Sunday, October 14, 2012

Fulham Football Club,,

Fulham Football Club  is a professional football club based in Fulham, London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham, southwest London. Founded in 1879, they play in the English Premier League, and are currently in their 11th consecutive season in the division. They are the oldest established football team from London playing in the Premier League. Sony VAIO PCG-3B1M Battery

The club has spent twenty-four 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 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. Sony VAIO PCG-3C1T Battery

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.[3] Sony VAIO PCG-3D1M Battery

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. Sony VAIO PCG-3G2M Battery

Fulham were formed in 1879 as Fulham St Andrew's Church Sunday School F.C.,[4] 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. Sony VAIO PCG-5R1M Battery

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.[5] One of the club's first ever kits was half red, half white shirts with white shorts worn in the 1886–7 season. Sony VAIO PCG-7141M Battery

Fulham started playing at their current ground Craven Cottage in 1896, their first game against now defunct rivalsMinerva F.C.. Fulham are the oldest established club in southern England currently playing professional football, though there are many non-league sides like Cray Wanderers which are several decades older. Sony VAIO PCG-7143M Battery

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. Sony VAIO PCG-7151M Battery

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. Sony VAIO PCG-7154M Battery

The club won the Southern League twice, in 1905–06 and 1906–07.

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. Sony VAIO PCG-7162M Battery

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. Sony VAIO PCG-7181M Battery

This is still a record loss for an FA Cup semi-final game.[9] 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 1927–28when the club were relegated to the 3rd Division South, created in 1920. Sony VAIO PCG-41112M Battery

'Heggy' 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. Sony VAIO PCG-7153M Battery

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. Sony VAIO PCG-71312M Battery

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.[11] Fulham had several high-profile international players during the Twenties, including Len Oliver and Albert Barrett. Sony VAIO PCG-7144M Battery

After finishing 5th, seventh and ninth (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. Sony VAIO PCG-7191L Battery

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. Sony VAIO PCG-3C1M Battery

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.

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. Sony VAIO PCG-3F1M Battery

Craven Cottage was used like many grounds for fitness and training of the army youth reserves.[14] 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 Sony VAIO PCG-3H1M Battery

(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, leading the way for British players like John Charles, Jimmy Greaves and Denis Law in the following decades. Sony VAIO PCG-3J1M Battery

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, Sony VAIO PCG-8141M Battery

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.[15][16]

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 toSheffield Wednesday. Sony VAIO PCG-8161M Battery

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. Sony VAIO PCG-3C2M Battery

By this time the club were regularly playing in front of 30,000 plus crowds at Craven Cottage,[17] 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. Sony VAIO PCG-5N2M Battery

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. Sony VAIO PCG-5P1M Battery

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).

It is impossible to talk about Fulham's history without mentioning probably the single most influential character in Fulham's history: Johnny Haynes. Sony VAIO PCG-5S1M Battery

'Mr. Fulham' or 'The Maestro' as he later came to be known signed for The Cottagers as a schoolboy in 1950, making his first team debut on Boxing Day 1952 againstSouthampton 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. Sony VAIO PCG-9Z1M Battery

He is often considered as the greatest player in Fulham history,[20] and never played for another team in Britain.He gained fifty-two caps for England (twenty-two as captain),[22] 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, Sony VAIO PCG-7171M Battery

missing out on England's victory in the 1966 World Cup for which he would have stood a chance of being selected.[23] The Stevenage Road Stand was renamed in his honour after his death in a car crash in 2005.

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. Sony VAIO PCG-7186M Battery

This spell also saw Fulham invited to the Anglo-Italian Cup, which saw the club draw four out of four games in two appearances in tournament between 1972 and 1974. Thus started of a period of high-profile signings for the club under Alec Stock in the mid-70s, including Alan Mullery and Bobby Moore. Sony VAIO PCG-81112M Battery

The reward of this was their only ever 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.Sony VAIO PCG-31311M Battery

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. Sony VAIO PCG-8152M Battery

The hangover from this meant the club were relegated again after winning only eleven in forty-two in the 1979–80 season, which saw Bobby Campbell's sacking 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), Sony VAIO PCG-31111M Battery

they won promotion again in 1981–82 back to the Second Division; although the promotion was overshadowed by the suicide of defender Dave Clement a few weeks before promotion was sealed.

