Author Topic: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)  (Read 6105 times)

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Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« on: April 27, 2010, 09:33:38 AM »


Tuesday April 27,2010

By Frank Wiechula 

FULHAM’S prospects of reaching their first European final have been given a timely boost with the news opponents Hamburg have sacked coach Bruno Labbadia just three days before Thursday’s Europa League semi-final.

Now with home advantage following a goalless first leg, Fulham face a German side in some disarray after the axing of Labbadia following a 5-1 Bundesliga trouncing at Hoffenheim on Sunday.

Hamburg chairman Bernd Hoffmann said: “We analysed the situation and we saw that as things were, we would not be able to succeed against Fulham.

“There was no alternative to this. We need to improve the probability of us being successful on Thursday.

“It was the last moment for us to react to keep our Europa League target in sight.”

Labbadia was jettisoned because seventh-placed Hamburg have won just four of their last 15 Bundesliga games.

And, with two games left, they are five points behind Stuttgart, who occupy the last European spot.

So Hamburg effectively need to lift the Europa League – with the final being played at their own ground on May 12 – to qualify next season.

The man now given the task of trying to wreck Fulham and Roy Hodgson’s dream is assistant coach Ricardo Moniz, a former member of Tottenham’s backroom staff under ex-boss Martin Jol.   

Moniz followed Jol to Hamburg, where he was succeeded by Labbadia last summer and will take charge until the end of the season.

And Hoffman said of Moniz: “He is incredibly enthusiastic, knows the team and English football well and lives for the game.”

Fulham legend and 1966 England World Cup winner George Cohen said: “Obviously their players’ reaction is going to be the principal thing, but Hamburg obviously have lost confidence in him.

“When this kind of thing happens, and it happens here too, it can give the team a bit of a fillip but sometimes there’s a feeling of down-ness, and it’s a very strange thing.

“It’s quite a calculated gamble, one which really could backfire on them. But they must have had a very good reason to do that.

“One of them, of course, is that they have not performed and they feel that this is the last chance they’ve got to do something to save their season.

“They’ll want to try and lift their players by going for a new manager.

“But that could be to their detriment, because, if they come out and look for an away goal, leaving themselves open at the back, we will score.

“It’s no secret to the way Fulham play, there are no stars, no big names, they are big on team-work, everyone works very hard for each other and it works brilliantly.

“Fulham deserve to get to the final and we have a very good chance of containing them and scoring a goal or two, just as we did against Juventus.

“Hamburg have really got to try and come out and win it and we can hit them with the sucker punch.”

Fulham are hoping 19-goal top scorer Bobby Zamora can win his battle against Achilles tendon trouble to lead the line on Thursday after missing Sunday’s 2-1 Premier League defeat at Everton.

Former full-back Cohen added: “Bobby’s been scoring goals for us this year and is obviously a threat, but if a player is not fit then he can’t play and you have got to play somebody else.

“Both Zoltan Gera and Clint Dempsey up front work very hard and can score goals, and Damien Duff can be lethal in front of goal, too.

“They will get all the support they need.”‘Hamburg have to try to save their season’

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #1 on: April 27, 2010, 09:35:22 AM »
Charles Sale: FA flop in search for £40million sponsor

Last updated at 12:18 AM on 27th April 2010

Falling sponsorship money looks like having a major impact on English football with the national team and a number of Premier League clubs, all with unrealistic expectations, searching for backers in a crowded market.

Former FA chief executive Ian Watmore employed agency IMG to find an England team sponsor who would pay £40million a year over four years. But there have been no takers near that price - and the FA might now have to accept the £20m offer from current partners Nationwide, which had previously been snubbed.

Tottenham, whose chairman Daniel Levy wants a £10m-a-year deal, are frustrated their hired agency Wasserman Media Group can find nobody interested at that inflated figure after a global search. They are now banking on a Champions League place creating interest, albeit at a lower figure than Levy expected.

