|Full name||Fulham Football Club|
|Nickname(s)||The Cottagers, The Whites, The Lilywhites.|
|Founded||1879(as Fulham St Andrews Football & Cricket Club)|
|Manager||Peter Grant (Interim)|
|2014–15||The Championship, 17th|
|Website||Club home page|
Fulham Football Club // is a professional football club based in Fulham, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham. Founded in 1879, they play in the Football League Championship, having been relegated from the Premier League in 2013–14 after 13 consecutive seasons. They were the oldest established football team from London playing in the Premier League.
The club has spent twenty-five seasons in English football's top division, the majority of that in two spells during the 1960s and 2000s. The latter spell was associated with former chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed, after the club had climbed up from the fourth tier in the 1990s. Fulham have never won a major honour, although they have reached two major finals. In 1975, as a Second Division team, they contested the FA Cup final for the only time in their history, losing 2–0 to West Ham United. Fulham reached the 2010 Europa League final, which they contested with Atlético Madrid in Hamburg, losing 2–1 after extra time.
The club has produced many English greats including Johnny Haynes, George Cohen, Bobby Robson, Rodney Marsh and Alan Mullery. They play at Craven Cottage, a ground on the banks of the River Thames in Fulham which has been their home since 1896. Fulham's training ground is located near Motspur Park, where the club's Academy is also situated.
- 1 History
- 1.1 1879–98: Formation
- 1.2 1907–49: Football League
- 1.3 1949–69: First Division Cottagers
- 1.4 1970–94: Mixed fortunes outside the top flight
- 1.5 1994–97: Fulham's lowest ebb
- 1.6 1997–2001: Al Fayed takeover
- 1.7 2001–07: Early Premier League years
- 1.8 2008–10: Hodgson's transformation
- 1.9 2010–13: Established in the Premier League
- 1.10 2013–present: New ownership and relegation
- 2 Finances
- 3 Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors
- 4 Current management
- 5 Players
- 6 Fulham in Europe
- 7 Rivalries
- 8 Supporters
- 9 Managers
- 10 Grounds
- 11 Honours
- 12 Statistics
- 13 Club mascot controversy
- 14 Notes and references
- 15 External links
Fulham were formed in 1879 as Fulham St Andrew's Church Sunday School F.C., founded by worshipers (mostly adept at cricket) at the Church of England on Star Road, West Kensington (St Andrew's, Fulham Fields). Fulham's mother church still stands today with a plaque commemorating the team's foundation. They won the West London Amateur Cup in 1887 and, having shortened the name from Fulham Excelsior to its present form in 1888, they then won the West London League in 1893 at the first attempt. One of the club's first ever kits was half red, half white shirts with white shorts worn in the 1886–7 season. Fulham started playing at their current ground Craven Cottage in 1896, their first game against now defunct rivals Minerva F.C.. Fulham are one of the oldest established clubs in southern England currently playing professional football, though there are many non-league sides like Cray Wanderers which are several decades older.
The club gained professional status on 12 December 1898, in the same year that they were admitted into the Southern League's Second Division. They were the second club from London to turn professional, following Arsenal F.C. (Royal Arsenal 1891). They adopted a red and white kit during the 1900–01 season. In 1902–03 they won promotion from this division, entering the Southern League First Division. The club's first recorded all-white club kit came in 1903, and ever since then the club has been playing in all-white shirts and black shorts, with socks going through various evolutions of black and/or white, but are now normally white-only. The club won the Southern League twice, in 1905–06 and 1906–07.
