Author Topic: Friday Fulham Stuff (30/07/10)...  (Read 6743 times)

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (30/07/10)...
« Reply #40 on: July 30, 2010, 11:56:31 AM »
http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/opinion/blogs/laptop-martin-lipton/Martin-Lipton-lunchtime-read-Why-lack-of-money-means-Mark-Hughes-can-show-hes-a-real-manager-at-Fulham-after-Manchester-City-farce-article541791.html
Why lack of money means Mark Hughes can show he's a real manager at Fulham

From money no object, to scrutiny of every pound going out of the door.

But for Mark Hughes, Fulham is perhaps the perfect place for him to prove he is going to be one of the big names in football management.

Although the Craven Cottage club had earmarked Martin Jol for the post before his rapid change of heart last week, they may have ended up with a far better option.

Jol, for all his claims about having a score to settle with the Premier League, has established himself and his reputation.

Hughes, by contrast, feels bruised and hurt by the way his life at Manchester City was ended - and now has the ideal chance to demonstrate all his qualities.

Fulham have never - apart from that brief and bizarre spell under Kevin Keegan at the start of Mohamed Al Fayed's reign - been big spenders, although their losses remain vast in comparison to the size of the club.

But just as Hughes was able to remake Blackburn in his own image, building a side that played to the maximum of its potential, so he can build on what he has inherited from Roy Hodgson.

It was not like that at City. The club he joined under Thaksin Shinawatra was transformed overnight after the arrival of Sheikh Mansour and the Abu Dhabi billions.

Where Hughes had been planning for long-term growth and development, he was suddenly expected to turn the world upside down overnight.

Of course, he could never claim that he was not backed financially. Indeed, at times, he must have felt a little like a kid who had been handed the keys to a sweet shop.

At the same time, though, the expectations were unreasonable.

Clubs have to grow organically, to do part of the transformation themselves.

City's owners, coming into the game as outsiders, saw what had happened at Chelsea under Roman Abramovich and assumed the same thing would happen at Eastlands once the money started being spent.

What they ignored, of course, was that Chelsea were already a Champions League club before Abramovich arrived, already had John Terry and Frank Lampard and that the first signings of the Abramovich era were Joe Cole, Glen Johnson and Alexey Smertin (although the Russian was immediately sent on loan to Portsmouth).

Hughes had no option but to play along. After all, everybody wants to play Fantasy Football for real occasionally and the signings of Robinho, Shaun Wright-Phillips, Vincent Kompany, Wayne Bridge, Craig Bellamy and Nigel De Jong made sense - even if Jo was a staggering disappointment.

But even so, demanding a top four finish last season, even after the arrivals of the second wave of players including Gareth Barry, Emmanuel Adebayor and Roque Santa Cruz, was asking for too much, too soon.

The pressure was clearly getting to Hughes, the lack of respect from Robinho in particular - which followed on from the behaviour of the departed Elano - increasingly hard to accept, even more so when it seemed the money men were inclined to back the player rather than the manager.

When he was given his marching orders, just before Christmas, having been put through the ignominy of preparing his side for win over Sunderland in the knowledge that his successor, Roberto Mancini, was in the directors' box scouting his new side, it was probably a relief.

Now, eight months on and with a fortnight to go before the start of the new campaign, Hughes is back in the game - and ready to show what he is all about.

Unsurprisingly, he will bring with him his trusted personal coaching staff, Mark Bowen, Eddie Niedzwiecki and Kevin Hitchcock, men who know exactly how "Sparky" wants things done.

What is certain is that the Fulham players, especially those old enough to remember Hughes in his playing incarnation, will not expect the thoughtful, under-stated but intelligent man they will meet most of the time.

In fact, that is the real Hughes, almost as if he underwent his own 90-minute transformation when he laced up his boots.

When he is angry, of course, they will know it. You cannot hide deep furies.

But Hughes wants to show he is the manager he believes himself capable of becoming, knows that he can re-forge his reputation at a club where the fans are always realistic, where the pressure is slightly off, where he can rediscover his love for the game and coaching players.