It is a buyers’ market with Aston Villa, Fulham, promoted West Bromwich and Championship play-off team Leicester all without shirt sponsors. Sunderland’s recent deal with internet bingo site Tombola is understood to be worth less than £1m a year.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #2 on: April 27, 2010, 09:36:43 AM »
Nevertheless, Birmingham will have to consider the fact they can still be caught by Sunderland, Blackburn, Fulham and Stoke City and that the difference in prize-money between ninth and 13th, for example is a significant £2.8million.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #3 on: April 27, 2010, 09:57:26 AM »
I suppose we could always stick the corner shop logo on our shirts just to fill space lol. But you know what? I like the idea of a season without a shirt sponsor and looking at the FFC shirt as it should be. Sometimes I feel it is too much of an exploitation for the sake of increased revenue to put sponsors on shirts. They have all the ground to advertise in. I understand that it gets seen home AND away but it is just something I personally have not liked from day one.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #4 on: April 27, 2010, 10:17:12 AM »
Jimmy Bullard set to be ditched as Hull City prepare for life in the Championship

By Colin Young

Last updated at 7:35 AM on 27th April 2010

Hull City will be forced into a fire sale of their relegated squad to cope with their crippling debts.

But owner Russell Bartlett, who has invested most of his personal fortune to keep the club afloat, has vowed to see out the difficult months ahead for the troubled Yorkshire club, after their relegation from the Barclays Premier League was confirmed at the weekend.

Bartlett knows that top earners like midfielder Jimmy Bullard and Geovanni will be sacrificed as the Tigers come to terms with life in the Championship.

But 32-year-old Bullard - bought for £5million from Fulham and on £45,000 a week, without a relegation clause - is likely to command a fee of £2m, providing Hull can find a club willing to match his wages and ignore his injury-ravaged career at the KC Stadium.

Geovanni has been in talks with Olympiakos over a summer move to Greece. London-based property magnate Bartlett, who is hoping chairman Adam Pearson will stay on to steer them through relegation and its implications, will hold meetings this week to prepare for next season.

Among the main issues to be resolved is the manager's position. Phil Brown is still officially in charge, but is on gardening leave after he was forced to let Iain Dowie take command for nine games in a doomed bid to avoid relegation.

Dowie is desperate to stay in charge and remains in pole position to do so, after making a positive impact on the players in all but results.

Bartlett said: 'A significant number of the player contracts contain step-down clauses in the event of relegation, coupled with five players coming out of contract or loan players returning to their clubs, which will help reduce the wage bill for playing staff to about £21m.

'It is all about steering the business through a major transitional period now and that is what myself and Adam will be concentrating on. We will need the assistance and co-operation of the people we deal with, and with our creditors.

'We also deal with one main lender, with whom we have a very good relationship, and the option is open to us to propose restructuring of debt until the club adjusts.
'Obviously, it is a huge disappointment to be relegated from the Premier League, but it has been a wonderful privilege to have participated at the highest level for the past two years.

'We now must get down to concentrating on reducing the wage bill to about £15m in the Championship to establish financial viability and stability. Subject to this, I anticipate we will be very competitive next season.

'I am totally committed to the future of Hull City and to ensuring the club's long-term stability. I am here for the long haul and myself and Adam will do all we can to steer through these difficult times.'

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #5 on: April 27, 2010, 10:21:27 AM »

Fulham v Hamburg betting tips

Dave Higgins - 27 Apr 2010

You can back Cottagers at 10/11 to qualify for the Europa League final

When Fulham finished seventh in the Premier League last season, some thirty-three points behind Liverpool in the table, nobody could have foreseen that Roy Hodgson’s team would now be just one match away from potentially facing the Reds in the Europa League final.

The Cottagers have been nothing short of sensational in this competition, despite being handed several draws that almost looked as if UEFA were trying to engineer their exit out of the competition. Shakhtar Donetsk, Juventus and Wolfsburg have all been slain, despite being the bookies favourite each time and Hamburg look ripe for the taking.

Bet365 offer 10/11 that Fulham knock out another German team on Thursday night and they have done the hard work by managing a goalless draw at the Nordbank Arena. They have been boosted by the fact that Hamburg parted company with their manager on Monday, with Sky Bet offering 5/4 that they take full advantage by winning this encounter.

