Author Topic: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)  (Read 7983 times)

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2010, 10:56:18 PM »

On This Day In History: February 12th

Tribute to Phil Kelso: a manager from the old school

By John Harding  February 12, 2010


Phil Kelso dies. Phil was a manager in the early years of the 20th century, essentially an administrator who never played professionally (although he did once turn out for Fulham in an emergency during the war at the age of 47!).

He was best known for his reign at Fulham, beginning in May 1909 and lasting until the end of the 1923-4 season although during his years at Woolwich Arsenal, whom he joined in 1904, he took the Gunners to two FA Cup semi finals.

At Craven Cottage he had to contend with a series of financial problems as well as an attempt by his former Fulham chairman, Henry Norris, to merge the Cottagers with his former club, Arsenal, where Norris was in charge!

Phil was a disciplinarian, who held strong views on smoking and drinking but in other ways he was very modern, expecting players to live close to London while taking them away from the capital on the night before matches. More than one player left as a result of his strict regime.

He remains the manager who has had sole control of team affairs at the Cottage for the longest time, 15 years, with four seasons of League football lost to the Great War. Phil was 53 when he called it a day, but stayed in the area as the landlord of The Grove in Hammersmith and then the Rising Sun in the Fulham Road.

A keen golfer and bowls player, he was also chairman of the Football League Managers and Secretaries association. He died aged 64 and is buried in Sheen Cemetery.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2010, 10:59:04 PM »

White Noise

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #22 on: February 12, 2010, 11:00:28 PM »

Fulham (LLWDW) v Notts County (WWWWL) - 1500 GMT

As the only League Two side left in the competition, little is expected of Notts County but the Magpies shocked Wigan Athletic in the previous round when triumphing 2-0 at the DW Stadium. With a record of just one defeat in their previous 14 home games, though, and having beaten Burnley 3-0 in midweek, Fulham will be confident of avoiding a giant killing and reaching the quarter-finals for the second year in succession. Andy Johnson is sidelined with a knee injury so David Elm could be handed another chance after he scored his first goal for the club in the win over Burnley.

County know they face likely elimination at the hands of a seasoned Premier League outfit. Caretaker manager Dave Kevan saw a seven-match unbeaten run brought to a halt by defeat to Bournemouth on Tuesday and could well field a 4-5-1 formation, meaning former Ipswich and Birmingham midfielder Jamie Clapham could come into the side.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #23 on: February 12, 2010, 11:02:07 PM »

Smalling's Manchester United move to go ahead even if he's injured

Feb 12 2010 By Paul Warburton

CHRIS Smalling's £8million move to Manchester United will go ahead even if the Fulham defender suffers serious injury between now and the end of the season.

There is no get-out clause in the contract of the 20-year-old who swaps the more homely surrounds of Craven Cottage for the might of Old Trafford in May.

In fact, should the worse happen and Smalling incur something like season-wrecking cruciate damage - he will have done so with Sir Alex Ferguson’s blessing. The only time the Manchester United manager has forbidden the centre-back to play is when Fulham visit the Reds on March 14.

Fulham boss Roy Hodgson revealed that cancelling the deal, because of an injury to the player who’s only made eight appearances in a white shirt, never arose.

He said: "Sir Alex is also realistic to know he’ll be playing a lot of football between now and the end of the season - and things can happen.

"The question of Chris being injured never came up. And knowing Chris as I do, he’ll play well for us until he goes because it takes pressure away. His future’s been even more finely tuned by joining Man U."

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #24 on: February 12, 2010, 11:04:05 PM »

Craig Westcarr out to hit top gear at Fulham

David Smith


Journeyman striker Craig Westcarr heads for Craven Cottage on Sunday vowing to inflict a new FA Cup scare on Fulham.

Last year Westcarr hit both non-League
Kettering's goals in a thrilling fourth-road tie, which Fulham only won 4-2 after Andy Johnson and Bobby Zamora scored in the last couple of minutes.

Now Westcarr is coming to London with League Two promotion chasers Notts County and he is ready to make his mark again.

