After the high-profile signings of Juventus goalkeeper Edwin van der Sar and Lyon striker Steve Marlet, amongst others, Fulham chairman Mohammed Al Fayed boasted that the newly promoted side would win the Premiership title. As it was, Fulham never came anywhere near matching the pace set by the likes of Arsenal, Liverpool and Manchester United, but the Cottagers still impressed upon their return to the top flight, peaking as high as eighth at one point. The club's good form gave hope to fans that their team could challenge for European qualification either through the league or their FA Cup run, but a run of nine games without a win dragged the club down to 16th with four games left to play and four points between them and 18th-placed Ipswich. Seven points from the club's last four games lifted Fulham to safety in 13th, and, despite the poor league form and elimination from the FA Cup in the semi-finals, Fulham managed to achieve European qualification via the Intertoto Cup.
Rules for classification: 1) points; 2) goal difference; 3) number of goals scored (C) = Champion; (R) = Relegated; (P) = Promoted; (E) = Eliminated; (O) = Play-off winner; (A) = Advances to a further round.
Only applicable when the season is not finished: (Q) = Qualified to the phase of tournament indicated; (TQ) = Qualified to tournament, but not yet to the particular phase indicated; (RQ) = Qualified to the relegation tournament indicated; (DQ) = Disqualified from tournament.
Pld = Matches played; W = Matches won; D = Matches drawn; L = Matches lost; F = Goals for; A = Goals against; GD = Goal difference; Pts = Points
1Since Arsenal qualified for the Champions League, their UEFA Cup place as FA Cup winners defaulted to Chelsea, the losing finalists.
2Blackburn Rovers qualified for the UEFA Cup as League Cup winners
3Despite relegation, Ipswich Town qualified for the 2002–03 UEFA Cup Qualifying Round as Fair Play Award winners
^Hayles was born in Lambeth, England, but also qualifies to represent Jamaica internationally and made his international debut for Jamaica in June 2001, having previously represented the Cayman Islands internationally despite being ineligible to do so.