Of course, it could all go wrong. Look at Lawrie Sanchez, whose reputation has never been restored after he was forced out of the door allowing the room for Hodgson's arrival.

With Hughes, however, Fulham seem to have made the best possible choice. And you can imagine how much he'll be looking forward to City's arrival at the Cottage in November.



Read more: http://www.mirrorfootball.co.uk/opinion/blogs/laptop-martin-lipton/Martin-Lipton-lunchtime-read-Why-lack-of-money-means-Mark-Hughes-can-show-hes-a-real-manager-at-Fulham-after-Manchester-City-farce-article541791.html#ixzz0vA6pu8sg
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Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (30/07/10)...
« Reply #41 on: July 30, 2010, 01:12:25 PM »
http://www.eatsleepsport.com/fulham/panstil-set-for-cottage-exit-1081658.html
Panstil set for Cottage exit

West Brom are leading the chase to sign Fulham's Ghanaian defender John Pantsil, who has a year left on his current deal.
The defender starred for the Black Stars in the World Cup in South Africa but is thought to be heading for the Craven Cottage exit as new Fulham boss Mark Hughes is preparing a move for Aston Villa right-back Luke Young.

The Baggies have now emerged as the front-runners to capture the 29-year-old, who may be available at a knock-down price as he has just one year remaining on his current deal with the Cottagers.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (30/07/10)...
« Reply #42 on: July 30, 2010, 01:13:46 PM »
http://football.fanhouse.co.uk/2010/07/30/mark-hughes-faces-tough-decisions-after-taking-charge-at-fulham/
Mark Hughes Faces Tough Decisions After Taking Charge at Fulham

An impossible job or a great opportunity to build on established foundations? Depending on who you listen to, Mark Hughes has inherited both after being installed as Roy Hodgson's successor at Fulham.

There's no doubt that Hodgson's achievements in transforming the club from relegation certainties into Europa League finalists in two and a half seasons has set a formidable benchmark against which Hughes's efforts will be measured.

If, as many believe, the club overachieved during the Hodgson era, benefiting from the previous manager's ability to draw the very best out of group of players, many of whom would struggle to get in other Premier League teams, then Hughes will need to work wonders to even tread water.

On the other hand, the new manager has been brought in precisely because of his ability to build effective, winning teams and, with the backing of a reasonable transfer budget, it is not unreasonable to suggest Fulham can maintain their capacity to shock bigger and supposedly better teams.

Certainly club owner Mohamed Al Fayed expects further progress. "We have enjoyed two incredibly successful years, and my hopes and dreams for this club are for that journey to continue," Al Fayed told the club website, fulhamfc.com. "I am confident that with his Premier League and national team successes, Mark will be a great guy for the job."

Hughes's reaction to his appointment reinforced the feeling Hodgson's tenure will hang over the club for some time to come. "I am joining on the back of two of the most successful seasons in the club's history, and that in itself brings with it the challenges of expectation and ambition," Hughes said.

"I am confident that with some additions to the squad, hard work and commitment, we can move this club forward in the right direction."


A daunting task then but one that, at first glance, appears to be focused on evolution rather than revolution. It would take a brave or foolhardy manager to dismantle Hodgson's team and risk losing the momentum of the last two seasons.

Hughes, though, must make changes if the club is to avoid becoming becalmed. The key to any successful club is an ability to strengthen before weaknesses become apparent and if the former Manchester City manager feels he cannot coax a third season of outstanding performances from a small squad, then the arrival of new faces will be crucial if he is to reinvigorate the side.

His immediate problem is to resolve the future of Mark Schwarzer, the goalkeeper who remains a target for Arsenal. If, as expected, the Gunners increase their initial £2 million bid to £4 million, the 37-year-old Australian seems certain to leave and the manager must bring in a new goalkeeper, with Portsmouth's David James and Hull's Boaz Myhill the likely contenders.

Hughes generates a strong sense of loyalty in his favourite players and Craig Bellamy and Roque Santa Cruz, the strikers who followed him from Blackburn to Manchester City would willingly sign up for another reunion.

Both would add quality and a winning mentality but fitting any new players into a tightly knit squad will pose a challenge to the manager.

