us and leave us in a promising position."

Huddersfield v Leeds

Team news: Lee Clark has no fresh injury worries and is likely to name an unchanged line-up for the fifth consecutive game as the Galpharm prepares to host its first 20,000-plus crowd of the season. Simon Grayson is similarly blessed with Aidan White having recovered from the cramp that saw the teenager substituted during the win over Oldham. Tresor Kandol, Rui Marques and Ben Parker are back in training but are unlikely to feature.

Last six games: Huddersfield Town DDDWWW, Leeds United DWDLDW.

Referee: K Friend (Leicestershire).

Last time: Huddersfield Town 1 Leeds United 0; February 14, 2009; League One.

SkyBet odds: Huddersfield to win 7-4; Leeds to win 6-4; Draw 12-5.

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.02.10)
« Reply #28 on: February 27, 2010, 11:31:28 AM »
Fulham FC annual accounts to 30 June 2008 -

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.02.10)
« Reply #29 on: February 27, 2010, 11:35:52 AM »
Fulham Flyer to Turin

Saturday 27th February 2010

Fulham FC News

We are delighted to announce that the Official Fulham Flyer overnight trip to Turin is now on sale to Season Ticket Holders and Club Members .

The trip includes return direct flights from Gatwick Airport, a night in a 4* hotel, all overseas transfers (airport-hotel-stadium-airport) and your match ticket, prices start at £425pp.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.02.10)
« Reply #30 on: February 27, 2010, 11:39:23 AM »

Are the Premier League mad?

by Dan on February 27, 2010

MAF asked this question in his own inimitable style last season, but you do have to wonder. Fresh from their studied inaction over Portsmouth’s plight, news emerged of the league’s plan to launch their own global TV channel to rake in some more money on the day the south coast club went into administration. A question of priorities.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.02.10)
« Reply #31 on: February 27, 2010, 11:42:52 AM »

Ex-Fulham striker John coy over Chicago Fire contract talks

27.02.10 |

Collins John is still feeling his way during preseason trials with Chicago Fire.

The former Fulham striker has been impressive, but is in no rush to enter contract talks just yet.

"I don't know. We'll see how things work out between both sides," Collins said. "At the moment I'm not really in a rush."

John arrived at the Fire on recommendation of fellow striker and former Fulham teammate Brian McBride.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (27.02.10)
« Reply #32 on: February 27, 2010, 09:24:52 PM »

Del Piero looking forward to Fulham test

by Dan on February 27, 2010

We get a mention on the Juventus captain’s website.

A knockout competition like this allows us to always set new objectives. It also helps us to understand that everything we do, at least up to the Final, is just one step forward on that path. You need to keep going, step by step, to go all the way.

We eliminated a top side and in the second leg played with character, controlling the game and above all keeping a clean sheet. That’s a good sign, as it hadn’t happened in a month.

Our next test is with Fulham in two weeks and then we visit Craven Cottage. For now we must focus only on Serie A, as on Sunday it’s Palermo and then Fiorentina. There’s no time to get distracted, as the fun part of the season starts here.