1907–49: Football League
Fulham joined The Football League after the second of their Southern League triumphs. The club's first league game, playing in the Second Division's 1907–8 season, saw them lose 1–0 at home to Hull City in September 1907. The first win came a few days later at Derby County's Baseball Ground, by a score line of 1–0. Fulham finished the season three points short of promotion in fourth place. The club progressed all the way to the semi-final of that season's FA Cup, a run that included an 8–3 away win at Luton Town. In the semi-final they were heavily beaten, 6–0, by Newcastle United. This is still a record loss for an FA Cup semi-final game. Two years later the club won the London Challenge Cup in the 1909–10 season. Fulham's first season in Division Two turned out to be the highest that the club would finish for twenty-one years, until in 1927–28 when the club were relegated to the 3rd Division South, created in 1920. Hussein Hegazi, an Egyptian forward, was one of the first non-British players to appear in the Football League, though he only played one game for Fulham in 1911, marked with a goal, afterwards playing for non-league Dulwich Hamlet.
During this period, businessman and politician Henry Norris was the club chairman and curiously he had an indirect role in the foundation of Fulham's local rivals Chelsea F.C.. When he rejected an offer from businessman Gus Mears to move Fulham to land where the present-day Chelsea stadium Stamford Bridge is situated, Mears decided to create his own team to occupy the ground. In 1910, Norris started to combine his role at Fulham with the chairmanship of Arsenal. Fulham became the first British team to sell hot dogs at their ground in 1926. Fulham had several high-profile international players during the Twenties, including Len Oliver and Albert Barrett.
After finishing 5th, 7th and 9th (out of twenty-two teams) in their first three seasons in the Third Division South, Fulham won the division in the 1931–32 season. In doing so they beat Torquay United 10–2, won 24 out of 42 games and scored 111 goals, thus being promoted back to the Second Division. The next season they missed out on a second consecutive promotion, finishing 3rd behind Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City. A mixed bag of league performances followed, although the club also reached another FA Cup semi-final during the 1935–36 season. Fulham were also to draw with Austria in 1936 before Anschluss. On 8 October 1938 Craven Cottage saw its all-time highest attendance at a match against Millwall FC, with a crowd of 49,335 watching the game.
|1907–28||Football League Div. 2||(Level 2)|
|1928–32||Football League Div. 3S||(Level 3)|
|1932–49||Football League Div. 2||(Level 2)|
League and cup football were severely disrupted by the outbreak of World War II in 1939, with the Football League split into regional divisions temporarily, with a national Football League War Cup and a London War Cup up for grabs. Craven Cottage was used like many grounds for fitness and training of the army youth reserves. Post-war, a full league programme was only restored for 1946–47. In the third season of what is now considered the modern era of football, Fulham finished top of the Second Division, with a win-loss-draw record of 24–9–9 (identical to that which won them the Third Division South seventeen years previously). John Fox Watson made a pioneering transfer to Real Madrid in 1948, becoming one of the first players from the British Isles to sign for a high-profile side abroad.
1949–69: First Division Cottagers
Promotion to the top tier of English football saw the club perform poorly, finishing seventeenth in their first year and eighteenth in their second. In only their third season of First Division football, Fulham finished rock bottom of the 22-team league in the 1951–52 season, winning only eight of forty-two games. On 20 May 1951, Fulham played one of their first ever games in North America in an exhibition match against Celtic F.C. at Delorimier Stadium in Montreal in front of 29,000.
|1949–52||Football League Div. 1||(Level 1)|
|1952–59||Football League Div. 2||(Level 2)|
|1959–68||Football League Div. 1||(Level 1)|
|1968–69||Football League Div. 2||(Level 2)|
A few seasons of mediocrity in the Second Division followed, but then the club reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1958 and used this momentum to win promotion back to the First Division in the following season, having finished second to Sheffield Wednesday. Also joining Fulham in 1958 was Graham Leggat, who went on to score 134 goals in 277 appearances, (making him the club's fifth all-time top scorer). In the 1959–60 season they achieved tenth position in the First Division, which until finishing ninth in the 2003–04 season was their highest ever league position. This accompanied another appearance in the last four of the FA Cup in 1962. By this time the club were regularly playing in front of 30,000 plus crowds at Craven Cottage, despite struggling in the League.