Much depends on the fitness of Bobby Zamora, a striker that many people argue should be included in Fabio Capello’s 23-man England squad for the 2010 World Cup. The striker limped off with an Achilles problem in last week’s first leg, although he’s 6/1 (William Hill) to open the scoring and send a packed Craven Cottage into frenzy.

Bruno Labbadia’s last match in charge of Hamburg was Saturday’s 5-1 pummelling at the hands of Hoffenheim, with Ricardo Moniz taking charge until the rest of the season. It’s hard to know what impact this will have on the second leg, although the Rothosen are 5/2 (Coral) to win on the night and 10/11 (bet365) to qualify for the final, which will be held at their own stadium.

Club chairman Bernd Hoffmann claims that this managerial switch is likelier to produce a strong result on Thursday, although much depends on the front pairing of Marcus Berg (8/1 Ladbrokes) and Ruud Van Nistelrooy (13/2 bet365). The Dutchman had an excellent scoring record against Fulham when he was a Manchester United player, although he didn’t get much change from Brede Hangeland in the first leg.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #6 on: April 27, 2010, 10:29:40 AM »

Fulham v Hamburg Preview

Apr 27, 2010

Steve Rogerson

The second leg of the Europa League semi-final on Thursday 29 April 2010 sees Fulham take on Hamburg. Report includes football betting tips.

The surprise package in this year’s Europa League – London club Fulham – battled out a creditable goalless draw away at Hamburg last week in the first leg and on Thursday (29 April 2010) welcome the German side to Craven Cottage as they bid to reach their first ever Europa League final.

The shock news though ahead of the second leg came on Monday when Hamburg sacked their coach Bruno Labbadia and put his assistant Ricardo Moniz temporarily in charge. True, Hamburg have had worst domestic form than they had last season, but the move was a surprise so close to an important semi-final clash. Moniz will be known to Fulham fans as the former skills coach at London rivals Tottenham Hotspur.

Labbadia has only been in charge for ten months but some of his players have been open in their hostility to him, notably goalkeeper Frank Rost.

Current Form for Fulham and Hamburg

Fulham are set to end this season mid-table; they are twelfth in the league, safe from relegation and with no hope of reaching the European qualifying places with only three league games left. Their current form saw them lose on Sunday away at Everton through an injury time goal, though manager Roy Hodgson rested several key players. That was their first defeat in seven games in all competitions, a run that saw them knock out Wolfsburg in the Europa League and earn a draw away at Liverpool.

Hamburg have had a slightly better season than Fulham but their seventh place in the league means that they too will not qualify for Europe next season with only two matches left to play. Their 5-1 thrashing at the hands of 1899 Hoffenheim away will not have done their confidence any good especially as they also lost the previous week 1-0 at home to Mainz.

Fulham Team News

Bobby Zamora was substituted with an Achilles problem in the first leg and is thus a doubt for Thursday. Chris Baird is suspended but John Painstil is likely to play instead.

Hamburg Team News

Piotr Trochowski’s late booking in the first leg means he will be suspended for this match.

Football Betting Odds for Fulham v Hamburg

Football betting tips: The best odds available for a Fulham victory after ninety minutes are 5/4 though 6/5 is more common among bookmakers. There are longer odds for a Hamburg win with 5/2 being on offer from a couple of bookmakers; others are offering 12/5 or 11/5. The 12/5 bet is also the most popular for a draw after ninety minutes. For odds to reach the final, both teams are on parity at 10/11 though at least one bookmaker is offering evens on Fulham.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #7 on: April 27, 2010, 10:31:44 AM »
Fulham under scrutiny again after making nine changes against Everton

By David Kent

Last updated at 12:22 AM on 27th April 2010

Roy Hodgson's policy of saving his best players for Fulham’s Europa League campaign is under Premier League scrutiny again after he made nine changes for Sunday’s defeat at Everton.

The board will decide this week whether action should be taken but the manager remains defiant about his approach and will be encouraged by the impact it has had on semi-final opponents Hamburg.