In 1980, Fulham founded the rugby league club that is now Harlequins Rugby League designed to be an extra stream of income for the football club. Sony VAIO PCG-61111M Battery

Then called 'Fulham Rugby League', they played at Craven Cottage until moving away from the parent club in 1984.

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. Sony VAIO PCG-51112M Battery

The side which had shown so much promise was gradually sold off and broken up as the club had debts to pay off, 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 and the same year saw the break-down of an ill-advised merger attempt with QPR. Sony VAIO PCG-51211M Battery

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 one of the longest penalty shoot-outs recorded – it needed twenty-eight spot kicks to sort out a winner between them and Aldershot following a Freight Rover Trophy match. Sony VAIO PCG-51212M Battery

In 1992 the foundation of the Premier League saw Fulham's division of the time, the Third Division, renamed the Second Division. However the club were relegated from that to the new Third Division after a poor 1993–94 season, seeing the club in the basement of the Football League, with Ian Branfoot appointed as new manager. Sony VAIO PCG-41111M Battery

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.[24][25] 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. Sony VAIO PCG-41111V Battery

Adams oversaw an upturn in form that lifted the side out of relegation danger. The next season he engineered a second-place league finish – only missing out on first place due to the league dropping the old "goal difference" system in favour of a "goals scored" tally, which would have placed Fulham above winners Wigan Athletic. Sony VAIO PCG-61412V Battery

Ironically, the club's then Chairman Jimmy Hill, had successfully argued that goals scored should decide places of teams tied on points while sitting on an FA panel.

Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al-Fayed bought the freehold of the club for £6.25 million in summer 1997.[26] The club was purchased via Bill Muddyman's Muddyman Group. Sony VAIO PCG-71112M Battery

Micky Adams was fired by Al-Fayed in the aftermath of a poor start. He installed a two-tier management "dream team" of Ray Wilkins as First Team Manager and Kevin Keegan as Chief Operating Officer,[27] pledging that the club would reach the Premier League within five years. After an argument over team selection, Sony VAIO PCG-81111V Battery

Wilkins left the club in May 1998 to hand over the full managerial duties to Keegan, who steered 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. Sony VAIO PCG-81111V Battery

Keegan then left 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), Sony VAIO PCG-81212M Battery

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. Sony VAIO PCG-81212V Battery

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 (or indeed any club) in all four leagues was Sean Davis. Sony VAIO PCG-51111M Battery

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. Sony VAIO VPCS13X9E/B battery

Fulham were forced to groundshare with Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road during the 2002–03 and 2003–04 seasons while Craven Cottage was being 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. Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B battery

In 2002–03 Fulham spent most of the season near the bottom of the table. Chairman Mohamed Al-Fayed told manager Jean Tiganathat 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. Sony VAIO VPCS12V9E/B battery

Fulham won ten points from a possible fifteen and managed to avoid relegation. Coleman was given the manager's job 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. Sony VAIO VPCF13M8E/B battery

This might have been greater had the club not come under significant financial pressure to sell Louis Saha to Manchester United, for which 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. Sony VAIO VPCF13Z0E/B battery

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. Sony VAIO VPCM13M1E/L battery

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 managerLawrie Sanchez. Fulham ensured top-flight survival that season by defeating a weakened Liverpool side 1–0 in the penultimate match of the season. Sony VAIO VPCM13M1E/W battery

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. Roy Hodgson was named as the new manager of Fulham on 28 December 2007, Sony VAIO VPCF22M1E battery

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 aJimmy Bullard free-kick. Sony VAIO VPCF11M1E/H battery

Fulham continued to struggle and a 3–1 home defeat in April at the hands of fellow strugglersSunderland left Hodgson on the verge of tears in the post-match press conference and many pundits writing off Fulham's survival chances.[34] Despite the negative press, Hodgson continued to believe survival was attainable. Sony VAIO VPCF13M0E/B battery

The turning point of the season came in the third-to-last match, against Manchester City. Fulham trailed 2–0 at half-time and, due to results in other fixtures, were mathematically relegated. However, the introduction of the much maligned Diomansy Kamara heralded the start of a fantastic comeback: Kamara struck twice as Fulham registered an amazing 3–2 victory. Sony VAIO VPCYB2M1E battery