The club experienced several close escapes from relegation, none more spectacular than in 1965–66, when the club rooted at the bottom went on an astounding run beating all the top sides with a few games to go. On the morning of 26 February 1966, Fulham had just fifteen points from twenty-nine matches. The last thirteen games saw Fulham win nine and draw two to reach safety. Eventually the club suffered relegation in the 1967–68 season having won just ten out of their forty-two games. However even that was not as catastrophic as the calamity of next season. Winning only seven in forty-two, the club were again relegated to the Third Division. (Note that this is not the same as the Third Division South, as the regional Third Divisions had been removed with the 1959 creation of the Fourth Division).
Possibly the single most influential character in Fulham's history is Johnny Haynes. 'Mr. Fulham' or 'The Maestro', as Haynes later came to be known, signed for The Cottagers as a schoolboy in 1950, making his first team debut on Boxing Day 1952 against Southampton at Craven Cottage. Haynes played for another eighteen years, notching up 657 appearances (along with many other club records too), his last appearance for Fulham coming on 17 January 1970. He is often considered as the greatest player in Fulham history, and never played for another team in Britain. He gained fifty-six caps for England (twenty-two as captain), with many being earned while playing for Fulham in the Second Division. Haynes was injured in a car accident in Blackpool in 1962, but by his own admissions never regained the fitness or form to play for England again, missing out on England's victory in the 1966 World Cup for which he would have stood a chance of being selected. The Stevenage Road Stand was renamed in his honour after his death in a car crash in 2005.
1970–94: Mixed fortunes outside the top flight
The aforementioned Third Division hiatus lasted only two seasons before the club was promoted back to the Second Division as runners-up in 1970–71. This spell also saw Fulham invited to the Anglo-Italian Cup, which saw the club draw four out of four games in 1972–73 season. This preceded a period of high-profile signings for the club under Alec Stock in the mid-70s, including Alan Mullery and Bobby Moore. Fulham reached their only FA Cup final in 1975, having won their first semi-final in five attempts. The club then lost to West Ham in the final. This gained the club qualification to another European tournament, the Anglo-Scottish Cup, where they made the final, losing to Middlesbrough.
|1969–71||Football League Div. 3||(Level 3)|
|1971–80||Football League Div. 2||(Level 2)|
|1980–82||Football League Div. 3||(Level 3)|
|1982–86||Football League Div. 2||(Level 2)|
|1986–94||Football League Div. 3/2||(Level 3)|
George Best played forty-seven times for the club in the 1976–77 season. Rodney Marsh, who having grown up with Fulham in the 1960s went on to play First Division football and play for England, rejoined the club in the same season, playing only sixteen games. This capped one of the most successful eras in Fulham history.
The club were relegated again after winning only eleven in forty-two in the 1979–80 season, which eventually resulted in Bobby Campbell's sacking in October 1980, to be replaced by Malcolm Macdonald. With a strong squad during his 1980–84 period in charge (with players such as Ray Houghton, Tony Gale, Paul Parker, Gerry Peyton and Ray Lewington), they won promotion again in 1981–82 back to the Second Division; although the promotion was overshadowed by the suicide of former defender Dave Clement a few weeks before promotion was sealed.
In 1980, Fulham founded the rugby league club that is now London Broncos designed to be an extra stream of income for the football club, but which made financial losses every year while linked to Fulham FC. Then called 'Fulham Rugby League', they played at Craven Cottage until moving away from the parent club in 1984.
In 1978 Fulham had signed Gordon 'Ivor' Davies who, during two spells at Fulham, became the club's leading goalscorer of all time: a total of 178 goals in all competitions. The record still stands. Fulham narrowly missed out on back-to-back promotions to the First Division, losing 1–0 to Derby away on the last day of the 1982–83 season – although the match was abandoned after eighty-eight minutes due to a pitch invasion and inexplicably never replayed or finished. The side which had shown so much promise was quickly sold off as the club were in debt, so it was little surprise when the club were relegated again to the Third Division in 1986. The club nearly went out of business in 1987 via an ill-advised merger attempt with QPR. It was only the intervention of ex-player Jimmy Hill that allowed the club to stay in business as a re-structured 'Fulham FC 1987 Ltd.' In 1987 the club took part in what was then the longest penalty deciders ever recorded – it needed twenty-eight spot kicks to sort out a winner between them and Aldershot following a Freight Rover Trophy match.