The 25-year-old, who has already played for seven clubs, said: “Kettering probably should have got a replay last January. Certainly, scoring against Fulham was one of the best days I've had.”

Although Notts County have been firing on the pitch there have been problems off it following the ill-fated takeover by a Middle-East consortium in the summer.

Their future was finally secured yesterday when they were bought by former Lincoln chief Ray Trew, which saw ex-England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson quit as director of football.

Westcarr insisted the players have not been distracted by the turmoil. He said: “We've got a tight unit and we're all sticking together and playing for each other.”

Fulham are set to give David Elm another chance after the Swede scored against Burnley in midweek but Simon Davies faces a test on an ankle injury.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #25 on: February 12, 2010, 11:07:57 PM »

Both Blake and Eagles were left out of a more defensive starting line-up at Craven Cottage. It was surprise enough when Eagles was left on the bench for the West Ham game and in came Blake. For the Fulham game in came defender Edgar as well as the two full backs and the two central defenders. After nearly three years of Coyle's line-ups, I must say my eyebrows lifted at this one and also at the story that Eagles was far from happy with life at the Turf. Edgar went to left back, and Fox to left midfield. The intentions may have been good; the result was much the same as so many other away games.

Make no mistake Burnley were poor and were totally outplayed by a big, strong, sharp, accurate and very accomplished Fulham. But an appalling linesman lost this game for Burnley as well as their own ineptitude. Clear offside decisions were missed resulting in the first two goals. This was linesman Mike Bull, a more apt name you would struggle to find, his decisions utter bullsh*t. Millions of pounds hang on decisions like these and though we can understand hairline decisions being wrong, and the sheer pace of the game, or cheating, catching officials out, the obvious offsides demand to be seen. The third goal was the result of a free-kick which could have gone either way with Zamora sticking his straight-arm out in rugby fend-off fashion in a 50/50 tussle. Bennett of course gave the decision to Fulham. Zamora disdainfully stroked the free kick home from outside the box, both wall and Jensen at fault with Towneleyesque positioning: Thank you and goodnight.

No one could suggest that Burnley deserved anything from a sorry performance, but neither could anyone say that without these three decisions from the officials, Burnley might not have just scraped home with a lucky 0-0 draw, bad as they were. Fletcher, Nugent and Elliott were nonentities, communication between Jensen and Mears nil, Edgar is no left back, moves broke down, the ball was given away, first-touch was frequently clumsy, barely a header was won all night up front; and despite Fox being brought in to bolster the left side of midfield in front of Edgar, Duff still had the freedom of the park and ran at will. Then, when Cort went off and the re-shuffle put Edgar into central defence, Zamora gave him a torrid time, and Duff continued to enjoy himself against Fox. In Murphy, Duff and Zamora, Fulham had three players who ran Burnley ragged.

The Mirror commented that on the Andrew Marr Show, Alastair Campbell was for once lost for words. So were Burnley supporters after this show. The Telegraph suggested that somewhere soon real humiliation is heading Burnley's way with displays like this. The cruellest comment was that they looked so lost; a ball of string might help them find their way round the pitch. My pal Tim who was there emailed to say that it was "chastening" and what was lacking was "speed of thought." Maybe the latter is one of the key things that separate the established Prem sides from the newcomers.

It was difficult to see any positives. I watched it on the internet, not a bad picture but the view limited of course. Comments on the message boards and the Press suggested it was far worse watching it in the raw. Arguments centred around the old chicken and egg problem; were Fulham extremely good because Burnley were extremely poor; or were Burnley poor simply because Fulham were very good. Does it really matter? Burnley were very, very poor and it's as simple as that with a number of players looking out of their depth. The incessantly vociferous travelling supporters, meanwhile, were a source of wonderment to all neutrals, Fulham fans, TV commentators and reporters. All night long they kept up the chanting loud and clear. It was reminiscent of when Jimmy Mullen took Burnley to Derby many years ago and the support they gave was the talk of the football world. Fulham on a cold, damp Tuesday in February, a trip not for the faint-hearted; but there they were, simply magnificent. Pity the team couldn't match them on the night. Sadly, it was Fulham and Zamora who had 100% more 'ecky thump.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #26 on: February 12, 2010, 11:11:24 PM »

Hodgson hits out at Fulham fans over Al Fayed criticism

Published 17:09 12/02/10

By MirrorFootball

Roy Hodgson has slammed Fulham fans who have criticised club owner Mohamed Al Fayed for not splashing the cash in pursuit of silverware.

