Author Topic: Friday Fulham Stuff - 28/05/21...  (Read 814 times)

Offline whitejc

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Friday Fulham Stuff - 28/05/21...
« on: May 28, 2021, 12:15:10 AM »
Andersen: Forever Grateful

Joachim Andersen has thoroughly enjoyed his time as a member of the Fulham family, though naturally he regrets how his time in SW6 ultimately concluded.

“For me it’s been a fantastic year personally,” he told the official website. “To come here, to the Premier League, captain a club like Fulham, and just be able to develop and show what I can do as a player, has been amazing.

“Of course it’s not nice that we’re relegated, but that’s how it is sometimes. My goal was to keep the Club in the Premier League but also to show what I can do, so I hope at least one of those I did.

“Last year I was in a period where I was not happy with my situation at Lyon, so to get the opportunity here and rebuild myself in a way and to take some more steps in my career, has been something that I’ll always remember and be thankful for.

“From that view, it’s been an important part of my development.

“I think we played a really good season actually, there was just some small margins that meant we didn’t make it.

“We didn’t score enough goals, that’s the truth and that’s how it is sometimes in football. But I think the way we’ve been playing and the way we’ve been going into the games has been really good.

“I felt good in almost every game. That’s why I’m really disappointed, because we really felt that we could have won every game.

“Relegation took some days to sink in. Honestly it was really horrible. It’s my first relegation ever so it was also a personal defeat.

“Of course, you always want to win, and when that’s not the case you’ll always feel a little guilty in some way.”

Joachim Andersen

Some eyebrows were raised when Andersen was given the captain’s armband in the absence of Tom Cairney just four games into his Fulham career.

It’s relatively unheard of for a loan player to be given such responsibility, but Andersen immediately proved himself to be a worthy skipper, and for that he is forever grateful to Scott Parker.

“He’s been really important for me, and also the whole staff,” Andersen explained. “The way they work is the same kind of football vision I have, so it’s nice to share these same thoughts with each other.

“Sometimes you click with people, and I felt that immediately with the staff here.

“The captaincy was of course a big surprise for me because I don’t think it’s been the case ever at any club. It’s been unbelievable and something that I’m really proud of.

“To get that trust from the Gaffer is something that I’ll always be thankful for. He really helped me a lot to develop and to be a better player and a better leader, so that’s been really amazing for me.”

Andersen’s performances at the back were of such a high calibre that it led some fans to compare his impact to the one made by fellow Scandinavian Brede Hangeland when he first arrived.

“That’s a big compliment,” he admitted. “I know Hangeland because he played in Copenhagen, I know him quite well.

“It’s huge for me to feel that love from the fans, and I will never forget the way they’ve been supporting me this season.

“I can really feel the love from them through social media. They send me a lot of messages and of course that makes me really happy.

“That’s what I’m trying to do, I’m trying to play my best game, and the fact that they like that is the biggest compliment you can get in football I think.

“We play for the fans. You’ve seen this year that with the fans not there it’s not the same, so them showing that relationship is really important for me.”

Offline whitejc

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 28/05/21...
« Reply #1 on: May 28, 2021, 12:16:35 AM »
Sheffield United handed £15m boost over promotion rivals Fulham and West Brom

The Blades are aiming to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking.

Sheffield United will receive a £15million boost over their promotion rivals Fulham and West Brom in the Championship next season.

The Blades are aiming to bounce back to the Premier League at the first time of asking next year, having been listed as the bookmakers' early joint-third favourites.

Much of United's promotion hopes will hinge on their summer recruitment, both incoming and outgoing. Sander Berge has been heavily linked with Arsenal, whilst Burnley were reportedly monitoring Aaron Ramsdale.

The first port of call is hiring a manager to spearhead any promotion charge, with Slaviska Jokanovic still the odds-on bookmakers' favourite.

Whilst United will not rule out any departures, depending on offers, the club will be heavily boosted by parachute payments, which could offer some short-term stability, given the drop in revenue.

All three relegated clubs will receive a solidarity payment of £45million for their debut Championship season, followed by a further £30million in 2022/23.

However, United are the only one of the three that will receive a third instalment of £15million, with West Brom and Fulham suffering immediate relegation from the Premier League.

As the Blades survived their first campaign, they're entitled to a further pay packet, with the assumption that they will have adapted their wage budget to meet the demands of the Premier League to a high degree, given their extended stay in the top-flight.

Whilst that additional cash injection is not immediate, it means the United board can plan with more certainty and perhaps avoid cutting costs as drastically.

Any new manager will be keen to recruit and relegated clubs have tended to try and hold on to their key players to try to earn promotion at the first attempt.

Stoke City famously acquired an expensively assembled squad in 18/19 before cutting their cloth, whilst Norwich City retained Emiliano Buendia, Teemu Pukki and Max Aarons last summer and were rewarded.

Bournemouth will have to adapt their wage budget this summer following t

heir failure in the play-offs, with the likes of Arnaut Danjuma and former United winger David Brooks likely to be sold off.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 28/05/21...
« Reply #2 on: May 28, 2021, 12:17:34 AM »
Fulham, West Brom set to miss out on January target – Watford close to completing £100k deal
Watford have ‘agreed a deal’ to sign Grimsby Town’s Mattie Pollock – the 19-year-old was wanted by all of Fulham, West Brom and Wolves in January.

Pollock is set to join Watford in a deal worth £100,000, reports Watford Observer.

The Grimsby Town man became the centre of transfer attention at the start of the year when Football Insider reported that all of Fulham, West Brom and Wolves were interested in signing the Englishman, whose father Jamie was a professional with the likes of Bolton and Middlesbrough.

At the time, Football Insider claimed that Wolves were ‘in pole position’ to snap up Pollock who was wanted by a host of Premier League clubs, with the recently relegated likes of Fulham and West Brom in the hunt.

But it appears Xisco Munoz’s Watford side have won this particular race – Watford Observer go on to report how Pollock won’t be joining the first-team straight away, but will instead spend ‘a season or two’ out on loan.

As for both Fulham and West Brom, it’s a missed opportunity for them as they gear up for their immediate returns to the Championship.

The Hornets claimed 2nd-place in the Championship and look good to compete in the top flight next time round.

Fulham eventually finished in 18th-place of the Premier League after their play-off victory over Brentford last summer, with the Baggies claiming 19th after seeing their top flight stint end under Sam Allardyce.

The former England boss is due to leave the club, with Chris Wilder in the running to take over.

For Pollock though, Watford is a hugely exciting move and it could signal the start of a very clear and defined transfer strategy from Watford – bring them in young, loan them out and reap the rewards later down the line.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 28/05/21...
« Reply #3 on: May 28, 2021, 12:20:27 AM »
Peterborough United ‘set’ to lose Fulham, Brentford-linked Siriki Dembele

Peterborough United winger Sikiri Dembele is still yet to sign a new deal, as per a report by the Peterborough Telegraph.