In 1992 the foundation of the Premier League, and the resignation of twenty-two clubs from the Football league, restored Fulham to that league's Second Division. However the club were relegated to the new Third Division after a poor 1993–94 season, following which Ian Branfoot was appointed as nteam manager.
1994–97: Fulham's lowest ebb
|1994–97||Football League Div. 3||(Level 4)|
After an eighth-place finish in Branfoot's first season in charge the club hit its lowest ever final league position in the 1995–96 season, finishing 17th out of 24. Branfoot was sacked as manager, but remained at the club in other capacities for a short while. In February 1996 Micky Adams became player-manager. Adams oversaw an upturn in form that lifted the side out of relegation danger. The next season he engineered a second-place league finish, missing out on first place because several years previously the league had dropped the old "goal difference" system in favour of a "goals scored" tally, meaning Fulham finished behind Wigan Athletic. Ironically, the club's then chairman Jimmy Hill, had argued that goals scored should decide places of teams tied on points, and the Football League clubs had voted the system in.
1997–2001: Al Fayed takeover
|1997–99||Football League Div. 2||(Level 3)|
|1999–2001||Football League Div. 1||(Level 2)|
|2001–14||Premier League||(Level 1)|
Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed bought the club for £6.25 million in summer 1997. The club was purchased via Bill Muddyman's Muddyman Group. Micky Adams was replaced by Al-Fayed in the aftermath of a mid-table start to the season. He installed a two-tier management "dream team" of Ray Wilkins as First Team Manager and Kevin Keegan as chief operating officer, pledging that the club would reach the Premier League within five years. After an argument over team selection, Wilkins left the club in May 1998 to hand over the full managerial duties to Keegan, who helped steer the club to promotion the next season, winning 101 points out of a possible 138, after spending £1.1 million to sign Paul Peschisolido from West Bromwich Albion who was top scorer and captained by Chris Coleman – then the most expensive footballer outside the top two divisions of the English league.
In 1999, Keegan left Fulham to become manager of the England team, and Paul Bracewell was put in charge. Bracewell was sacked in March 2000, as Fulham's promising early season form dwindled away to a mid-table finish. Frenchman Jean Tigana was put in charge and, having signed a number of young stars (including French striker Louis Saha), he guided Fulham to their third promotion in five seasons in the 2000–01 season, giving Fulham top-flight status for the first time since 1968. Fulham once again amassed 101 points out of a possible 138 in their scintillating title run, which was crowned with an open-top bus parade down Fulham Palace Road. They are the only team to have twice reached 100 points in a season. During the season Chris Coleman was involved in a car crash which put him out of action for well over a year and eventually ended his playing career after he failed to make a sufficient recovery. Fulham's run through the divisions saw a large turnover of players and the only player to play for the club in all four leagues was Sean Davis.
2001–07: Early Premier League years
Fulham returned to the top division of English football, and competed in the Premier League for the first time. The club finished the 2001–02 season in thirteenth place. Fulham were the only team to host top-flight football with some standing areas in the twenty-first century, but due to restrictions on standing this was not allowed to continue; clubs promoted from the second division had only three years to make their ground all-seater. Fulham were forced to groundshare with Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road during the 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons while Craven Cottage was rebuilt as an all-seated stadium. There were fears that Fulham would not return to the Cottage, after it was revealed that Al-Fayed had sold the first right to build on the ground to a property development firm.
In 2002–03, Fulham spent most of the season in the lower half of the table. Chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed told manager Jean Tigana that his contract would not be renewed at the end of the season. However, with five games left to play and relegation still possible, Tigana was sacked, and Chris Coleman was temporarily put in charge. Fulham won ten points from a possible fifteen and managed to avoid relegation. Coleman was appointed manager on a permanent basis in the summer of 2003; despite predictions that the inexperience of Coleman would result in Fulham's relegation, he kept the club well clear of relegation, guiding them to a club record ninth-place finish in his debut season. This might have been greater had the club not come under significant financial pressure to sell Louis Saha to Manchester United, for whom they received a club record £13 million.