Bruno Labbadia was sacked as manager of the German club last night with their failure to break down Fulham in the goalless first leg of their last four clash cited as a reason.

Labbadia was in charge for less than 10 months and has been replaced by Ricardo Moniz, who worked under Martin Jol at Tottenham and helped Aaron Lennon develop into an England winger.

The fitness pro, 45, has never managed before and his first task will be to lead Hamburg to a win at Craven Cottage on Thursday, earning them a place in the final, which will be at their home stadium.

‘Recent performances against Mainz, Fulham and Hoffenheim have given us the impression we had to change something,’ said Hamburg chairman Bernd Hoffmann.

‘We did it to be able to play a successful game in London and reach the final of the Europa League.’

Hodgson has come under fire twice recently for resting firstchoice players in the top flight, where his team are comfortable in mid-table.

West Ham made a complaint earlier this month about the Fulham manager’s approach but he insisted he would be ‘absolutely amazed’ if action was taken against him.

His confidence follows Fulham’s 18-hour road trip to Hamburg and the ‘reserves’ only losing after a last-minute goal at Goodison Park.

Wolves received a suspended £25,000 fine for fielding a reserve team at Manchester United earlier this season and the Premier League said they would hit clubs harder for such offences in future.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #8 on: April 27, 2010, 10:34:05 AM »
33 Zoltan Gera

Fulham have surprised many this season: decent league form early in the year and the club’s greatest run in Europe is down to the talent of players such as Gera.

A versatile and creative midfielder, the Hungarian has been excellent during the Cottager’s march to the Europa league semis.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #9 on: April 27, 2010, 10:36:35 AM »
Diomansy Kamara would cost Celtic £6m in permanent move from Fulham

By Peter Jardine

Last updated at 12:17 AM on 27th April 2010

Celtic will have to come up with a package worth more than £6million to sign Diomansy Kamara on a permanent basis from Fulham.

Interim boss Neil Lennon wants to retain the Senegal striker for next season if he lands the top job at Parkhead. But Sportsmail understands the English club would want a transfer fee of around £3.5m, following January’s initial loan deal.

With Kamara likely to command wages of around £20,000 per week, it would be a significant statement of intent from the Hoops hierarchy to move for the 29-year-old, who has impressed during an injury-hit spell in Glasgow.

Kamara, who played for Tony Mowbray at West Brom, insists he wants to stay, despite the Englishman’s recent departure from Celtic.

‘I have a good feeling here,’ he said. ‘I was unlucky with my hamstring injury earlier but I have enjoyed my time here. I was a bit sad when Mowbray left because I had a good rapport with him. But Celtic are bigger than any coach or player and I want to stay.

‘I love this club but, in football, you are never sure what will happen. Sometimes you might want to stay at a club but end up playing elsewhere.’

Lennon believes Kamara is one of the few Mowbray loan signings who can benefit Celtic in the longer term.

Landry N’Guemo’s £1.7m price tag is likely to prevent a permanent move from Nancy and Edson Braafheid will return to Bayern Munich. Spurs star Robbie Keane, meanwhile, looks too expensive to keep.

Lennon said: ‘It’s not up to me (who stays). But, in my opinion, Kamara would be good enough. I like his attitude. He has pace, power and a decent touch.
‘Listen, he has played in the Premiership. I like his type.’

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #10 on: April 27, 2010, 10:40:16 AM »

Kamara keen to stay with Celtic but Fulham won't let him go cheaply

On-loan forward Diomansy Kamara has spoken of his desire to make his move to the SPL permanent but Celtic may have to stump up a sizeable transfer fee.

27 April 2010 07:41 GMT

Diomansy Kamara wants to stay with Celtic beyond the end of the season but his parent club Fulham will expect around £3.5 million for their player. Kamara is on loan in Glasgow from the Cottagers, having joined on the final day of the winter transfer window.

The Senegal international has played eight times for the Hoops since his move in a spell that has been dogged by a hamstring injury which saw him miss the entire month of March.