Then, perhaps most importantly, he must make a quick decision on the future seven first team players who are out of contract next summer.

Danny Murphy, Simon Davies, Zoltan Gera, Dickson Etuhu, Paul Konchesky, Chris Baird and John Pantsil were part of the core of Hodgson's squad but are all free to negotiate with other clubs from January and Hughes must act soon if he wants to head off the possibility of any of these players leaving for free.

If he cannot assure them they are part of his long term plans, the cohesion that was a feature of Hodgson's squad could weaken slightly, especially if the club stutters during the opening weeks of the season.

Hughes, then, faces a balancing act and must plan for the long term while minimising disruption to a side and methods that have delivered recent success.

A tough job, certainly. But impossible? Certainly not..


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (30/07/10)...
« Reply #43 on: July 30, 2010, 01:15:18 PM »
http://www.goal.com/en-gb/news/2995/betting/2010/07/30/2048382/bookies-fancy-mark-hughes-to-keep-fulham-in-the-premier
Bookies fancy Mark Hughes to keep Fulham in the Premier League
Cottagers are in safe hands under Sparky, according to the latest odds


Odds supplied by Titan Bet

New Fulham boss Mark Hughes has been tipped by the bookmakers to keep the club up next season after being appointed as the successor to Roy Hodgson.

* Official: Fulham Appoint Mark Hughes As Manager on Two-Year Contract

Hughes, who was trading as low as 1.04 (1/25) yesterday on betting exchanges, has penned a two-year deal after the long-running saga was finally brought to an end. Many punters were stung badly by backing Martin Jol at a short price only for the Dutchman to do a last-minute U-turn and remain at Ajax.

Anyone who placed a stake on Hughes a week ago at odds of 5.0 (4/1) will be counting the profits as Fulham prepare to unveil their new man to the media later today.

The Cottagers are a short price to maintain their Premier League status at 1.05 (1/20), with 9.0 (8/1) on the Londoners getting relegated. Fulham are a long shot right now at 41.0 (40/1) to finish rock bottom and 26.0 (25/1) to be propping up the table at Christmas.

Goal.com's betting and odds expert David Mole says Hughes has a job on his hands to repeat his exploits with Blackburn Rovers.

"It will be interesting to assess the odds on him to repeat his top-six finish with Blackburn, but it will be a very different experience to his last days at Eastlands. Al Fayed is notoriously unwilling to splash his cash and Hughes to be managing Fulham in the Championship next season could be worth a punt at the right price!"

You'll get odds of 3.25 (9/4) on Hughes leading his new side to a top-10 finish in his debut season in charge. He's 15.0 (14/1) to win the manager of the month award for August with his new side rank outsiders at 101.0 (100/1) to be the top club from the capital and 1001.0 (1000/1) to win the league.

A decent stint at Fulham would see Hughes back in contention for the job at his old club Manchester United. 'Sparky' is 34.0 (33/1) to take over from his mentor Sir Alex Ferguson at Old Trafford.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (30/07/10)...
« Reply #44 on: July 30, 2010, 03:28:56 PM »
http://www.footballsanctuary.com/2010/07/30/how-will-hughes-spend-his-20m/1959?
How will Hughes spend his £20m?

Mark Hughes has been confirmed as the new manager of Fulham FC, and it’s reported that he has a transfer kitty of £20m to spend before the Premier League transfer window shuts at the end of August. So who will he buy?

Hughes was always going to be linked with a move for Craig Bellamy, mainly because he has managed him on a number of occasions and has signed him twice already, when in charge of Blackburn and Manchester City. Bellamy would be a good option for Fulham, however Tottenham manager Harry Redknapp is also a big admirer of the player, and will also bid for his services. It’s likely that the lure of Champions League football will be enough for Bellamy to choose White Hart Line over Craven Cottage.

Stephan Ireland is another Manchester City player who Hughes may look to sign, and he could have more success with this transfer target. Ireland will be allowed to leave the City of Manchester Stadium before the start of the season, and Hughes is likely to make a bid for the player next week. A fee of around £8m could be enough to secure his signature.