Fulham lost a legal case against former manager Tigana in 2004 after Al-Fayed wrongly alleged that Tigana had overpaid more than £7 million for new players and had negotiated transfers in secret.
Coleman notched up another satisfactory performance in the 2004–05 season and guided Fulham to a secure thirteenth-place finish. The following season Fulham improved by one place, finishing twelfth – the high point of the season was a 1–0 win over local rivals and reigning champions Chelsea in the West London derby – Chelsea had only lost two games in two and a half years. The 2006–07 season proved to be Coleman's last as, on 10 April 2007, Fulham terminated his contract with immediate effect. His replacement was Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez. Fulham only gained four points from five games with Sanchez as caretaker manager. They ensured top-flight survival that season by defeating a weakened Liverpool side 1–0 in the penultimate match of the season, and Sanchez was appointed manager.
2008–10: Hodgson's transformation
Sanchez received strong financial backing from the board and made a number of signings during the summer break, but, after just two league wins in the first five months of the season and with Fulham in the relegation zone, Sanchez was dismissed on 21 December 2007 after a defeat by Newcastle United. Roy Hodgson was named as the new manager of Fulham on 28 December 2007, and took up his contractual duties on 30 December, just two days before the January transfer window opened.
Hodgson's tenure didn't start brilliantly and it took a month to secure his first win, against Aston Villa, courtesy of a Jimmy Bullard free-kick. Fulham continued to struggle and a 3–1 home defeat in April at the hands of fellow strugglers Sunderland left Hodgson on the verge of tears in the post-match press conference and many pundits writing off Fulham's survival chances. Despite the negative press, Hodgson continued to believe survival was attainable. The turning point of the season came in the third-to-last match, against Manchester City. Fulham trailed 2–0 at half-time and had the Premier League scores at that time become results, they would have been relegated. However, the introduction of Diomansy Kamara heralded the start of a fantastic comeback: Kamara struck twice as Fulham registered an amazing 3–2 victory. Fulham then won a crucial match against fellow strugglers Birmingham City at Craven Cottage, leaving survival in the club's own hands. Barring a goal-rush from fellow strugglers Reading, a win against a Portsmouth side looking ahead to their fourth FA Cup final would guarantee survival.
With fifteen minutes to play at Portsmouth, Fulham were drawing, and with Birmingham City and Reading leading comfortably against Blackburn Rovers and Derby County respectively, they looked likely to be relegated. However, Fulham earned a free-kick with seventy-six minutes played; Jimmy Bullard's delivery found Danny Murphy, who headed home the decisive goal, sparking manic celebrations from the travelling fans. Hodgson had ensured survival against all odds, breaking several club records in the process and cementing his place in Fulham folklore. Fulham narrowly missed out on a UEFA Cup place via Fairplay by a dubious 0.8 of a point behind Manchester City, who lost 8–1 at Middlesbrough.
In the 2008–09 season, Fulham finished seventh, their highest-ever league placing, earning qualification for the inaugural UEFA Europa League, the second time that the club had entered a UEFA competition.
2009–10 was arguably the most successful season in the club's history. They were eliminated from the FA Cup in the quarter-finals for the second year running, and finished twelfth in the Premier League, despite fielding weakened teams in the last few matches. In the inaugural UEFA Europa League, however, Fulham reached the final, meeting Spanish club Atlético Madrid, who had dropped down from the Champions League, at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg. In their first European cup final the Cottagers were beaten 2–1 after extra time, having drawn 1–1 after full-time. The achievement of taking Fulham so unexpectedly far, beating famous teams like Hamburg, Juventus, holders Shakhtar Donetsk, and Basel in the competition led to Roy Hodgson being voted the LMA Manager of the Year by the widest margin in the history of the award. The home match in the round of 16 was arguably Fulham's greatest result in the history of the club. Despite losing 3–1 in the first leg at Italian giants Juventus and falling behind minutes into the second leg at Craven Cottage, Fulham scored four goals with no reply from Juventus.