The Cottagers have established themselves as a solid Premier League side over the last few seasons and are currently 10th in the table.

They have also made it through to the knockout stages of the Europa League and take on Notts County in the fifth round of the FA Cup on Sunday.

While the majority of the club's fans are thankful for the progress made under Al Fayed, the owner of retail giant Harrods who took over Fulham in 1997 when they were at the wrong end of the league pyramid, others believe it is the time to push on and try to compete with the Premier League's big guns.

Hodgson cited League Two side County, who were bought by Ray Trew for £1 yesterday with debts of more than £1.5million and risk being wound up, and Portsmouth as examples of the dangers of crass overspending.

And he believes Fulham supporters need to get a sense of perspective.

"We were lucky - we had a sugar daddy, a man who was prepared to come in and put money into the club and help us," he said.

"But in recent years, certainly while I've been here, we've tried to run the club sensibly as a business.

"We are greatly indebted to Mohamed Al Fayed for all the money he has put in and the support he has given us but occasionally now you see letters from fans saying he should invest more and throw more money in and I can't believe the ingratitude.

"There we were a few years ago just about to go out of the Football League, here we are stable in the Premier League. I'd hate to see this club going the way some clubs have gone recently."

Despite all their off-the-field problems, County are in form on it. They have risen to seventh in League Two and have enjoyed a great cup run that has seen them defeat Premier League Wigan away.

They are 65 places below Fulham in the league ladder but Hodgson is taking nothing for granted this weekend.

"It's been a strange season for them, hasn't it?" he said. "The year before, they didn't do that badly in the league and people were perhaps expecting that to continue. All of a sudden, there is a massive takeover, a Chelsea, Manchester City-style investment in the club, with people like Sven-Goran Eriksson coming in.

"It's been very difficult for me from distance to fully understand how these clubs think and operate.

"What I do know is they have done exceptionally well in the league and the cup recently, so irrespective of the financial problems, they have only lost once in the last eight games and have six victories.

"They have beaten Wigan at Wigan to boot. We would be very foolish not to expect a tough game from them and to not expect them to be a tough nut to crack."

Hodgson has no new injury worries for Sunday and has welcomed back Zoltan Gera (knee) and Paul Konchesky (foot) from injury.

The County game will come too soon for the pair, though, and Hodgson is set to name the same team that started the 3-0 win over Burnley in the Premier League on Tuesday.

That means another start for David Elm, the Swedish striker who opened his account for the club with a goal against the Clarets in his second-successive start.

"What we're going to find with him, I'm sure, is that it's going to weigh heavily on him game after game but it was really good to see that he repaid the faith we've always had in him," Hodgson said.

"We've seen a good player in him and we have always believed that if he got his chance, he is good enough to take it."

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #27 on: February 12, 2010, 11:21:06 PM »

Going out

A Valentine's dinner date is rarely what it's cracked up to be. More often than not, you'll end up in a restaurant you'd never have chosen yourself (because your favourites were all booked up months ago), eating food you don't really like (only the best set menu for you), and bashing elbows with the couples seated either side of you (well, you said you wanted intimate).

Still, if your heart's set on a slap-up meal, where better than your local Ikea, the land of Swedish meatballs and marital squabbles? You can tuck in to a three-course set menu for just £6.95 and pick up a bunch of freshly cut flowers on your way out - a snip at £1.99. Or choose from two for one whoppers at Burger King, a two-course Toby carvery for £5, or a free 'sundae best' ice cream with any main meal at Harvester, all courtesy of Toptable.