Another midfielder being linked with the Club is Steve Sidwell, who is surplus to requirements at Villa Park. Sidwell would be available for about £4m and he would bring some bite into the Fulham midfield. If Hughes is successful with his bid for Ireland, however, Sidwell may move down his list of transfer targets.

Replacing Mark Schwarzer could be the first task Hughes is faced with, as the 37-year-old Australian’s move to Arsenal now appears imminent. West Ham might be open to offers of around £6m for Robert Green, although a move for David James, on a free transfer, could also be on the cards as Celtic have dropped their interest in the England International.

Robbie Keane was linked with a move to the club when it looked like Martin Jol was going to take up the post of manager. Hughes will want to strengthen his attacking options, and if Bellamy joins Spurs then you could see Keane complete Fulham’s summer spending. He would be available for around £8m and the plucky Irishman could prove a big hit at Craven Cottage.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (30/07/10)...
« Reply #45 on: July 30, 2010, 03:30:12 PM »
http://hammyend.com/?p=7431
Welcome Mr Hughes
by TOR on JULY 30, 2010

So that’s sorted then. We’ve got Mark Hughes, whose first game in charge will be the final pre-season friendly against Werder Bremen a week tomorrow. I’ve said before that I would have been happy with that appointment and I still am, but I shan’t gloat. This will probably mean I’ll be a little more patient than some other fans, but obviously I still hope he gets stuck in and we start seeing some good football and some good results (for, sadly, the two do not necessarily go hand in hand) early on.

As Lydia pointed out recently, this now launches the question of which of Man City’s “surplus” players we’ll see gracing our shiny new pitch in a couple of weeks. It’s not just Man City players we’re being linked with now. There’s still the suggestion that Steve Sidwell is on his way subject to a signature or two, his teammate at Aston Villa Luke Young and possibly Rob Green if we lose Super Mark Schwarzer to Arsenal. If the papers are to be believed, Hughes will have a kitty of about £15m which should be enough for a handful of canny signings – fortunately he’s got a good team already, which just needs the odd tweak to bolster it, rather than having to make wholesale changes. Perhaps a bit of youth in midfield (sorry Danny) and a bit of support upfront and that’ll see us through. I have to say I’d quite like to see Nicky Shorey come back and play a bit more but that’s unlikely given how much cover we’ve got at left back now. There are rumours that John Paintsil may be off to West Brom so I wonder if we would need to bring in reinforcements, or perhaps shuffle around our defensive players a bit to fill the gap. I’d prefer the latter actually – the boys (and this goes for all our players, not just those at the back) seem to have a good understanding and work well together so this option shouldn’t cause too many problems. And it saves money that we can then spend where we really need it.

Hughes’ appointment is a step in the right direction but I think we’re still a couple of weeks off settling down and getting comfy. The question of the back-room staff has yet to be fully answered, and there are clearly going to be some changes to the squad which will take time to bed in, but we’ll get there. And if we don’t, I’ll eat my vuvuzela.


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (30/07/10)...
« Reply #46 on: July 30, 2010, 03:31:39 PM »
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/football/eng_prem/8871803.stm?
Premier League boss Richards faces Fulham legal case

Fulham are taking legal action against Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards, BBC Sport understands.

The Cottagers accuse Richards of being involved in Peter Crouch's £9m transfer from Portsmouth to Spurs in July 2009.

Fulham were angry they missed out on England striker Crouch despite offering £2m more than Tottenham and lodged a complaint with the Premier League.

The League carried out its own investigation and an independent lawyer found Richards had no case to answer.

However, Fulham have now lodged a High Court petition against Richards, arguing he may have prejudiced their position in relation to the transfer.

BBC Sport understands that Portsmouth decided to accept less money from Spurs because it was an up-front payment, and due to pressure from Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs for unpaid tax, this was a better deal than the £11m in instalments that Fulham were offering.

A Premier League spokesman said: "We cannot make any comment on this matter as it is subject to a legal challenge."

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (30/07/10)...
« Reply #47 on: July 30, 2010, 03:33:06 PM »
http://www.herald.ie/sport/soccer/hughes-plots-raid-for-city-trio-in-bid-to-take-cottagers-to-next-step-2278833.html?
Hughes plots raid for City trio in bid to take Cottagers to next step

Mark Hughes could be set to raid his old club after being confirmed as Fulham's new manager.