Kamara has since returned to the fold and has continued to impress interim boss Neil Lennon, who is keen to keep the forward, a scorer in the weekend win at Dundee United, on a permanent basis.

That feeling is mutual for Kamara, who was a £6 million signing for Fulham from West Brom in 2007, and he says he would take the chance to stay with Celtic if it was presented to him.

“I have a good feeling at Celtic,” Kamara told the Herald. “I was a little bit unlucky with the problem with my hamstring but I have enjoyed my time here and we will see at the end of the season what will happen.

“Celtic are a big club and I have a lot of respect for them. I want to stay if I can agree a deal with Celtic, definitely. I have a good feeling here and I love this club but in football you never know what will happen."

He added: “I’m still on loan from Fulham so I just need to play well in the matches that remain and see what happens. Sometimes you want to stay somewhere but go somewhere else.

“But at this moment if I have the opportunity to stay, then definitely I want to stay.”

Kamara, 29, was out of favour at Craven Cottage before his switch to the Scottish Premier League, despite having played just 49 times in the league in two-and-a-half seasons. 24 of those appearances, however, came from the substitutes bench.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #11 on: April 27, 2010, 10:44:43 AM »
TheGame Podcast

The debate also focuses on player burn out – Fulham for example are set to play their 18th Europe league match of the season. Do Uefa and the FA need to introduce a winter break for the Premier League? As Stewart Robson says: “The only thing that would happen with a winter break would be that clubs would go abroad to play games for more money”.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #12 on: April 27, 2010, 10:45:05 AM »
Worst case scenario we have Harrods and MAF takes £1m of his loan to FFC??

Charles Sale: FA flop in search for £40million sponsor

Last updated at 12:18 AM on 27th April 2010

Falling sponsorship money looks like having a major impact on English football with the national team and a number of Premier League clubs, all with unrealistic expectations, searching for backers in a crowded market.

Former FA chief executive Ian Watmore employed agency IMG to find an England team sponsor who would pay £40million a year over four years. But there have been no takers near that price - and the FA might now have to accept the £20m offer from current partners Nationwide, which had previously been snubbed.

Tottenham, whose chairman Daniel Levy wants a £10m-a-year deal, are frustrated their hired agency Wasserman Media Group can find nobody interested at that inflated figure after a global search. They are now banking on a Champions League place creating interest, albeit at a lower figure than Levy expected.

It is a buyers’ market with Aston Villa, Fulham, promoted West Bromwich and Championship play-off team Leicester all without shirt sponsors. Sunderland’s recent deal with internet bingo site Tombola is understood to be worth less than £1m a year.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #13 on: April 27, 2010, 10:48:34 AM »

Hamburg sack coach Bruno Labbadia before they face Fulham in Europa League

Tom Dart

Fulham should feel flattered. Hamburg decided yesterday that the only way they could beat Roy Hodgson’s side on Thursday was to sack the coach who had taken them to the last four of the Europa League and replace him with someone who has experience of English football.

Three days before the clubs meet at Craven Cottage in their Europa League semi-final, second leg, Hamburg dismissed Bruno Labbadia and appointed Ricardo Moniz, an assistant to Labbadia and a former Tottenham Hotspur skills coach, as interim manager.

Poor domestic form that came to a head with a 5-1 defeat by Hoffenheim on Sunday prompted Hamburg to take drastic action, even though last week’s first leg with Fulham ended goalless.

“We saw that as things were we would not be able to succeed against Fulham,” Bernd Hoffmann, the Hamburg chairman, said. “We believe that Ricardo will be able to get that extra percentage out of us which had disappeared recently. He is knowledgeable about English football and can therefore prepare the team in the best way for Thursday’s return leg.”

Moniz, a 45-year-old Dutchman, was brought to White Hart Lane in 2005 by Martin Jol, the former Tottenham manager, to focus on improving the team’s technique. He followed Jol to Hamburg in 2008 and stayed when Jol joined Ajax in May of last year.

“If I had not been convinced that we can do it with this team, then I would not have accepted,” Moniz said. “We now have to move up a gear. All that matters is Thursday.”