At the end of the season, Hodgson left Fulham to manage Liverpool.
2010–13: Established in the Premier League
On 29 July 2010, Mark Hughes was named the successor to Roy Hodgson, signing a two-year contract with the club. Hughes had previously managed Manchester City, Wales and Blackburn Rovers. Hughes' first match in charge was against Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium. The highlight of the season was a 4–0 win in the FA Cup over London rivals Tottenham Hotspur, all goals coming in the first half. Hughes resigned as manager of Fulham on 2 June 2011, having spent fewer than eleven months at the club. The Whites had an encouraging finish in 8th position and qualified for the Europa League via Fairplay.
On 7 June 2011, Martin Jol signed a two-year contract with Fulham, becoming successor to Hughes. Jol's first match was a 3–0 UEFA Europa League win against NSÍ Runavík of the Faroe Islands on 30 June. Fulham then navigated their way with some ease to the Group stage in the Europa League through late summer. However, the Cottagers were knocked out with the last seconds of the Group stage matches, Odense equalising to make a draw, leaving Fulham in third place, with Wisla Krakow instead going through.
Fulham's Premier League form in the 2011–12 season was mixed, with the continuing away-record hangover of previous seasons dragging on. In October 2011, Fulham had an emphatic 6–0 home win over neighbours QPR, with Andy Johnson scoring a hat-trick for Fulham in the match. The January 2012 transfer window saw Bobby Zamora move over the Hammersmith flyover to Loftus Road, with Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak coming in place.
The New Year saw two further hat-tricks scored by Clint Dempsey. On 11 February 2012, Progrebnyak scored on his debut in the 2–1 win over Stoke City. In March 2012, a 5–0 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers saw a hat-trick from Pogrebnyak. The Cottagers broke their historic drought on Merseyside with a 1–0 win at Anfield on May Day and another win against Sunderland in the last home game meant Fulham were only one point short of equalling their largest points haul in the Premier League, with just one game remaining. However, they failed to achieve this after losing their last game away at Tottenham Hotspur.
In the 2012–13 season, Fulham ended a seven-match winless run by beating Swansea City 3–0 away at the Liberty Stadium on the final game of the season on 19 May 2013. Fulham finished the season in 12th place.
2013–present: New ownership and relegation
|2014–||Football League Championship||(Level 2)|
Shahid Khan took over as chairman in July 2013, but after a poor start to the 2013–14 season, having only amassed 10 points from 13 games, Martin Jol was sacked as manager on 1 December 2013, with Rene Meulensteen taking charge as Head Coach. On the "deadline day" of the January transfer window, Fulham reportedly broke their transfer record to purchase Greek international Kostantinos Mitroglou for £12.5 million. Meulensteen was replaced by Felix Magath after just 17 games in charge, but fortunes didn't improve, and Fulham were eventually relegated to the Championship after a 4–1 defeat away to Stoke City on 3 May. Post-season, the media criticised chairman Shahid Khan's decision to sack Meulensteen and appoint the third manager of the season in Felix Magath, with Sky Sports's Jamie Redknapp going as far to say "what did Fulham expect?". The Telegraph stated that the club was 'no longer well run' as it had been under Al Fayed. Felix Magath retained his job as manager despite being linked with a move to Southampton.
Fulham broke the Championship transfer record that summer in a restructuring of the squad by Magath, purchasing, amongst others, Ross McCormack for a reported £11 million. However, after an alarming start to the new season, amassing just one point in seven games, Magath was sacked in September 2014, with Kit Symons appointed as Caretaker Manager. Former captains Brede Hangeland and Danny Murphy slated Magath, claiming that Magath ignored doctors and instructed Hangeland to place a block of cheese on his thigh to make him fit for the next match. Murphy suggested that this was 'ridiculous', before Magath later admitted that he did suggest cheese as a remedy. Fulham eventually finished the season in 17th place.