Hughes (pictured) has agreed a two-year deal with the Cottagers to become the successor to Roy Hodgson. Fulham's failure to prise Martin Jol from Ajax left Hughes in pole position, and the former Manchester City boss will begin work at the club immediately.

He will take charge of his first match in a friendly against Werder Bremen on August 7 and will be unveiled to the media next Tuesday.

But the most immediate task for Hughes will be to bring in fresh blood to a Fulham squad honed superbly by Hodgson before his departure for Liverpool.

He will also appoint his own regular backroom staff that includes assistant Mark Bowen, Kevin Hitchcock and Eddie Niedzwiecki.

Fulham's first-team coach Ray Lewington, who was caretaker manager following Hodgson's departure to Liverpool, is expected to stay after being assured there is a place for him at Craven Cottage. Goalkeeping coach Mike Kelly is expected to leave for Liverpool.

Hughes acknowledged Hodgson's success, most notably taking them to the Europa League final last season, but declared that he already has a vision for the next stage of Fulham's future.

"I have discussed my aspirations with both the chairman and (chief executive) Alistair Mackintosh, and believe that we are aligned in our aims for what can realistically be achieved here," Hughes said.

"I am joining on the back of two of the most successful seasons in the club's history and that in itself brings with it the challenges of expectation and ambition.

"I am confident that with some additions to the squad, hard work and commitment, we can move this club forward in the right direction.

"I hope the Fulham fans will enjoy some special times during this season's campaign and we will work hard to achieve that.

"I'm looking forward to working with the squad as soon as possible, and making sure the on-pitch preparations are complete before the first competitive ball is kicked in August."

But Hughes faces a number of dilemmas. Firstly, goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer is a target for Arsenal and Hughes will need to pull out all the stops to persuade the Australian to stay.

Left-back Paul Konchesky has also been linked with a move to Liverpool, while Hughes will turn to former club Manchester City to try and land Craig Bellamy, Stephen Ireland and Roque Santa Cruz.

Hughes began his transition from a highly-decorated player to successful manager when he took charge of the Welsh national team in 1999.

He won praise for his efforts in the role, although he could not quite steer them to the major championships the nation desired.

He resigned his post in 2004, taking over at the club where he had ended his playing days, Blackburn Rovers.

From there he was appointed boss of Manchester City but, despite pushing the club into the top six, the aspirations changed when the Abu Dhabi United Group took charge at Eastlands.

The takeover made City the richest club in the world, but even though Hughes spent heavily on players, the progress was not considered good enough and he was sacked last December.

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (30/07/10)...
« Reply #48 on: July 30, 2010, 03:35:25 PM »
http://www.sport.co.uk/features/Football/1180/Hughes__Fulham_The_perfect_fit.aspx
Hughes & Fulham: The perfect fit?


After a protracted and ultimately fruitless attempt to sign Martin Jol from Ajax, the task of replacing Roy Hodgson at Craven Cottage has fallen to Mark Hughes. Though Hughes may have less trouble refuting ‘ewwoneous’ transfer rumours, his predecessor’s incredible rejuvenation of the West London club from final-day survivors of relegation to Europa League finalists will be as hard an act to follow as Take That in concrete. So, having been spurned by their first-choice, have Fulham stumbled upon the perfect man for the job?

Final fling

After being brought in around Christmas of 2008, Hodgson appeared to immediately improve a struggling Fulham side, with a dramatic comeback victory over Man City a notable example. However, they were still taken to the wire in their attempts to avoid relegation, something they achieved with a final-day win away at Portsmouth. Cementing his transformation of the side, Fulham managed a tremendous seventh in the league the following season. Using the Europa League place that seventh place handed them, Hodgson led Fulham to the final in probably the most successful season in the club’s history.