Fancy a pint down the local instead? JD Wetherspoon is luring couples in with its £14.99 'two steaks and a bottle of wine' deal, while the Trafford Arms in Norwich is hosting its 17th annual Valentine's beer festival. No? We thought not.

The dining with a difference award goes to the terraces at Fulham FC, where you can settle in with a jumbo hot dog and enjoy a live FA Cup match at the same time. Fulham v Notts County kicks off at 3pm, tickets £15.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #28 on: February 12, 2010, 11:23:30 PM »

Walsall sign former Arsenal and Crystal Palace winger

Friday, February 12, 2010, 08:00

THE Saddlers have completed the signing of talented left-winger Julian Gray until the end of the season.

The 30-year-old learned his trade at Arsenal where he earned a glowing reputation as he came through the ranks.

His first-team opportunities were limited to just one substitute appearance for the Gunners and Crystal Palace paid a fee of £500,000 to take him to Selhurst Park in 2000.

His undoubted skill and ability on the left-hand side really came to the fore at Palace and he went on to become a key figure for the club in more than 100 appearances.

During that time he scored the goal that knocked Liverpool out of the FA Cup in 2002/03 at Anfield and also helped them secure promotion into the Premier League.

 Moving on to Birmingham City in readiness for the 2004/05 campaign, he played an important role under Steve Bruce at St Andrews before being released in May 2007.

A short spell at Coventry City followed before he went on a season-long loan to Fulham in September 2008, which was made into a permanent deal in February of last year.

Finding his first-team chances limited at Craven Cottage, he joined Barnsley earlier this season and went on to play in seven games for the Championship outfit, including a League Cup tie against Manchester United.

Gray – who has been handed squad number 24 – stands by to make his debut at Oldham Athletic tomorrow (Saturday) subject to the necessary clearance being received from The FA and Football League.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #29 on: February 12, 2010, 11:29:15 PM »

"I booked Bobby Moore when I refereed at Fulham and he was a gentleman and he said to me, 'You're quite right, Harry, I deserved it'."

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #30 on: February 12, 2010, 11:31:57 PM »

The Ireland striker has tricks aplenty, but the truth is, it is Diomansy Kamara who has made the most impressive of all these fresh career starts at Celtic in recent days. The Senegal striker has a ranginess that carries him effortlessly past opponents, and on this evidence you can see why Fulham, even if they were a bit carried away, paid £6.5 million for him two years ago. Kamara helped to soothe Celtic on a jittery night for Mowbray’s players.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #31 on: February 12, 2010, 11:36:31 PM »

'I'd chop Terry's manhood off'

NICOLA T calls old pal an 'a******* who’s into slappers' and blasts her moody ex Zamora


Published: Today

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GLAMOUR girl NICOLA T has branded former pal JOHN TERRY an "a******* who's into slappers".

The Celebrity Big Brother star - whose ex-boyfriend BOBBY ZAMORA is best mates with Terry - claims the cheating Chelsea ace has a split personality.

He can be raving about family life one minute and then chasing skirt the next, according to Nicola.

She told The Sun: "I think he's two people. He was one of Bobby's best friends and I met him a lot.

"He seemed so lovely and nice, always speaking about his family. He was always talking about how much he loved his kids. So that's the lovely John Terry.

"But then you've got the 'a******* who's into slappers' side of him."

Close buddies ... Bobby Zamora and John Terry

Terry has touched down in Dubai in a bid to salvage his marriage with TONI POOLE, following revelations about his affair with former teammate WAYNE BRIDGE's ex VANESSA PERRONCEL.

She added: "If I ever met Vanessa I'd knock her out on behalf of every woman in the country.

"If I was Toni I'd like to think I'd chop his d*** off and shove it up his a***.

Former flame ... Nicola with Bobby Zamora
"But then again, maybe they should stay together for the children. It's really difficult."

Nicola split with Fulham striker Zamora in 2008.

The mum-of-one is now engaged to Plymouth Argyle midfielder SIMON WALTON, currently on loan at Crewe Alexandra.