Peterborough United’s hopes of keeping their starlet are fading fast as they prepare for life in the Championship.

They will place him on the transfer list if he rejects their offer of a new contract.

His current deal expires at the end of next season but Peterborough will sell him if he doesn’t commit his future to them to avoid losing him for nothing.

Dembele, who is 24 years old, will not be short of potential suitors this summer.

Watford, Bournemouth and Brentford are believed to be ‘big admirers’ of him, as reported by The Sun in January.

Nottingham Forest also tabled an offer for him in the last transfer window, as per Football Insider, whilst the same publication has since reported that Fulham are keen now.

He had spells as a youngster with Dundee United, Ayr United and the Nike Football Academy before Grimsby Town took a gamble on him in May 2017.

Dembele then joined the Posh three years ago from the Mariners and has been a key player for them since then.

He has played 123 times in all competitions over the past few seasons for Darren Ferguson’s side and has scored 26 goals to help them return to the Championship.

Losing Dembele this summer would be a big blow for the Posh but they will no doubt have replacements in mind.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 28/05/21...
« Reply #4 on: May 28, 2021, 12:33:31 AM »
Ranking every Fulham signing under Tony Khan
In his debut piece, George Rossiter wades through years worth of signings to separate the wheat from the chaff.

With another relegation confirmed, it’s been widely reported that another summer squad rebuild is on the horizon at the Cottage. With no certainties of any of this season’s seven loanees staying on board and a number of players potentially not happy to play at Championship level, it’s no surprise to see the Fulham faithful left frustrated at a lack of sustainability and long-term plan.

But this is nothing new to us. Since Tony Khan first got involved in our transfer strategy in the summer of 2016, Fulham have bought in no fewer than 61 signings to the football club. Some have been better than others, and that’s what we’re going to look at. I’m going to rank all of them in order of how good of a signing they’ve been for Fulham.

All stats are correct as of 24 May 2021. All transfer fees come from Transfermarkt.

61. Fabricio
Goalkeeper. £5.4m from Besiktas, 2 appearances.

Now granted, Fabri is far from the worst player to come to the club in the last five years, and I have no doubt he’s a very decent keeper, but it just hasn’t worked, and for a reported £2.7m a game, he’s below any free signing or loanee for me.

60. Jordan Archer
Goalkeeper. Free transfer from Oxford United, 0 appearances.

This one’s tricky. How do you judge the only player on this list who’s never actually played for the club? At least he’s got some minutes this season for Middlebrough, at the expense of… Marcus Bettinelli. Ah.

59. Lazar Markovic
Winger. Free transfer from Liverpool, 1 appearance.

When the official Fulham Twitter account tried to excite the fanbase with a late deadline day signing in January 2019, nobody was impressed, and nothing changed there after a singular ineffective display at the London Stadium. Was he just a last-minute recommendation from our Mitro? Who knows.

58. Thanos Petsos
Holding midfielder. Loan in from Werder Bremen, 1 appearance.

Like that West Ham game when Markovic made his one and only appearance, I was at the Cottage when Petsos made his one and only bow for the Whites. My only memory is of the Greek International nearly hitting me in the face with a long-range strike. I was in the back row of the Hammersmith End. We’ll leave that one there.

57. Jordan Graham
Winger. Loan from Wolverhampton Wanderers, 3 appearances.

When Jordan Graham signed I vaguely remember Wolves fans being excited at the prospect of him getting gametime and flourishing at Championship level. Based on what we saw of him in a Fulham shirt in his short cameos, that’s certainly not what we witnessed.

56. Marcelo Djalo
Centre-back. £720,000 from CD Lugo, 4 appearances.

I’m not 100% sure what boxes Djalo ticked when he was brought in. I can only imagine the names of Juventus and Real Madrid on his CV did the trick. With a potential relegation looming now he’s returned to Lugo, I’m not sure that CV looks quite so impressive.

55. Rafa Soares
Full-back. Loan from FC Porto, 3 appearances.

I think the reason Soares finds himself here on my list is because unlike some of the names previously mentioned, he’s probably quite a good player. To this day I’m baffled at his lack of minutes in the first half of our promotion season.

54. Jozabed
Attacking midfielder. £3.6m from Rayo Vallecano, 8 appearances.

Honestly, who knows how high Jozabed could’ve been on this list had his free kick at home to QPR crept under the bar. Alas, it did not, and instead he contributed all but nothing at around £450,00 a game, hence he finds himself 54th.

53. Ibrahima Cisse
Holding midfielder. £2.25m from Standard Liege, 13 appearances.

Look, who am I to judge someone who’s played for our club at the Emirates and Old Trafford. I’m laughing just writing that, but he didn’t give a bad account of himself at all. Can’t help but thinking there was a better player there than his 13 appearances in four years suggest.

52. Yohan Mollo
Winger. Free transfer from Zenit St Petersburg, 6 appearances.

I don’t think there’s much denying that Mollo was a very skillful player who could make a real difference when on his game, which was shown especially at the City Ground away to Nottingham Forest. But with just six games to his name, it’s hard to place him higher on this list.

51. Havard Nordveit
Centre-back. Loan from Hoffenheim, 7 appearances.

Again, like Mollo, I honestly saw a good, solid defender in Nordveit during his short time at the club. Admittedly, it’s hard to make your mark in the circumstances Fulham found themselves in while he played for us, but by no means a poor player.

50. Jean Michael Seri
Central midfielder. £27m from OGC Nice, 36 appearances, 1 goal.

What to say about Mika. When he came to Fulham alongside Maxime Le Marchand amid interest from the likes of Barcelona, the excitement among the fans was huge. But after a promising first half-a-dozen of games where the Ivorian showed real promise, everything since has been nothing but disappointment, sadly summed up by a lackluster display away to Brentford in the Carabao Cup earlier this season.

49. Cyriac
Striker. Loan from KV Oostende, 11 appearances, 1 goal.

Another Ivorian comes in at 49. Bar a quality finish in front of the Hammersmith End against Blackburn, not much springs to mind when I think about Cyriac.

48. Terence Kongolo
Centre-back. Loan, then £3.96m from Huddersfield Town, 4 appearances.

Any other player that had come and gone and cost the club pretty much a million pounds a game would surely have been right at the bottom of this list, but Kongolo is still here and I’m confident if the man finds fitness he’ll do well for us, whether that’s in the Championship or the Premier League.

47. Ruben Loftus-Cheek
Attacking midfielder. Loan from Chelsea, 32 appearances, 1 goal.

Of the three players loaned in from Chelsea on this list, Ruben was always going to be miles down from the others. Branded a “world-class talent” on his arrival at the club, all we’ve seen is world-class disappointment. A single goal this season is a shoddy contribution for someone who’s clearly capable of so much more.