The departure of Labbadia after ten months in charge is likely to boost morale in the Hamburg squad. Several players, including Frank Rost, the goalkeeper, had fallen out with Labbadia, who had been expected to leave in the summer even if Hamburg were to lift the trophy in their own stadium on May 12. A dismal second half of the season has resulted in Hamburg sliding to seventh place in the German league.

The timing is odd but Bayern Munich took even more extreme measures in 1996. They sacked Otto Rehhagel only four days before the first leg of the Uefa Cup final and went on to defeat Bordeaux under the guidance of Franz Beckenbauer.

Fulham will have John Paintsil available to replace the suspended Chris Baird at right back for the tie.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #14 on: April 27, 2010, 10:50:53 AM »

Hull face bleak future as relegation exposes flawed business model

With huge debts, an even bigger wage bill and few saleable assets, Hull are a cautionary tale for our times

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Hull signed Jimmy Bullard to a lengthy deal last January despite the fact he had failed a medical. Photograph: Carl Recine/Action Images

Hull City serve as a cautionary tale for our times. Football's answer to the status conscious neighbour who kept up appearances by remortgaging the house and taking out multiple loans, they have been well and truly credit-crunched. This time last year Hull were attempting to sign Michael Owen; today they are in broadly the same boat as those who tried to live the dream but ended up seeing their home repossessed, the sports car impounded and the exotic holidays cancelled.

Effectively relegated to the Championship following Saturday's home defeat against Sunderland, the east Yorkshire club are £35m in debt and face the grim probability of entering either administration or a creditors' voluntary arrangement. Either option would incur a 10-point deduction next season and Hull's owner, Russell Bartlett, is desperately striving to avert such a situation by renegotiating loans. Whether or not he is successful should become clear at the end of a week of emergency meetings.

The bleakness of Bartlett's horizon is exacerbated by the alarming reality that Hull have a £40m annual player wage bill and precious few playing assets for creditors to strip. A European football equivalent of Greece they may be but in this case there is no chancellor Angela Merkel on hand to supervise a bail-out by the River Humber. Moreover while Greek public sector workers can expect to see their pay slashed, the all powerful Professional Footballers' Association will not countenance the imposition of involuntary wage cuts on union members.

Adam Pearson, Hull's chairman, has been engaged on a frantic cost-cutting mission since succeeding the free-spending Paul Duffen in November and is appalled by the club's past governance. "Sunderland also have a £40m wage bill," he said. "But they have seven or eight young saleable assets. We don't. We have players on long contracts, high wages and with no transfer value."

Jimmy Bullard, for instance, Hull's top earner, commands a basic £45,000 a week and has three years remaining on his contract. Hull signed the injury-prone midfielder for £5m from Fulham despite Bullard failing a medical and Duffen admitting his knees were "uninsurable". Pearson is extremely keen to offload Bullard but prospective buyers are unlikely to be queuing round the block.

The chairman's ambition is to reduce the wage bill to £15m a year. While two other high earners, Stephen Hunt and George Boateng, are, respectively, saleable and out of contract this summer, others seem virtually immovable. Daniel Cousin is on loan with the Greek side Larissa. The striker earns £26,000 a week at the KC and is contracted until June 2011, as is the £25,000-a-week Brazilian midfielder Geovanni.

Then there is the £20,000-a-weekmidfielder Peter Halmosi. Due back from a loan stint with Hungary's Szombathelyi, he has two years left on his Hulldeal. How Pearson wishes Duffen hadfollowed the example of Niall Quinn,Sunderland's chairman, and inserted clauses in all player contracts making 40% pay cuts mandatory in the event of relegation.

All managers make transfer market mistakes but Phil Brown, the manager Hull placed on gardening leave in March when he was replaced by Iain Dowie, has recruited more than his fair share of duds. Hull's seven recognised strikers have scored nine goals between them all season but collectively rake in £200,000 a week.

Bartlett must also shoulder considerable blame. He not only sanctioned requests to purchase players from Duffen and Brown but took out sizeable loans against advance Premier League income – including £10m of next season's £16m Premier League parachute payment for relegated clubs.