Despite her life as a WAG, Nicola admits infidelity is rife within football as few men are capable of turning down the advances of lusty ladies.

The former Page 3 pin-up said: "Most footballers are probably like John Terry.

"If any bloke is given a load of female attention when they're out and temptation's put in front of them, there's going to be a pretty high percentage of men who'll take it. It's not just footballers.

"I think with footballers, it's just offered more to them because of the situation they're in - and girls are just shallow."

However, Nicola is convinced her man will never stray.

She added: "I don't know how he deals with the attention but I don't worry about it. I trust him.

"I just say to him, 'Go out, get drunk, enjoy yourself, but come home.'"

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #32 on: February 12, 2010, 11:37:51 PM »
And then Boa Morte, whose transfer fee somehow rose from the £1.7m he cost Fulham in 2001 to £5m when he arrived at Upton Park six years later - a staggering fee for a 29-year-old.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #33 on: February 13, 2010, 12:22:57 AM »
What Im about to write is probably not all correct, as my memory isn’t great.
However while it was decent business for us as he’d become too self-important.
I think its staggeringly derisory to FFC to say Boa wasn’t worth the £5m paid by a stuggling West Ham.
He was our captain,one of our best players at that time plus he was on the cusp of playing for Portugal.
Easily worth £5m and £50,000k a week to them...

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #34 on: February 13, 2010, 07:01:24 AM »

Routledge: 'I can finally fulfill my potential at Newcastle'

Published 05:00 12/02/10

By Simon Bird

Wayne Routledge wants to end his days as a football nomad by fulfilling his potential at Newcastle.

The winger has played for eight clubs in five years including Spurs, Portsmouth, Fulham and Aston Villa, and to prove his ambition he’s already bought a house in Toon.

Chris Hughton snapped up Routledge last month from QPR for £1million and he has already had an impact. United face Swansea in a lunchtime kick off today forced by Sky, with Newcastle’s supporters buses having to setting off at 3am to complete the journey.

But it is Routledge’s unsettled existence that had hampered his career and he hopes to make Newcastle his long term home. He said: “I just want to be settled.

“I’ve been a nomad over the last few years, constantly moving around and that isn’t good for any player. I want to put down roots, I think that is important here.

“I want to settle down. I thought that would happen at QPR, but it didn’t because of a variety of reasons but now I’m at Newcastle I want to be here for years.

“I’ve reached a point where I don’t want to be moving around the whole time, I want to be able to concentrate fully on my football and to do that I need to build a career at one club. Hopefully that will bring out the best in me when I’m out on the pitch knowing I’m settled in my life. Newcastle is the perfect place for me to do that.

“The manager has said he feels as though he’s got me at a good age and I’d agree with that. When I worked with him at Tottenham I was very young and I made mistakes. I was still learning a lot, I mean I’m still learning now, but I lacked experience on and off the pitch.

“I’ve been through quite a lot in my career already and it feels as though I’ve come to Newcastle a more mature person. I have still got progress to make, but I’m able to offer a lot more now than I did.”

Newcastle have not won on their travels since December 9 and lost top spot after their 3-0 defeat to Derby this week. A boost is needed and Routledge said: “It was just a disappointing game for us against Derby.

“We are looking to the future now, we have an important game at Swansea and if we get three points there everyone will forget about that result at Derby.

“We have to remember we are points ahead of Nottingham Forest with a game in hand and we are level on points with West Brom with a game in hand. We’ve built up a bit of lead but we have to keep going.”.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #35 on: February 13, 2010, 07:05:36 AM »

Sven was wrong to believe Notts County could spend way to the top, says owner

Published 23:00 12/02/10

By James Nursey

New Notts County owner Ray Trew believes Sven Goran Eriksson was naive to think anyone would bankroll the club into the Premier League.

Eriksson, 62, was unveiled as League Two County’s director of football last July with a mission to get the club to the top-flight.

And he stayed as the Magpies chased investment of £25-50million to keep their ambitions alive despite mysterious backers Munto Finance pulling out in December.