46. Timothy Fosu-Mensah
Full-back. Loan from Manchester United, 13 appearances.

It feels quite harsh having TFM this low. Up until a bad injury sustained at Goodison Park early on in the season, the Dutch right-back showed a lot of promise. An season blighted by injury and inconsistency sadly means we didn’t see the best from a talented young defender.

45. Luciano Vietto
Striker. Loan from Atletico Madrid, 22 appearances, 1 goal.

Another loanee from our failed Premier League campaign that showed promise early on in a front three with Mitro and a not-yet-mentioned German. So to only have one goal to his name and a lack of impact overall that season, Vietto won’t be remembered overly well for his time at the Cottage.

44. Rui Fonte
Striker. £6.18m from Braga, 29 appearances, 3 goals.

I can imagine a lot of people reading may have expected Rui slightly lower on this list. Although there’s a lot of talk online of him being one of our worst-ever signings, I don’t believe he was as bad as made out. Three goals in 29 games isn’t incredible, granted, but a hard worker up top, we certainly could have had worse in our side during the first promotion season.

43. Andre Schurrle
Winger. Loan from Borussia Dortmund (£360,000 fee), 25 appearances, 6 goals.

In terms of goal contributions, Schurrle was by no means the worst performer of the 2018/19 relegation season. But the lackluster attitude he showed at times left a sour taste in the mouths of many Fulham fans, culminating in a not-so-nice response to the German World Cup winner being bought on at Vicarage Road on the night relegation was confirmed.

42. Ragnar Sigurdsson
Centre-back. £4.23m from Krasnodar, 18 appearances, 1 goal.

If ever a player was a prime example of signing someone based off a major international tournament… Sigurdsson arrived after a great summer in 2016, including a goal in Iceland’s famous win over England. But the defender never quite lived up to his new expectations at the Cottage.

41. Michael Madl
Centre-back. £1.35m from Sturm Graz, 18 appearances.

It has to be said here that Madl played more games for the club in a loan spell the season before signing permanently, but as we’re only ranking the signings from the summer of 2016 onwards, I’m only counting the 18 games played from then onwards, which is probably why he’s slightly lower than he might’ve been on this list.

40. Alfie Mawson
Centre-back. £15.17m from Swansea City, 44 appearances.

Another player who probably has the ability to be higher on this list, Mawson has struggled with consistent game time through injuries and inconsistent form at the club. A decent defender, not bad on the ball, but certainly not living up to the hefty price tag paid for him so far.

39. Maxime Le Marchand
Centre-back. £3.6m from OGC Nice, 48 appearances.

I’ll be honest here, I can never work Le Marchand out, there’s been times when I’ve seen a very capable player on the ball but they’re seemingly overshadowed more often than not by performances such as the 3-0 home defeat to Hull where he managed to help Tom Eaves look like a prime Jimmy Greaves.

38. Kenny Tete
Full-back. £2.88m from Lyon, 24 appearances.

It’s always going to be hard to judge a player you know has undeniable quality in a struggling side, and that’s the case with Kenny Tete. You don’t play for the Netherlands and in Champions League semi-finals from being average, but we’ve certainly not seen the attacking right back at his best… yet.

37. Anthony Knockaert
Winger. Loan then £10.53m from Brighton & Hove Albion, 46 appearances, 4 goals.

A capable player, but a very frustrating player. Although Knockaert was a relatively important player in a promotion season, after turning that loan to a fee over the £10m mark and to then loan him back out to the Championship after promotion, I can’t justify putting him higher up on this list.

36. Josh Maja
Striker. Loan from Bordeaux, 15 appearances, 3 goals.

Look, Maja hasn’t been terrible since joining in January. He may be playing slightly above his level, but he’s not been disastrous and I don’t think you can question his work rate. But there’s just not much to go off, so he finds himself near the middle of this list.

35. Ademola Lookman
Winger. loan from RB Leipzig, 34 appearances, 4 goals.

Lookman is obviously very talented. There’s been times this season when he’s looked like the only player capable of beating his man and working wonders for us, but when I reflect on his season at all I can’t help but feel let down by poor decision making and a lack of end product in the final third. Four goals for a player of his ability with the chances he’s created for himself has eventually become rather underwhelming.

34. Sergio Rico
Goalkeeper. Loan from Sevilla, 32 appearances.

Comfortably the best of the three keepers used during the 2018/19 campaign, Rico showed his capabilities on many occasions but equally had his fair share of uncomfortable mistakes; West Ham away springs to mind.

33. Mario Lemina
Central midfielder. Loan from Southampton (£2m fee), 30 appearances, 1 goal.

If it hasn’t become evident already, we’re kind of in a stage on this list where we’re going through players who have had decent enough one season cameos in a Fulham shirt, but who were nothing exceptional. Lemina is exactly that, often an energetic, dynamic midfield operator. Equally, often goes missing in games. Wouldn’t mind keeping hold of him in the Championship next season, mind you.

32. Ola Aina
Full-back. Loan from Torino (£2.25m fee), 33 appearances, 2 goals.

I like Ola Aina, I really do. His versatility is a great aspect of his game, often performing well either as a right- or left-back, and it has to be said if you take his first few games at the club to now, he’s improved too, including a corker of a strike at home to West Brom. Another I wouldn’t mind keeping next season, if possible.

31. Sheyi Ojo
Winger. Loan from Liverpool, 24 appearances, 4 goals.

I think Ojo gets quite harshly judged from a lot of our fanbase if I’m honest. He often produced quality deliveries in the final third and contributing a few goals to a free flowing side under Slavisa Jokanovic. He’s probably only a few goal contributions away from being a few places higher on this list.

30. Andre Frank Zambo Anguissa
Central midfielder. £22.37m from Marseille, 63 appearances, 0 goals.

On his day, I genuinely believe Anguissa is potentially the best footballer I’ve seen at the football club since the Belgian Mousa Dembele. Dominant on the ball between the boxes, it feels harsh having a player of his quality this low. However, the inconsistency in performances over Zambo’s two seasons at the club, along with the high transfer fee and zero goals means I can’t quite justify having him any higher.

29. Harry Arter
Central midfielder. Loan from Bournemouth, 29 appearances, 3 goals.

Looking back I don’t think we could’ve asked for much more from Arter. A fully committed, consistent performer when called upon in the middle of the park, fully capable of scoring an absolute screamer, as proven against Nottingham Forest and Aston Villa.

28. Antonee Robinson
Full-back. £1.89m from Wigan Athletic, 32 appearances.

Robinson probably finds himself higher on this list than the likes of Lookman and Tete because although like them he’s had an alright season, I can see there being a hell of a lot more to come with the young American and for such a low fee I can only see this being a very sensible and quality long-term signing.