Brown is among the creditors Bartlett and Pearson, are negotiating with. The former manager earns around £1m ayear, has 12 months outstanding on his agreement and Hull cannot afford to pay him off.

With Dowie's short-term arrangement ending next month, reinstating Brown would be the cheapest option but no one at the KC believes he and Pearson could, realistically, work together again. "It's not going to happen," a club source said, explaining that the only scenario under which Brown may conceivably be retained would be if he were reappointed by an administrator.

Deeply unpopular with many players, Brown had a habit of falling out with his signings. The manager's increasingly erratic, slightly manic, behaviour – remember the half-time team talk on the Manchester City pitch and the serenading of the KC with a Beach Boys number – was highlighted when, after losing 6-1 at Liverpool last September, he laid off bewildered canteen staff at the training ground for a week. Intended as a punishment for the Anfield humiliation, it left hungry players gorging on junk food bought from local petrol stations. Small wonder directors hope Brown, the subject of a scathing weekend deconstruction by Boateng, will resign.

"We've had some dark days at Hull," acknowledged Dowie, who would be delighted to stay on. "But there will be sunny times ahead." Pearson can only pray he is right.

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #15 on: April 27, 2010, 10:52:33 AM »

Club Focus - Everton - From the School of Science to the Dogs of War and back again

By Andrew Tuft - Football Correspondent

Tuesday 27 April 2010

On the surface, Everton’s hard-fought 2-1victory over Fulham on Sunday seemed like a game between a team with nothing to play for - except hoping Liverpool suffer an almighty collapse to let the Blues sneak into seventh - and a team with their minds elsewhere - Fulham’s latest biggest game in history, the Europa League semi-final second leg, is fast approaching on the horizon. Upon further inspection, however, there was more to the contest than meets the eye.

Not only were Fulham impressively resolute, for if they have given up on the Premier League, it certainly did not show in their performance, but the home side played - for the first half an hour and a 15 minute spell after the break - with a style and verve rarely seen in recent years at Goodison Park. A week ago, Everton’s performance at Ewood Park was favourably compared to Barcelona in more than one report - and at their best, they showed it was not a one-off against the Cottagers. The Toffees may have lost their way when Fulham went ahead - thanks to an uncharacteristic lapse from this writer’s Everton Player of the Year Leighton Baines - but once David Moyes got a hold of his players at half-time, Everton were back on track. Until the hour mark, it looked a matter of time until the Blues went ahead but only one goal came and the momentum died somewhat. Moyes took risks - a rarity for the pragmatic manager - withdrawing Phil Neville in favour of Louis Saha and suddenly Everton were vulnerable on the break, but the Scot wanted the win. It came in the 94th minute but for much of the hour and a half before Mikel Arteta swept Everton to victory from the penalty spot, the Goodison faithful had been treated to some wonderful play - which may have been the case since the turn of the year, but something about this performance felt like it was a level above even the previous delightful displays.

Perhaps it was the spring sunshine which, during the brief lulls in the game, gave the occasion almost a pre-season friendly feel - something only added to by the dearth of away supporters. But more than the weather, it was Everton lighting up proceedings. The Blues have entered sublime displays at home numerous times this season but this was different - this was not Everton taking apart a woeful Hull City side or going toe-to-toe with Chelsea and Manchester United. Rather, Everton were faced with a determined Fulham - who made nine changes and yet retained a clear game plan that was executed very well - and set about attempting to dismantle them the right way. While Roy Hodgson’s side did not play for the draw, their two banks of four were so disciplined it was clearly going to take something special to break through, and, inspired by Arteta, Everton tried their best to produce it. The opening 30 minutes saw the ball rarely leave the floor and, with Arteta directing traffic, this Everton is a far cry from the teams Moyes put out in the early part of his eight-year spell on Merseyside. A five-man midfield has long been the order of the day but no more does Moyes look to hard-working but limited players such as Kevin Kilbane, Mark Pembridge or Thomas Gravesen. These days, Everton value technique over tenacity - even the players who, from the outside, appear to be of the destructive bent - such as John Heitinga or Marouane Fellaini - have talent in abundance. Indeed, the most impressive thing about Heitinga’s game is the unerring accuracy of his passing.