But ex-England boss Eriksson has finally left Meadow Lane after outgoing chairman Peter Trembling admitted gaining such a huge cash injection was impossible.

Now businessman Trew, who used to run Lincoln, has stepped in to stop the embattled club, which has debts of £4million, going bust over a winding up order.

Trew admires Eriksson for sticking with County so long given the club’s problems and tips him to get a new job soon - as manager of Nigeria at the World Cup.

But he is critical of the previous regime’s running of the club and reckons ideas anyone would plough millions into County were misplaced.

“They were always hopeful that this sum of £25-£50m would be found,” said Trew.

“But this is a League Two club for goodness sake and one has to be real about this because that was never going to be achievable.

“If you are going to spend £50m on a football club, you are not going to buy Notts County.

“I am sure Sven will have some harsh words to say and must feel let down.

“But I think he will take it on the chin and has a few jobs offers - I think he is in for the Nigeria job.”

Businessman Trew, a trained accountant, is launching a probe into County’s finances amid suspicions at Munto Finance’s short-lived reign.

Tomorrow’s FA Cup fifth round tie at Premier League Fulham could be the last game for some of County’s top earners like keeper Kasper Schmeichel.

Trew is hoping County win in a televised replay as he is banking on at least £140,000 in revenue from tomorrow’s match plus potentially £250,000 prize money.

Trew met club employees yesterday and warned them there need to be big cut-backs to survive due to excessive expenditure - which continued even after Munto left.

He added: “If I was in the hot-seat three months ago as well as looking for funding, I would have concentrated on making cuts.

“They had the opportunity and because the transfer window was open, economies could have been made.

“It has carried on being run like a Premier League club but without the financial resources.

“Now there are various problems like the transfer window being closed and a transfer embargo.

“Potentially we could loan players to the Championship but the squad here is quite small and we don’t have the ability to even bring players in as replacements.

“Our ambitions for the season are still promotion and initially my money is going to be spent getting us through until the end of the season and then having a big sort out.

“The best scenario for us this weekend would be to get a draw because we would more than certainly get the cameras down here at Meadow Lane for a replay and hopefully we can beat them here.”

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #36 on: February 13, 2010, 07:08:54 AM »

Sven-Göran Eriksson left Notts County to avoid administration

Peter Lansley

Sven-Göran Eriksson has waived his right to £2.4 million as a farewell gesture to Notts County. The former England head coach, who announced his departure from the club on Thursday, has 4½ years remaining on his contract as director of football at Meadow Lane. However, the Swede has decided not to pursue any legal entitlement to a high level of compensation.

Eriksson had come in as County’s director of football in a blaze of publicity last summer but the collapse of Munto Finance has left them £4 million in debt.

He said yesterday: “Time was short for us and in the end I signed the agreement to leave the club because the alternative would maybe have been for the club to disappear. I don’t want to be the man to take Notts County into administration, that’s why I signed the agreement yesterday.

“I am very sorry because I like the club and everyone in the club; they are very nice, very genuine people. I did feel personal responsibility — I know some of the players wouldn’t be there if I was not. Of course I feel that. I stayed on as long as I could because of the players, the coaching staff and the fans.

“I tried as hard as I could to find people who could help us. After Peter Trembling took over the club we travelled all over looking for finance for the club. I have been to Norway, Sweden, Spain, Germany and London many, many times.

“The last time I was in London was yesterday to meet someone about taking over the club. But the guarantees never came and yesterday at 5pm Peter sold the club.

Eriksson was never paid the sums promised by Munto Finance. He has always said he remained at Meadow Lane because he genuinely believed in the viability of seeing County, the world’s oldest league club, rise from League Two to the Championship and even beyond. He said:”I liked the idea of the project. It was like a dream for me.

“I am deeply sorry for the players, the coaches working in the stadium — hard-working, down-to-earth people and for the fans. It was a dream for them, and they have suffered big problems. I am sorry this happened at the last moment but it’s going on as a club, even if it is not in the Premier League.”