27. David Button
Goalkeeper. £2.07m from Brentford, 61 appearances.

I’m fairly certain you’ll be reading this not expecting Button to be so high up. But there’s no denying that he was a reliable shot stopper for two seasons, always on hand when rotated with Marcus Bettinelli and that’s all you can ask for.

26. Michael Hector
Centre-back. £5.31m from Chelsea, 33 appearances.

If this list was based on the first 10 games for the club, Hector would be right at the top. Coming in and shining at the back in the promotion run-in, to sit here now with Hector playing barely any part in our Premier League campaign and seemingly pushed aside is quite a shame.

25. Chris Martin
Striker. Loan from Derby County (£1.62m fee), 34 appearances, 11 goals.

Beyond the controversies of Martin’s loan and the famous “We are not a train station” quote that came from it, a goal every three games was a very healthy return from a very decent loan spell. When the interchanging system up front wasn’t producing, Chris Martin came in and produced often during the 2016/17 season.

24. Ivan Cavaleiro
Winger. Loan then £10.62m from Wolverhampton Wanderers, 83 appearances, 9 goals.

Similar to Knockaert, Cavaleiro is often a frustrating player to watch. Clearly capable on the ball, Cav’s end product is not quite what we’d like as fans, but equally it’s hard to deny how hard he works for the side and during the middle of this season when the Portuguese man was playing in the striker role, we played some of our best football, it was just a shame the end result often wasn’t what it needed to be.

23. Aboubakar Kamara
Striker. £5.40m from Amiens SC, 93 appearances, 17 goals.

Abou is probably another player people may have expected to be lower on this list and granted, based on pure football ability and certain antics on and off the field, that may be justified. But for an overall contribution to both promotion campaigns, including big roles in both play-off efforts, Kamara has proven himself to be key to the side on multiple occasions.

22. Cyrus Christie
Full-back. £3.06m from Middlesbrough, 68 appearances, 2 goals.

Similarly to Kamara, on pure ability, Cyrus isn’t going to be compared to the best right-backs in the country, but for contributions to both promotions and some quality ones at that, including a corker of a goal at Loftus Road last year, Cyrus has proven himself to be a quality operator at Championship level for Fulham.

21. Joachim Andersen
Centre-back. Loan from Lyon (£900,000 fee), 31 appearances, 1 goal.

When Joa took the armband early on in the season with regular captain Tom Cairney injured, I was worried at the integrity of the decision making a loanee skipper. However subsequent performances at the back have proven the decision to be a good one, and while Andersen will leave the club with a relegation on his CV, he’s been nothing but reliable for Fulham, commanding the back line while contributing to attacks with his ability to pick a long ball over the opposition defence.

20. Josh Onomah
Attacking midfielder. Swap deal from Tottenham Hotspur, 52 appearances, 4 goals.

After some superb performances in the second half of last year’s promotion campaign, including one of the best goals I’ve ever seen from a Fulham player away at Cardiff in the play-offs, it’s been a shame to see Josh’s lack of game time this season, whether it be due to injury or not finding his way into the side. However, I have every belief he’ll play a big part next season and into the future.

19. Alphonse Areola
Goalkeeper. Loan from Paris Saint Germain, 37 appearances.

I don’t think anyone can deny that Areola is the best keeper the Whites have had between the sticks in a long time. It seemed harsh to see Marek Rodak displaced so quickly this season, but Areola has earned his spot time and time again and been one of the best loan signings at the club in recent memory.

18. Bobby De-Cordova Reid
Striker. Loan then £8m from Bristol City, 83 appearances, 13 goals.

While Bobby’s first season with Fulham wasn’t outstanding, it wasn’t terrible by any means, and I’m certain he deserved more goals than he scored, especially in the early stages of the season. But surely nobody would believe he’d come into his own quite like he did this season whether that was through goal-scoring or his newly-shown versatility with spells on the right side of a back five. I’m sure he’ll have a huge part to play next season.

17. Tosin Adarabioyo
Centre-back. £1.49m from Manchester City, 34 appearances.

For a first full Premier League season coming into a new side, Tosin’s performances and consistency this season have been admirable. I think he finds himself higher on this list than the likes of Andersen and Areola on the basis of the future he could and hopefully will have at the club. For the talent and the price, this has been a brilliant piece of business.

16. Ryan Babel
Winger. £1.8m from Besiktas, 16 appearances, 5 goals.

As short term stints go, Ryan Babel’s time at the Cottage was certainly one of the most memorable, especially with the perception of the deal before we’d seen him play in a Fulham shirt. Nobody could’ve imagined the quality Babel would bring to an underperforming side at the time like he did.

15. Matt Targett
Full-back. Loan from Southampton, 21 appearances, 1 goal.

The highest ranked ‘short-term deal’ on this list had to be Matt Targett. The quality he showed at left-back for Fulham in the 2017/18 promotion side was superb, and he’s continued to show that at Villa Park. Along with his quality, a big part of our success that year was the link-up down the left with Ryan Sessegnon, allowing the young star to flourish on the wing.

14. Calum Chambers
Defensive midfielder. Loan from Arsenal, 33 appearances, 2 goals.

If you’d told any Fulham fan that Chambers would shine in a midfield role after a shocker of a performance at the Cardiff City Stadium at right-back, I don’t think they’d have believed you. But the influence Calum had from Liverpool away onwards was incredible and it was only right that he won Player of the Season for the 2018/19 campaign.

13. Oliver Norwood
Central midfielder. Loan from Brighton & Hove Albion, 41 appearances, 5 goals.

Mr Promotion himself, Ollie Norwood was superb in 18/19, when any of the reliable midfield three of TC, KMac or StefJo needed replacing or rotating, Norwood was the man. Consistently brilliant in the middle of the park culminating in an incredible challenge at Wembley to help take us up, to this day I’m gutted we never made Norwood’s loan permanent.

12. Sone Aluko
Winger. Free transfer from Hull City, 54 appearances, 9 goals.

Along with Ayite and Kebano in the famous interchanging front three system during Slavisa’s first full season at the club, Aluko helped produce some of the most exhilarating attacking football the Cottage has seen in recent times. The fact Sone was apparently sold for as much as £7.5m to Reading means this has to be one of the best pieces of business the club has done in the last five years.

11. Scott Malone
Full-back. Swap deal from Cardiff City, 42 appearances, 6 goals.

Scott Malone produced one of the best seasons a full-back has ever seen in the Championship during the 2016/17 season. With six goals, eight assists, and a hell of a chant to go along with it, it’s absolutely fair to say Malone was so wonderful that season (and beautiful, magical).

10. Floyd Ayite
Winger. £1.8m from SC Bastia, 84 appearances, 14 goals.

Described by Tom Cairney as “the most underrated player” he’d ever played with, Ayite was one of the most technically gifted players brought to the club in recent years. To see Floyd score his one and only Premier League goal at the King Power Stadium was a great moment and fully deserved after two brilliant seasons from the Togolese winger in the Championship.