Even with captain Neville starting again in midfield - as he did at Ewood Park - Everton’s engine room was greatly more focused on attack than defence. Normally a right-back, Neville’s presence as the sole ball-winner in the midfield five not only allows Tim Cahill to support the lone striker, but frees Arteta from any real defensive duties - but against Fulham, Neville went one further. By dropping deep, he gave cover to the centre-backs and allowed both Baines and Tony Hibbert - who was excellent - to fly forward. Neville’s importance was emphasised when he was withdrawn and the Blues looked less dangerous, but the freedom with which Everton now play was underscored by the No.18’s deft back-heel to escape trouble in the first-half. Once the School of Science and later the Dogs of War, Everton are looking at further glory days - for if the 33-year-old Neville is pulling out the tricks, things must be going well - and they are.

White Noise

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #16 on: April 27, 2010, 10:53:55 AM »

Arsène Wenger has been handed an £18m war chest – yes, £18m – by his generous bosses. In a story that is unlikely to prompt anyone at Manchester City to lose any sleep, the Telegraph list Wenger's top five targets as: Jack Rodwell (Everton), Hugo Lloris (Lyon), Brede Hangeland (Fulham), Felipe Melo (Juventus), and Marouane Chamakh (Bordeaux).

White Noise

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #17 on: April 27, 2010, 11:09:35 AM »

• Post-volcanic-ash-hysteria, Hamburg have the distinct advantage of avoiding a 15-hour bus ride for Thursday night's Europa League semi-final second leg, away to Fulham. In a commendable show of fair play, the northerners have, however, decided to even things up a little by flying to London without a manager. Bruno Labbadia was sacked on Monday morning following a 5-1 defeat at Hoffenheim so abysmal, disgraceful and spineless that the board construed it as a cry for help. This wasn't a "Clash of the Titans" (goalkeeper's Frank Rost controversial choice for a partial team-outing the week before), more a case of "Dude, where's my dressing room?" Labbadia had lost it, completely.

Immediately after the defeat, the manager was still laughably pretending the team hadn't downed tools to force his dismissal. "If they're playing against the manager, they're playing against themselves," the 44-year-old said. Not quite. The players' willingness to get rid of their manager culminated in "a conspiracy", in Süddeutsche Zeitung's view, "47 years of Bundesliga football haven't seen such grotesque scene of sabotage." And it worked. Technical coach Ricardo Moniz, the well-respected former "skills coach" at Spurs who was brought in by Martin Jol, will be in charge at Craven Cottage.

White Noise

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #18 on: April 27, 2010, 11:10:29 AM »
Reserves Face Hammers

Tuesday 27th April 2010

Fulham FC News Powered by 

Billy McKinlay's Development Squad take on West Ham United at Upton Park tonight in their final match of the 2009/10 season (kick-off 7pm). 

The Whites recorded a three-one victory over Stoke in their last outing and will be looking to finish the season on a high note.

West Ham are likely to feature former Fulham favourite Luis Boa Morte as well as experienced striker Benni McCarthy.

Aston Villa have already claimed the Barclays Premier Reserve League South title and Arsenal are guaranteed second place.

The Whites are also assured of a third place finish and a win tonight would see them end the season just one point behind the Gunners.

Read more:

White Noise

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Re: Tuesday Fulham Stuff (27.04.10)
« Reply #19 on: April 27, 2010, 11:14:38 AM »,,12306~2036050,00.html

Independent Arbitration – FFC and WHUFC  

An Independent Arbitration Tribunal hearing the claim brought by Fulham FC against West Ham United FC has considered whether the Award and Reasons of the FA Tribunal in Sheffield United v West Ham, chaired by Lord Griffiths, is admissible in proceedings between the two parties.

The full decision can be read by clicking here.,,12306~150979,00.doc
« Last Edit: April 27, 2010, 11:43:08 AM by White Noise »