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. Sony VAIO VPCYB3V1E battery

With fifteen minutes to play at Portsmouth, Fulham were again mathematically relegated with Birmingham City and Reading leading comfortably against Blackburn Rovers and Derby County respectively. 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. Sony VAIO VPCY11M1E battery

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. Sony VAIO VPCS12L9E/B battery

In the 2008–09 season, Fulham finished seventh, their highest-ever league placing, earning qualification for the inauguralUEFA 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. Sony VAIO VPCF11S1E/B battery

They were eliminated from the FA Cup in the quarter-finals for the second year running, and finished twelfth in the Premier League.[35] In the inaugural UEFA Europa League, however, Fulham reached the final, meeting Spanish club Atlético Madrid at the Volksparkstadion in Hamburg, Germany. In their first European cup final the Cottagers were beaten 2–1 in extra time, having drawn 1–1 after full-time. Sony VAIO VPCYB3V1E/R Battery

The achievement of taking Fulham so unexpectedly far, beating famous teams like Hamburg, Juventus, 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.[36]The home match in the round of 16 was arguably Fulham's greatest result in the history of the club. Sony VAIO VPCF23P1E Battery

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.[37]

On 29 July 2010, Mark Hughes was named the successor to Roy Hodgson, signing a two-year contract. Sony VAIO VPCF23N1E Battery

Hughes had previously managed Manchester City, Wales andBlackburn Rovers.[38] 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 less than eleven months at the club. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/L Battery

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 the successor of Hughes. Jol's first match was a 3–0 UEFA Europa League win againstNSÍ Runavík of the Faroe Islands on 30 June. Sony VAIO VPCY21S1E/G battery

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 agonisingly with the last seconds of the Group Stage matches, Odense equalising to make a draw, meaning points-wise Fulham were stranded in third place, with Wisla Krakow instead somewhat unexpectedly going through. Sony VAIO VPCF24M1E battery

Fulham's Premiership form has been mixed bag, with the continuing away-record hangover of previous seasons dragging on. A 6–0 home win over neighbours QPR in October bought fans jubliance, as well as Fulham's first hatrick in the Premier League, scored by Andy Johnson. Sony VAIO VGN-NW21EF/S Battery

The January transfer window saw Zamora move over the Hammersmith flyover to Loftus Road with high-profile Russian striker Pavel Pogrebnyak coming in place. The New Year saw two further hatricks scored by Clint Dempsey, bringing his tally currently to 16 in all competitions, though Fulham were knocked out of the 4th Round of the FA Cup 2–1 by Everton. Sony VAIO VGN-NW21JF Battery

Progrebnyak scored on his debut in the 2–1 win over Stoke City on 11 Feb 2012. Highlight of the season so far would be doing the double over QPR after beating them 1–0 at Loftus Road after Pavel Pogrebnyak scored his 2nd goal in as many games. A 5–0 win against Wolverhampton Wanderers a week later saw a hat-trick from Pogrebnyak bringing his total to 5 goals from 3 games becoming the only Fulham player to score on his first three games in the Premier League. Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF Battery

The Cottagers broke their historic drought on Merseyside with a 0–1 win atAnfield on Mayday 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 Premiership, with just one game remaining. However, they failed to achieve this after losing their last game away at Tottenham Hotspur. Sony VAIO VGN-NW21MF/W Battery

Fulham F.C. is owned by Mafco Holdings, based in Bermuda. Mafco Holdings is owned by Mohamed Al-Fayed and his family. By 2011, Al-Fayed had loaned Fulham F.C. £187 million in interest free loans.[41] 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." Sony VAIO VGN-NW21ZF Battery

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, Sony VAIO VGN-NW31EF/W Battery

and qualified again for the 2011–12 Europa League via England's Fair Play berth. Fulham have never lost at home in European competition, with a record of fourteen wins and four 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 Sony VAIO VGN-NW31JF Battery

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 (after two controversial sending-offs), 3–1 to Juventus, 1–0 to Dnipro, 1–0 to FC Twente and 1–0 to Wisla Krakow. Sony VAIO VGN-NW320F/B Battery

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