8. (Joint) Lucas Piazon and Tomas Kalas
Winger and Centre-back. Both loans from Chelsea.

76 appearances and 1 goal for Kalas, 58 appearances and 12 goals for Piazon.

I just couldn’t split these two. Like Norwood, it was upsetting not to see either of our two Chelsea loanees join the club permanently after the performances the pair put in for the club between the summers of 2016 and 2018. Kalas’s run from his own half to set up Mitrovic at the Den in the promotion season will live long in the memory for every Fulham fan at Millwall that night.

7. Neeskens Kebano
Winger. £4m from KRC Genk, 99 appearances, 15 goals.

Just when you think Neeskens’ time at the club might be limited, he always seems to find a way back into the side. From the run of three free kicks in three games at the back end of the 2019/20 promotion season to the crazy dancing and actions we’ve grown to love him for, Neeskens is one of the most lovable characters to play for Fulham.

6. Joe Bryan
Full-back. £6m from Bristol City, 97 appearances, 4 goals.

In August 2020, Joe Bryan single handedly gave Fulham fans everywhere a performance that will live long in the memory with two goals to send the Whites back to the Premier League, including a free kick from near the halfway line. Although the left-back hasn’t featured as much this season, for the price we paid and his contribution to the club, on and off the pitch, Joe Bryan had to be high up this list.

5. Denis Odoi
Full-back. £900,000 from Lokeren, 157 appearances, 6 goals.

A versatile, reliable and lovable character, Denis Odoi has been an incredible servant to the club since joining in 2016. Bursting onto the scene at Craven Cottage with an inventive piece of skill in the season opener against Newcastle United, Odoi instantly became popular with the fanbase and nothing has changed since. 157 appearances and 2 promotions for less than a million pounds? What a piece of business that’s proved to be.

4. Stefan Johansen
Central midfielder. £2.07m from Celtic, 142 appearances, 21 goals.

Part of the famous midfield trio with Cairney and McDonald, Johansen was a key part of Slavisa Jokanovic’s side, contributing with healthy numbers of goals, assists and admittedly yellow cards too. Unfortunately Stefan hasn’t quite had the chances he’d have wanted in the Premier League with Fulham that he probably deserves, but his influence on the side when playing for the club has been fantastic.

3. Kevin McDonald
Holding midfielder. £1.35m from Wolves, 129 appearances, 6 goals.

I must start by saying I hope that Kevin has a speedy recovery and comes back stronger from his pending operation, everyone involved with Fulham loves the man and wishes him well. What a man, what a leader, what a player, what a character. I don’t think anyone wants Kmac to leave the club after his playing days, the level of leadership he could have at this club at any level is vital, and I hope he stays within the set-up for many years.

2. Aleksandar Mitrovic
Striker. Loan then £22.23m from Newcastle United, 131 games, 53 goals.

I’m sure a lot of people would’ve expected Mitro top of this list and no doubt it would’ve been deserved. It’s not been nice seeing his lack of influence on the team this season, but the effect Mitro has had on the club with his performances and goals since joining in January 2018 have been incredible, especially the Golden Boot-winning promotion season in the 2019/20 campaign. What a player he’s been.

Harrison Reed
Holding midfielder. Loan then £5.85m from Southampton, 61 appearances.

Admittedly Harrison hasn’t been at the club for as long as the likes of McDonald, Johansen and Mitrovic. But I honestly cann’t remember Reed having a bad performance in a Fulham shirt. Even when the team is under performing, his head is up and his level doesn’t drop, and for the price we’ve got him for, he’s going to prove to be a bargain for years to come. I can’t look past him for a better piece of business from the club in the last five seasons.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 28/05/21...
« Reply #5 on: May 28, 2021, 12:35:11 AM »
Slavisa Jokanovic: Sheffield United appoint former Watford and Fulham boss

Slavisa Jokanovic won promotion to the Premier League with Watford and Fulham

Sheffield United have appointed former Watford and Fulham boss Slavisa Jokanovic as their new manager on a three-year deal.

The 52-year-old will leave his position at Qatari side Al-Gharafa to take over at Bramall Lane for the new season.

The Blades will play in the Championship in 2021-22 after finishing bottom of the Premier League.

Jokanovic led both the Hornets and Fulham to promotion to the top flight in his previous jobs in England.

The Serbian replaces Chris Wilder, who had led the club from League One to the Premier League before being sacked in March, to become the south Yorkshire club's first overseas manager.

United ended the season under the caretaker charge of Paul Heckingbottom and finished 16 points adrift of safety in a campaign in which they lost 29 of their 38 matches.

"I'm honoured to become the manager of this historic football club," Jokanovic told the club website.

"I'm excited to work in English football again and I'm looking forward to getting started with the players and staff, as well as meeting our passionate, loyal supporters as we prepare for the challenge in the Championship.

"I want to assure our amazing fans that we're fully committed to helping the team achieve its goals and make you feel proud."

Jokanovic took Watford up in 2015 but was sacked that summer.

He then led Fulham to the Premier League in May 2018 but was dismissed in November with the club bottom of the league.

His two-year deal with Al-Gharafa expires at the end of June.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 28/05/21...
« Reply #6 on: May 28, 2021, 12:38:21 AM »
Sheffield United hire Slavisa Jokanovic as they target immediate return to Premier League

The former Fulham and Watford boss is the permanent successor to Chris Wilder following the Blades' relegation into the Championship

Slavisa Jokanovic has landed the Sheffield United manager's role.

The Serbian has previously taken Watford and Fulham into the Premier League and will be tasked with once again mounting a promotion to the top flight.

The Blades have been relegated back into the second tier after a woeful campaign that saw them accrue just 23 points, losing 29 of their 38 league games.

Chris Wilder, the boyhood United fan who guided the team to two promotions and top-half finish last term, left in March after a number of off-field concerns.

Paul Heckingbottom, the club's under-23s boss, took caretaker charge for the final ten games of the campaign.

Now, the club have turned to double promotion-winner Jokanovic and have handed him a three-year deal.

The 52-year-old had been managing Qatari club Al-Gharafa SC Qatar for the past two years but it's understood he was keen to return to England for a fresh challenge.

His last post on these shores, at Craven Cottage, saw him axed after 12 games in the top flight - just months after leading them to promotion.

The Blades are 10/1 to win next season's title with Skybet.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 28/05/21...
« Reply #7 on: May 28, 2021, 12:42:41 AM »
Heavily revered at Fulham after building 'Barcelona of the Championship': The lowdown on Slavisa Jokanovic after Sheffield United appointment
After Sheffield United confirmed that Slavisa Jokanovic was their new manager this afternoon, it spoke volumes that, dotted amongst the jubilant tweets and social media messages from Blades supporters, were numerous messages of support from fans of his former club Fulham.