Ray Trew, the new owner, acknowledged that Eriksson has acted as “an absolute gentleman” in accepting payment only up until Monday, while Kasper Schmeichel has called on his team-mates to produce their best for Eriksson, who will retain an honorary role as life president, when they face Fulham in the FA Cup fifth round tomorrow.

“It would be nice to win it for Sven,” said the goalkeeper, whom Eriksson signed from Manchester City for an undisclosed club-record fee on a five-year contract. “Sven is a great man. It’s sad to see him go. He thanked us for our efforts and we thanked him for his.

“He was here this morning like he has been every morning. I have a huge respect for him and I understand the pressure that he has been under. I knew how much the project meant to him.”

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #37 on: February 13, 2010, 07:16:00 AM »

Turning Pompey into a regular trophy contender was never a realistic aim, for a number of reasons. Firstly, their stadium, Fratton Park, has a very limited commercial value with its capacity of just 20,000 (it’s also by far the least welcoming venue in the Premier League: some old grounds, like Fulham’s Craven Cottage, have retained some old-world charm...Fratton Park hasn’t; it is an absolute dump).  Moreover, the club has a moderate history, a moderate fan base, has never been anything more than moderately successful or moderately wealthy. Yet there was absolutely no moderation in the way they recklessly spent money. Now, those heady days of living way beyond their means is coming back to haunt them in spectacular fashion.

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Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #38 on: February 13, 2010, 07:23:39 AM »

Portsmouth paying heavy price for FA Cup win


SOCCER ANGLES : A plan is in the making to get clubs to advance Portsmouth €12.6 million so they can go into administration, play out the season and not skew the league so obviously

PORTSMOUTH JUST won’t go away, will they? Not as an issue, not as an example of the perils of gross financial mismanagement and overstretched, under-checked short-term ambition. Not as a cause for head-shaking.

But they may go away in another sense. It is hard to believe that in 2010, 18 years after the land-grab foundation of the Premier League, which is on the verge of a massive overseas TV deal, that one of its 20 members, and the winners of the FA Cup just two years ago, can not just be placed in administration but can be liquidated.

But that is where we are.

It is 15 years since Alan Sugar, then Tottenham owner, aimed his “Carlos Kickaball” accusation at Jürgen Klinsmann over the German striker’s desire to earn bigger wages at Bayern Munich, but while the term has hung around, its meaning and its implications were left on the shelf.

As a former Portsmouth player said on Radio 5 recently, it was known within the game that Sol Campbell’s salary on joining Portsmouth in 2006 – one month before his 32nd birthday – was €120,000 per week. The average attendance at Fratton Park in Campbell’s first season was 19,862. Those two figures belong on different graphs. At different clubs.

Campbell did his job. Having finished one place above relegation the season before, Portsmouth came ninth. They beat Manchester United and Liverpool. Soon Campbell would be joined by Jermaine Defoe, Niko Kranjcar and Sylvain Distin, among others.

It seems reasonable to speculate that that quartet alone commanded wages of €345,000 per week, 52 weeks a year, at club with an average attendance below 20,000, who had 19 guaranteed home games.

Because there was a Russian multi-millionaire’s name above the door, Alexandre Gaydamak, no one at Premier League HQ appeared to question these economics.

And the thing is, no one there has the legal power to do so. Providing Gaydamak could prove his wealth, which he could, the Premier League was and remains hamstrung. They were not to know that Gaydamak would suddenly withdraw his investment. But this is the free market. As in other walks of life, deregulation is the key.

What we can do without is the self-satisfaction. The chief executive of the Premier League, Richard Scudamore, yesterday referred to it as “my league” while discussing foreign rights. Scudamore is of the belief that the scale of television deals prove the Premier League to be the biggest and the best in the world and he was generally typically positive about the situation as a whole. He has an argument.

But where do Portsmouth fit in that? The club, founded in 1898, were in the High Court in London on Wednesday over €14 million of unpaid taxes. They were given a week’s stay of execution.