Fulham made their second squad overhaul in as many years, adding 12 new players to the First Team squad, but were forced to sell several key players, such as Bryan Ruiz, Hugo Rodallega, and Patrick Roberts. Fulham suffered an inconsistent start to the season, with results such as a 4–0 against local rivals Queens Park Rangers countered by results like a 0–3 home loss to Wolverhampton Wanderers. After a 2–5 loss at home to Birmingham City, and lying in 12th place, Kit Symons was sacked as Fulham manager in November 2015.
|chief executive officer:||Alistair Mackintosh|
|Finance Director:||Sean O'Loughlin|
|non-executive director:||Mark Lamping|
During his ownership of Fulham, Al-Fayed had provided Fulham F.C. with £187 million in interest free loans. In March 2011 Fulham posted annual losses of £16.9 million, Al-Fayed stated that he would continue to make "funds available to achieve our goals both on and off the pitch" and that the "continued success of Fulham and its eventual financial self-sustainability is my priority.". As of January 2013 Fulham were effectively debt free as Al-Fayed converted the loans into equity in the club.
Kit manufacturers and shirt sponsors
Note: Flags indicate national team as defined under FIFA eligibility rules. Players may hold more than one non-FIFA nationality.
Out on loan
Out on loan
Main article: Fulham Academy
Fulham in Europe
Fulham are a member of the European Club Association having qualified three times for European Competition, qualifying for the Intertoto Cup after their inaugural season in the Premier League, and the Europa League twice, they played in the inaugural edition of the competition after their club-best seventh-place finish in the 2008–09 Premier League season, and qualified again for the 2011–12 Europa League via England's Fair Play berth. Fulham are unbeaten at home in European competition, in twenty-three games, with a record of seventeen wins and six draws.
On 18 February 2010, Fulham's home unbeaten run in European competition stretched to thirteen games when they beat UEFA Cup holders Shakhtar Donetsk of Ukraine 2–1 at Craven Cottage in the Europa League Round of 32 first leg, with goals from Zoltan Gera and Bobby Zamora. In Fulham's 46 games in all European competitions, (excluding the 2010 UEFA Europa League Final lost in extra-time) they have only lost seven of them (all away): 2–1 to Hertha, 1–0 to Amkar Perm, 2–1 to AS Roma, 3–1 to Juventus, 1–0 to Dnipro, 1–0 to FC Twente and 1–0 to Wisla Krakow
After defeating the twenty-time Italian champions Juventus on 18 March, Fulham advanced to the quarterfinals against reigning German champions Wolfsburg. On 1 April, Fulham defeated Wolfsburg 2–1 in the first leg of the two-legged home-and-away series. Zamora and Damien Duff scored within five minutes of each other in the second half, while Wolfsburg defender Alexander Madlung scored two minutes from time to cut the deficit in half. One week later at Wolfsburg, Zamora struck again, this time in the first minute to give Fulham an overall 3–1 lead in the series. Wolfsburg were unable to overturn the two goal deficit, and Fulham advanced to the semi-finals of the Europa League. On 22 April, following a long coach trip due to flights being grounded because of the Icelandic volcano, Fulham attained a 0–0 draw against Hamburger SV in the first leg of their Europa League Semi-final in Hamburg. On 29 April, they beat Hamburg 2–1 at Craven Cottage to secure a place in the final.
On 12 May, Fulham lost 2–1 after extra time to Atlético Madrid in the UEFA Europa League Final. Fulham went 1–0 down, though it ended 1–1 after ninety minutes thanks to a Davies equaliser to force extra time. Diego Forlán scored the winner on the 116th minute to clinch the game for the Spanish team.
Fulham qualified for the 2011–12 UEFA Europa League by virtue of the Fair Play league. They started their campaign in the first qualifying round, beating NSÍ Runavík, followed by a win over Crusaders in the Second qualifying round. A 3–1 aggregate win over Dnipro Dnipropetrovsk saw them into the group stages where they were drawn against FC Twente, Odense BK and Wisła Kraków in group K. They were knocked out of the tournament, when Odense BK equalised for a 2–2 draw in the very last second of the final group game, leaving Fulham stranded in third, with Kraków going through along with Twente in first.