Jokanovic is still revered at Craven Cottage after leading Fulham into the Premier League via the play-offs in 2018, before being sacked in November of the following season after a slow start.

But what is Jokanovic the manager actually like? His playing style and the way he goes about things? We asked Jack Collins from Fulhamish, the Fulham podcast, for the lowdown on the Serb…

Slavisa, in many ways, is still revered quite heavily around the Cottage. I think it goes like that when a manager is removed before the majority of people felt that he’d got his fair shot at the Premier League - especially after getting Fulham up there in remarkable style.

One win in those 12 Premier League games clearly wasn’t the start that the ownership had in mind, and a defeat to Huddersfield in the 11th clearly made the minds of the owners up, but there is a sense in some ways of ‘what if?’ - if Fulham had stuck with Jokanovic and his swashbuckling philosophy, even if that first year had been relegation, where would the club be at this point?

The highs were incredibly high with Jokanovic. After surviving the first season having been handed a poor squad midway through the 15/16 campaign, shrewd recruitment and a summer to implement his strategy led to an immediate upturn in fortunes, as Fulham became a neutral’s favourite over the next two years - all slick movement, rampaging full-backs and an interchangeable front three who tore defences apart.

Tom Cairney, moved to his favoured 10 position, with Stefan Johansen alongside him and Kevin McDonald behind, suddenly erupted into the best playmaker in the league. Johansen became an all-conquering No.8 who scored double figures.

Edged out by a resilient Reading side over two legs in the play-offs in the first season, Fulham came back even stronger the year after as Jokanovic guided the Whites back to the promised land with a win at Wembley.

The Barcelona of the Championship
Slavisa’s football was slick, clean and when it worked, it felt like Fulham were the best team on Earth - the ‘Barcelona of the Championship.’ Scott Malone ran riot down one wing, only for Ryan Sessegnon to come in the next year and score an absolute shed-load from left-back and then left-wing.

Tim Ream was suddenly transformed stylistically into Franz Beckenbauer, a possession-heavy centre-back who evaded presses for fun. The goals were spread around the team, and it meant that Fulham, whilst incredibly wedded to a way of playing, were by no means one-dimensional in their form of attacking.

Slav’s way or the high way
The flipside, I suppose, was Jokanovic’s stubbornness. Whilst not a huge issue in the Championship, where most teams can go toe-to-toe, I remember being at the Etihad five games into the new Premier League season, where Fulham tried to outplay and outpossess Pep’s eventual champions, which as you might imagine, didn’t really work.

Jokanovic believed in his philosophy, and whether that was naive or just needed time, perhaps we’ll never know. He’s a big personality, and he knows what he wants - in some ways it felt like ‘my way or the high way’ at times. But often his way seemed like the way that the fans were willing to follow, and there’s no doubt his style inspired Fulham to dream of bigger things.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 28/05/21...
« Reply #8 on: May 28, 2021, 12:44:27 AM »
Sheffield United sent Aleksandar Mitrovic transfer demand after Slavisa Jokanovic appointment

Sheffield United have confirmed the appointment of Slavisa Jokanovic on a three-year deal and fans are calling for the Serb to reunite with his fellow countryman Aleksandar Mitrovic at Bramall Lane

Sheffield United fans are already plotting the potential transfer activity of new manager Slavisa Jokanovic following the Serb's appointment at Bramall Lane on a three-year deal.

Jokanovic will be tasked with leading the Blades back in the Premier League at the first attempt following a sobering 2020/21 campaign for the club but optimism among supporters has soared in the wake of the announcement.

The 52-year-old will be armed with funds to help mould United into his own side next season and that could even lead to a switch in formation given his previous promotion with Fulham, where he set the Cottagers up in a 4-3-3 shape.

 He has used a back three too but one thing is for certain, incomings will be expected and United supporters have mischievously suggested the prospect of Jokanovic and Mitrovic reuniting at Bramall Lane next season.

Mitrovic played an integral role in Fulham's promotion-winning season of 2017/18, scoring 12 goals for the Cottagers en route to the top flight and Blades fans are fancying the possibility of him leading the line under his compatriot again next season.

Here's how some supporters responded to news of Jokanovic's arrival on social media.

@SaulAsquith: Announce Mitrovic

@Brendan_sufc16: Jokanovic, mitrovic, Tom Cairney. Ohhh yes

@Bailey_SUFC: Mitrovic firing us back to prem? That’s something I can fully get behind


@bt__23: Mitrovic incoming...

@M22LLR: Now announce Mitrovic as first signing #twitterblades

@srb1889: Sign ryan sessegnon on loan @SheffieldUnited and Mitrovic

@niklasovic: Give him Mitrovic and the world will be ours

@SUFCMatty_: Announce Mitrovic

@daneshaw8: Reyt then... what’s mitro upto???

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 28/05/21...
« Reply #9 on: May 28, 2021, 12:45:34 AM »
Fulham plan for new director of scouting to work with Parker on summer transfers

Fulham have confirmed their intention to have a new director of scouting in place this summer to help with recruitment ahead of next season.

During a meeting with the Fulham Supporters’ Trust on Monday, the club also confirmed that the club’s owners had held talks with head coach Scott Parker last week following the club’s relegation.

The Athletic revealed earlier this month that Fulham were seeking a replacement for former assistant director of football operations Javier Pereira, who left the club in September in order to fulfil his ambitions in management.

What will the role involve?
The new role is understood to be seen as integral to the club's structure and a separate position from chief scout, Brian Talbot.

In the minutes from the Supporter’s Trust meeting released on Thursday, the club confirmed that the position was “an additional role that would give greater capacity to recruitment activity” and “would be responsible for overseeing the current scouting and related activity and would report to the Director of Football”.

What about Parker’s future?
The minutes also confirmed that Parker has now met with the club's ownership.

Before Fulham's trip to Southampton earlier this month, Parker said in a press conference that he was yet to speak with the club's ownership following relegation. However The Athletic then reported that the hierarchy had in fact reached out to the head coach, and were ‘furious’ at the nature of relegation.

The Athletic understands that Fulham expect Parker to be in charge next season, with the club expecting the players and staff to return at the end of June.

However, in light of recent events and links with other jobs, notably from Championship side Bournemouth, a question mark remains about Parker's future.

The Supporters’ Trust minutes state that the head coach’s role will be to “make proposals for shaping the playing squad, style and approach for next season” and described the review process as a “continuous” one that “had already started, including a meeting over a week ago between Scott Parker and the owners”.

The club also noted that a key question to ask will be why the team faded towards the end of the season, having already shown tangible improvements in the previous weeks.

What else was discussed?
Monday’s meeting also saw the Supporters’ Trust outline that there was discontent among the fan base following relegation. Fulham have now suffered a second relegation from the Premier League in three years, with supporters unhappy at a perceived lack of direction.