Realistically they have three options: go into administration, thereby accepting a nine-point deduction and automatic relegation; liquidation, meaning the end of the club, the sale of all its assets and the cancellation of all contracts; or hope for a saviour.

Options one and two are the bookmakers’ favourites. Liquidation sounds drastic – it is – but it is clearly a possibility.

Thursday’s newspapers produced a 19-club Premier League table to show the effects of Portsmouth’s liquidation. All the club’s results would be void and so those teams who have beaten Portsmouth this season would suffer a three-point deduction. Arsenal, Fulham, City and United, who have beaten them twice, would lose six points. Alarmingly for West Ham and their new owners, they would drop from 14th to 19th.

Then take Burnley and Hull. At the moment Burnley are third-bottom on 23 points, Hull one place and one point above them. If Portsmouth go into liquidation those placings are reversed. Think of the implications, think of the finances, think of the law suits.

It is an embarrassing position for the greatest league to be in. So a plan is in the making to get the clubs to advance Portsmouth €12.6 million so that they can go into administration, play out the season and not skew the league so obviously.

However, if Hull City say yes to this plan before administration, and Portsmouth then overtake them on the run-in, Hull might feel a bit foolish. It is therefore hard to believe they, for one, will vote in favour of the plan before the next court case.

But if Portsmouth were to take their points deduction and go into administration – thus accepting relegation – then the clubs would probably vote to give them €12.6 million as an up-front instalment on revenue due later in the year. Portsmouth would go out of the Premier League but not out of existence.

There could still be moaning. Portsmouth being reduced to seven points would surely obliterate collective if not individual motivation.

So it could be argued that the table would still be skewed: Burnley host Portsmouth in a fortnight, Hull go to Fratton Park next month. Wolves’ penultimate game of the season is at Portsmouth. You can imagine the clamour should there be even one duff performance from Portsmouth in the run-in.

Ordinarily the fact that Portsmouth have a local derby today against Southampton would be enough reason to focus on them. It is, moreover, in the FA Cup.

Portsmouth fans, however, may not wish to mention the Cup for much longer.

Effectively they bought it in 2008 on unfair terms over more prudent rivals. They got some great days out, which must have upset those rivals who would also have liked them.

Who’s sorry now?

White Noise

  • Guest
Re: Saturday Fulham Stuff (13.02.10)
« Reply #39 on: February 13, 2010, 07:26:57 AM »

Hodgson lays challenge to Elm

Fulham manager Roy Hodgson has challenged David Elm to "grasp the nettle" to nail down a regular place in the starting XI.

Elm found it hard to adapt to English football following his £500,000 switch from Kalmar FF last summer but he has finally forced his way into Hodgson's plans.

The 27-year-old has started the last two matches, against Bolton and Burnley, and opened his account for Fulham with the team's second goal in the 3-0 win over the Clarets in the Barclays Premier League on Tuesday.

Elm will keep his place in the Cottagers' line-up for Sunday's FA Cup fifth-round tie against Notts County at Craven Cottage and Hodgson is interested to see if the striker can maintain his strong form.

"He has had two very good games on the trot," Hodgson said.

"What we are going to find with him, I'm sure, is that it's going to weigh heavily on him game after game but it was really good to see that he has repaid the faith that we've always had in him.

"We've seen a good player in him and we have always believed that if he got his chance, he would be good enough to take it. He now has to grasp the nettle."

Hodgson is keen to take up the option of keeping Elm in south-west London for a further two years, with the player's initial 12-month deal set to come to an end this summer.

Elm will be confident of getting on the scoresheet against County, who are the lowest-ranked club still alive in the cup. Indeed, the Magpies are 65 places below Fulham on the league ladder.

Hodgson has no new injuries to contend with and his absentee list is slowly clearing up, with Zoltan Gera and Paul Konchesky back in training after recovering from knee and foot injuries respectively.

The pair could return to first-team action when Fulham resume their Europa League campaign next Thursday.

"They won't be ready for this weekend but I haven't written them off for the game with Shakhtar Donetsk," Hodgson added.