City slackers

At the start of last season any betting on the most successful manager out of the two would have had Hughes far in front. Beginning the second year of a tumultuous spell at Manchester City, with the arrival of billionaire owners and high-profile names like Robinho, Hughes looked set to pose a serious threat to the established top-four. However, a lengthy spell of games featuring just one loss, away to rivals Man Utd, included too many draws to satisfy the owners. Thus, despite publicly supporting the manager, it became clear that Hughes’ position was far from stable. An ignominious exit, in which rumours of his departure spread before kick-off at home to Sunderland, left Hughes with widespread sympathy at how he was treated, particularly given new manager Roberto Mancini’s failure to secure Champions League qualification.

Tough Competition

Despite their lack of Champions League football, City have been far from shy in this summer’s transfer market. With their significantly improved squad, they are sure to challenge for a fourth placed finish this season and will perhaps have aspirations of going even further. As well as City, Aston Villa have consistently achieved European football in recent years and, despite the possible departure of James Milner to Manchester, look set to do so again. Everton, too, are good bets to push Tottenham and City all the way, with an impressive array of midfield talent and an excellent manager in David Moyes. Meanwhile, Roy Hodgson’s brief at Anfield would surely be to firstly ensure qualification for the Champions League, after Liverpool’s regression last season into the pack of clubs behind United, Chelsea and then Arsenal.
The point is; that two seasons is a very long time in football and since Fulham’s impressive seventh place finish in 2008-09, the Premier league has moved on considerably. Last season, while enjoying their incredible Europa League run, they could only manage a mid-table 12th. If Fulham fans are expecting another European finish and a tilt at Europa league glory, then they would do well to reassess those expectations.

Shrewd appointment

Any delusions of grandeur that may exist in overly optimistic fans are not apparent at board level. After having their advances shunned by Ajax, Fulham didn’t turn to a big name in the shape of the likes of Sven Goran Eriksson, but instead to Hughes. The very reason he was given the job at City was his excellent time in charge of Blackburn. Surprising everyone to achieve Uefa Cup qualification with sixth place in his second season, he also reached two FA Cup Semi Finals. Achieving such success with a fairly modest club and on a fairly modest budget will stand Hughes in good stead for his time at Fulham.

Market Value

However, he may be given the funds by Mohamed Al-Fayed to fully utilise his nous in the transfer market. As well as on the pitch, the financial benefit to the Ewood park club of Hughes bringing in the likes of David Bentley and Roque Santa Cruz for minimal fees before making a huge profit in selling them on. On his arrival, Hughes commented that “I will be working with a good budget which the Chairman has promised me, and I hope to expand our squad”. Perhaps inevitably, his appointment was swiftly followed by a flurry of rumoured targets. At the fore were players Hughes managed at Man City, though the name of Santa Cruz, who he signed for both Blackburn and City, also featured.
The possibility of beating the likes of reportedly interested Spurs to the signings of Craig Bellamy, Stephen Ireland and Roque Santa Cruz would be sure to excite fans at Craven Cottage and Hughes’ relationships with the players could prove decisive in any chase. Perhaps more importantly, though, Hughes must either persuade want-away Arsenal target Mark Schwarzer or sign a replacement able to bring the same commanding presence to the back-line and experience in goal.

So, provided Fulham can adjust their expectations and conclude that what Roy Hodgson did at the club may never be surpassed, partly due to his managerial abilities and partly because of the strengthening of the upper echelons of the Premier League, then Hughes should, as his time at Blackburn showed, be able to succeed. Roy may have departed, but it looks like the Rovers spirit may serve them well in a new era.


Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff (30/07/10)...
« Reply #49 on: July 30, 2010, 05:26:21 PM »
http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/July/ManUnitedSoldOut.aspx?
Man United Tickets Sold Out

The Whites' home Barclays Premier League opener against Manchester United on Sunday 22nd of August (Kick-Off 4pm) has now sold out of available seats.

The Club has retained a limited number of tickets on hold to ensure fans who purchase a Season Ticket before the match don’t miss out on the game and still get all 19 Barclays Premier League matches.

Find out further information and purchase your season ticket online or call 0870 442 1234 (option 3, Mon-Fri 9am to 5pm).



Read more: http://www.fulhamfc.com/Club/News/NewsArticles/2010/July/ManUnitedSoldOut.aspx?#ixzz0vBRxfx2v