“The Trust made clear the widespread dissatisfaction amongst many fans who had been in touch over the past few weeks,” the minutes of the meeting state, “and a tangible feeling of a disconnect between Club and the wider supporter base.”

It further states: “The Trust noted that the Club providing a clear statement of its future approach and wider strategy would be welcomed by supporters who were both ambitious for the Club and understanding of the constraints under which a club of Fulham’s size must operate. The concern, articulated by the Trust, is that without greater engagement with the supporter base, there will continue to be negative speculation that is dispiriting to everybody.”

Also during the meeting, Fulham defended their policy of signing loan players, pointing to the club’s size and Financial Fair Play constraints. The club also suggested further loans could be possible due to “less fluidity in the transfer market, and that players themselves were reluctant to move permanently at least until COVID-19 restrictions had very much eased.”

The club also announced that women’s football would be part of the club’s academy next season, and that they would be “increasing support and visibility for the women’s game”.

On the Riverside Stand, Fulham confirmed that while no season tickets would be sold in the stand next season, it is possible the new stand will be used to house spectators from matchday sales. Season tickets would also be sold on the basis that the ground will be full, bar the new Riverside Stand, and that ticket prices should be on a par with the club’s previous Championship campaign.

Fulham will find out the fixtures for the new season on June 24.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 28/05/21...
« Reply #10 on: May 28, 2021, 12:46:09 AM »
Notes from May meeting with FFC

On Monday 24 May at 13:30, the Fulham Supporters’ Trust met with Fulham FC via video conference.

The Club was represented by:

    Alistair Mackintosh (CEO)
    Darren Preston (Chief Operating Officer)
    David Daly (Non-Executive Director)
    Carmelo Mifsud (Communications Director)
    Ally Spicer (Head of Ticketing Operations)
    Nicola Walworth (Supporter Relations Manager)
    Charlie Harris (Communications Assistant)

The FST was represented by Board Members:

    Tom Greatrex (Chair)
    Ian Clarke (Vice Chair)
    Jerry Cope (Treasurer, Membership Secretary)
    Sue Couch (Board Member)
    Owen Smith (Board Member)


The Trust asks any questions that it judges are of interest to supporters, based on responses from Trust Members to the advance notification of the meeting, and by generally interacting with the wider supporter base. There is no restriction placed on which questions the Trust choose to ask or points raised with the Club. These notes are then sent to members only, in advance of being posted on our website at a later date.

If any member has raised an issue that it was not possible to discuss in the time available, then please do contact us again in good time before the next meeting or alternatively we can seek to raise it between meetings if that is more appropriate.

    General Points
    Ground related issues
    2021/22 ticketing
    Feedback from Newcastle game
    Assessment of 2020/21 season and approach to 2021/22

(The topics were covered in this order to ensure that a wide range of Trust Members’ questions were covered.)
Kevin McDonald

The Trust started by sending the good wishes of all members to Kevin McDonald for his operation which was scheduled for May 28th. The Trust also thanked Mark Maunders for passing on the messages from Trust members, through the electronic greetings card. We heard that Kevin was in positive spirits and appreciated all the messages from supporters ahead of his transplant.
Club Badge

The Trust asked whether the Club had considered bringing back the old badge which was used from 1995-2001. We were told that whilst the Club understood the fondness for previous Fulham crests and their historical significance, the current badge had very good recognition, particularly internationally and among younger supporters. Rebranding exercises were time-consuming and potentially costly, so although the issue would be looked at from time to time, a change was unlikely for the foreseeable future. The Club makes an effort to ensure that history and heritage are reflected in kit and merchandise from time to time, including the display of the old badge.

The Trust asked whether there were opportunities for greater fan involvement in the design of new kits. The club responded by stressing that

    kit designs were made two years in advance (the 2021/22 and 2022/23 kits had already been decided)

    the designs needed to be kept confidential to protect current kit sales and mitigate the risk of counterfeiting

    David Daly had specific responsibility on the Fulham Board to try to ensure fan preferences, including heritage and avoiding certain colours, were taken fully into account by the designers, and this would continue.

It was confirmed that the current yellow kit would be the third-choice kit next season, in the usual way of the away kit moving on to be the third kit. Subject to the sponsors, it was expected that the new home kit would be launched around the start of July.
Riverside Stand Video

The next edition of this series would be out shortly, and the regular updates would continue.
Use of VAR

The Trust asked what input Fulham had provided into the reported review of VAR and were told that the Club were generally disappointed with the consistency and accuracy of the system’s application this season; the awarding of the recent Manchester United goal was a good example. VAR will not be used in next year’s Championship.
Use of London School of Economics (LSE) Ground

This would continue for U23 and U18 fixtures only whilst Covid restrictions were in force.
Women’s Teams

The Trust asked that more information on our women’s teams be provided, for instance within the Fulham App. The Club responded that generally they intended to increase visibility of women’s football, including within the App; they were also pleased to announce that women’s football would be part of the Academy next season, and generally they would be increasing support and visibility for the women’s game. This was very much welcomed by the Trust.

back to topic list

The Trust asked how the Riverside Stand might be used next season and were told there was still a lot of uncertainty from builders, safety, Covid etc, so no season tickets would be sold for 2021/22 in the new stand (just the other three stands) but it still might be used for matchday sales during the season.
Putney, Johnny Haynes and Hammersmith Stands

The Trust pressed again on looking at the toilets in the Putney stand, following feedback from supporters, and generally keeping on top of minor works needed for all three stands. The Club understood this, but said there was a financial and resource ceiling and so there needed to be some prioritisation; the Club would only approach financial sustainability when the new Riverside stand was fully operational.

In response to a particular query, the Club said there were no plans for major works on the Johnny Haynes Stand, which would, if ever considered, be expensive because of the nature of the building including its Grade II listed status.

The Club confirmed that written press facilities would stay in the Johnny Haynes Stand with TV media and international commentary facilities being in the new Riverside Stand.

back to topic list

The Trust had sent the Club the results of its special recent survey into 2021/22 ticketing with the following conclusions:

    season Tickets should be sold in the expectation that the ground would not be restricted by Covid

    prices should be as for our last season in the Championship

    there should be an ability to defer season ticket purchase for one year, with no loss of privilege and priority

    if subsequently Covid-related restrictions had to be introduced, matches should be allocated on a rotation basis, with partial pro-rata refunds, and with groups of friends allowed to attend together

    some tickets should continue to be made available to non-season ticket holders.

The Club said they were grateful for the survey input, and, in broad terms hoped to be able to satisfy many of these points.

The Club said that the target was for a season ticket announcement in early June, subject to successful testing of the new ticketing system with the new supplier Secutix (replacing Ticketmaster), an operator with several other Premier League and Championship clubs as clients. There should be automatic transfer of One Fulham accounts to the new system, including loyalty points.