Main article: West London derby
Fulham fans consider their main rivals to be Chelsea. Despite this fixture not being played that often in the years preceding Fulham's ascent to the top division, this is a clear local derby as Chelsea's ground, Stamford Bridge, is actually within Fulham. However, it is only recently that the two teams have been competing in the same league.
Fulham consider their secondary rivalries to be QPR. Fulham last played QPR in the 2000–01 season before meeting them again twice in the 2011–12 Premier League season in which Fulham were the victors with a 6–0 victory at Craven cottage, and beating them 1–0 away from home at Loftus Road. Fulham also have small rivalries with other London clubs, including Brentford and Crystal Palace.
Outside of London, Gillingham are still considered rivals to Fulham hardcore despite the two clubs having played in different divisions for the past eleven years. Fulham and Gillingham have been involved in several ill-tempered matches in the lower leagues, including the death of a Fulham supporter outside a game between the two clubs in Kent, in the 1990s.
Fulham's fan base has fluctuated over the years with high crowds coinciding with the club's success in the Premier League so that the club now averages in the top twenty best home attendances in the country. Fulham supporters have played a vital role in the clubs long term stay at Craven Cottage. When the club moved temporarily to Loftus Road a committee known as 'Back to the Cottage' was formed, committed to ensuring the club continued to play at their spiritual home.
Fulham fans have traditionally come from areas in South-West London such as: Putney,Sutton and Worcester Park. The club is unique as in no London postcode are they the most supported club. This is most likely due to the fact that they are one of three clubs in the Hammersmith and Fulham borough.
Fulham's more hardcore fans are known to congregate at the back of the Hammersmith end, the traditional home end of Fulham fans, in blocks H4, H5 and H6. Another area of the ground where Fulham fans who sing congregate is H-Block of the Johnny Haynes stand. Fulham has a selection of celebrity supporters such as Hugh Grant, Keith Allen, Example, Tony Curtis, Daniel Radcliffe, Richard Osman and John O'Farrell.
On 3 July 2012, the club website asked supporters using Facebook and Twitter, to pick their best FFC Premier League XI from 2001 – present. The supporters picked their favourite Goalkeeper, Full-backs, Centre-backs, Wingers, Centre Midfielders and Forwards, to create a classic 4–4–2 formation.
The results were announced 9 July.
Fulham have so far had 36 managers at the club in 114 years. Prior to the appointment of the first manager at the club (Bradshaw in 1904), duties normally assigned to a modern day manager would have been shared between club secretary, captain and other officials.
Temporary managers at the club have included:
Between the years 1879 and when Fulham had a ground to call their own in 1896, they played at a number of stadiums, only some of which were recorded and this should not be regarded as a full or complete list. Only rivals and former landlords QPR have played at more home stadiums. Some of the early grounds listed below are likely to have been park/parkland which has now been developed on. Even when the club purchased Craven Cottage and the surrounding land in 1894, they had to wait two years before they could play a game there.
Club mascot controversy
The Fulham mascot is Billy the Badger who was the winning design sent in by Kyle Jackson after an online competition by the club. Billy the Badger wears the number 79 Fulham shirt, in reference to the club's year of founding (1879). Controversy first surrounded Billy when he tried to cheer up Chelsea manager Avram Grant during a home match in front of the television cameras. Secondly, Billy was seen on television being sent off during the home game against Aston Villa on Sunday 3 February 2008, for break-dancing in the corner of the pitch after the referee had commenced the game. Billy blamed his badger hearing and eyesight for the incident, and apologised to referee Chris Foy. On 11 March 2009, Billy walked across the goal during a match although it was not spotted by the referee. The former mascot for Fulham was Sir Craven of Cottage, the Knight. The cheerleaders were known as the Cravenettes.
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