The Trust asked a number of questions in relation to the features available on the new ticketing software including the perennial issue of fans being able to select seats when purchasing away tickets. It was agreed that the Trust and the Club’s Ticketing Team would follow up separately with more detailed discussions, including the observation from a Trust member that the age at which senior tickets were available at Fulham (65) differs from that at other clubs (60).

The Club, in response to a question from the Trust, confirmed that payment by instalments for season tickets would again be offered as an option.

The Club confirmed that they were currently working on the basis of there not being any restrictions due to Covid by the time of the start of the new season but noted that they would need to react as necessary to changing Government requirements (eg if health declarations were still necessary). The Club advised that they were confident of being able to scale up back to maximum capacity.

back to topic list

The Trust said that the arrangements for the Newcastle game, like Liverpool, seemed to have worked generally well, except that some families had been told by stewards that they could not sit next to each other and had to maintain social distance, which seemed disproportionate for people living in the same household. The Club responded that it had used the ‘diamond’ layout for seating to maximise capacity, given social distancing regulations. The Club promised to look at any individual complaints which should be sent to The Club would always review for any future such games, based on feedback, the latest guidance and operational plans.

The Trust also questioned pricing for the game particularly given prices charged by other clubs (or in the case of Burnley, no charge at all), that sales seemed slow and that there had not been full take-up from those successful in the earlier Brighton ballot. However the Club felt that pricing had been appropriate, in line with the Liverpool and Brighton games, and they had sold out the publicly available tickets to a range of supporters including members, notwithstanding the potential attractiveness of the fixture.

back to topic list

The most part of this meeting was taken up by discussion on the conclusion to the season, and what the Club’s approach would be for the following season, particularly given there was a greater lead-in time to adjusting to relegation than there was following promotion last August.

The Trust made clear the widespread dissatisfaction amongst many fans who had been in touch over the past few weeks and a tangible feeling of a disconnect between Club and the wider supporter base. The Trust also made clear its concern that failing to address these issues would be damaging to the reputation and effectiveness of the Club and the engagement and unity of the supporter base which has underpinned previous periods of success.

The Trust specifically asked about

    contact between the ownership and the manager following relegation

    the scope and status of reviewing the season that Scott Parker had referred to in recent media appearances

    the impact of both departing and returning loan players

    the motivation and mobilisation of the squad in needing extensively to rebuild the playing staff for the fourth season in succession and how that fits with the Club’s previously stated aim of long-term sustainability

    the need to find a way of breaking the promotion/relegation cycle.

The Trust also again asked about the approach to recruitment, the appointment of a Director of Scouting and that person’s interaction with a Director of Football who has significant other interests alongside Fulham Football Club which self-evidently take up some of his time, and whether there would be a change of approach given the outcome of this season.

The Club responded with a number of points.

    It was the role of the Head Coach to review what had gone wrong last season and make proposals for shaping the playing squad, style and approach for next season. This process was continuous and had already started, including a meeting over a week ago between Scott Parker and the owners.

    Up until the last 10 or so games, the Club and Head Coach had been confident of climbing out of the relegation zone, so a key question to understand was what had gone wrong in that last part of the season which had reversed the improvement which everyone had seen.

    Scott Parker was as disappointed as anyone in the last few results, and he would be looking hard as to the reasons and setting out how they should be addressed ahead of next season.

Asked by the Trust, the Club confirmed that the Head Coach and players would return to training at the end of June. The intention of everyone was to aim for a return to the Premier League as soon as possible.

The Club confirmed that a new position of Director of Scouting was currently being recruited, and the hope was that they would be in place in time to be involved in recruitment and scouting activity ahead of next season. Asked about the relationship between this role and the current Chief Scout, the Club confirmed that this is an additional role that would give greater capacity to recruitment activity, would be responsible for overseeing the current scouting and related activity and would report to the Director of Football.

The Club continued that for a club of Fulham’s size, with FFP constraints, the use of loan players in and out was an important flexible part of the mix, but players had also been successfully purchased and each season, including next, much would depend on the players the Head Coach preferred, and their availability and affordability for loan or transfer. It was important to emphasise that team spirit and effort had been good across both permanent and loan players, notwithstanding some disappointing match results. Next season it was likely there would be less fluidity in the transfer market, and players themselves were reluctant to move permanently at least until Covid restrictions had very much eased.

The Trust re-iterated there were signals of a growing disconnect between the Club and its fans, especially on player recruitment, and urged the Club to communicate clearly, without of course revealing personally or commercially confidential details, its strategic approach to meeting its stated ambition to return to the Premier League as soon as possible.

The Trust noted that the Club providing a clear statement of its future approach and wider strategy would be welcomed by supporters who were both ambitious for the Club and understanding of the constraints under which a club of Fulham’s size must operate. The concern, articulated by the Trust, is without greater engagement with the supporter base, there will continue to be negative speculation that is dispiriting to everybody.

The Club took on board the points made by the Trust, and both resolved to continue to engage and discuss ways to rebuild a positive agenda both in light of the anticipated return of fans to grounds and the likely changes arising from the review into football governance, reporting to the government over the next few months.

back to topic list

The meeting closed at 14:45. The next meeting was fixed for 12 July.

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Re: Friday Fulham Stuff - 28/05/21...
« Reply #11 on: May 28, 2021, 12:48:17 AM »
Exclusive: Jokanovic plots Fulham raid as he lines up first Sheffield United signing

Sheffield United’s new boss, Slavisa Jokanovic, has set his sights on Tom Cairney at Fulham as his first signing following his appointment at Bramall Lane, a source has exclusively revealed to Football League World.

Jokanovic has been announced as the new manager at Bramall Lane, signing a three-year deal with the South Yorkshire outfit ahead of their return to the Sky Bet Championship.

Attention appears to have quickly turned to the transfer window too, with the 52-year-old eyeing a reunion with his former Fulham captain, Cairney.

A source has revealed to Football League World that Jokanovic has set his sights on luring Cairney back to Yorkshire as his first signing at Bramall Lane.

It has also been explained that Fulham will be reluctant to lose Cairney ahead of their own return to the EFL, but there could well be a deal there to be done as the London outfit get their house in order.

Cairney, 30, excelled in the Championship under Jokanovic between 2015 and 2018, scoring 27 goals from midfield and eventually leading the Cottagers to promotion in 2017/18 via the play-off final.

At Wembley, Cairney scored the game’s only goal as Fulham beat Aston Villa 1-0 to reach the Premier League.

There was a swift return to the Championship and Jokanovic lost his job at Craven Cottage, but Cairney, again, led Fulham back in 2019/20, with the midfielder scoring eight times as his side tasted play-off success once more.

Cairney scored just once in the Premier League last season for Fulham, who were relegated back into the Championship alongside Sheffield United.