Fulham FC Profile

Major Honours Second Division/Championship (2), Second Division/Championship play-offs (2), Third Division/League One (2)
Year Founded 1879

After another promotion from the Championship in 2021/22, Fulham find themselves back in the Premier League, hoping to cement their place in the top flight.

Fulham are an English Premier League football club. Based on the Thames in South West London, their home is Craven Cottage which has a capacity of 19,359.

Fulham have had a long and lustrous history as one of the oldest English football clubs, founded in 1879. They have spent seasons in the English Third Division, and more recently playing soccer either in the Championship or Premier League.

Fulham endured a terrific Europa League campaign under Roy Hodgson in 2010, which earned the coach LMA Manager of the Year. Since then, the Cottagers have been unable to replicate similar success.

Under new command of Marco Silva, Fulham climbed out of the Championship and will play in the Premier League in the 2022/23 season.

Fulham early history

The club was formed as Fulham St Andrew's Church Sunday School F.C. in 1879. Eight years later, in 1887, they won the West London Amateur Cup.

Fulham adopted its current name in December 1888 and won the West London League at the first time of asking in 1893.

In 1896, Fulham started playing their home games at Craven Cottage, the historic stadium which they still call their home ground today.

After winning the Southern League in 1905/06 and 1906/07, the Cottagers joined the Football League.

Their first season in the Second Division was in the 1907/08 season, which they nearly won promotion in - ultimately finishing in fourth place. They also went on an impressive FA Cup run that campaign, which included an 8-3 win over Luton Town, en route to the semi-finals. However, in the last four, they were beaten by a resounding scoreline of 6-0 by Newcastle United.

The Cottagers won the London Challenge Cup in the 1909/10 season, but they had minimal success over the course of the next two decades.

Interestingly, in 1911, Fulham fielded Egyptian player Hussein Hegazi, one of the first non-British players to take part in a Football League match. Hegazi marked the match with a goal, but later dropped down to non-League football.

Fulham chairman Henry Norris rejected an offer from businessman Gus Mears to move Fulham to the ground which would go on to become Stamford Bridge. This, in turn, led to the formation of Chelsea, who would go on to become one of Fulham's fiercest local rivals.

An interesting tidbit, In 1926, Fulham had the unusual distinction of being the first club in Britain to sell hot dogs at their ground. The 1920s also saw the likes of Len Oliver and Albert Barrett grace the Craven Cottage pitch while wearing the colours of the club.

Fulham were relegated down to the Third Division South in the 1927/28 season, but didn't spend long there. The 1931/32 season saw them win the division with a whopping 111 goals to return to the Second Division. The following year, they came close to securing a second successive promotion. However, they ultimately finished third behind Tottenham Hotspur and Stoke City.

In 1935/36, Fulham reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup. However, the Cottagers were unable to go the distance as London rivals Arsenal lifted the trophy.

On October 8, 1938, 49,335 people turned up to Craven Cottage to watch Fulham play against another set of London rivals, Millwall. This to date remains an attendance record at Craven Cottage, which these days has a far lower capacity of 19,359.

After the resumption of football following the end of the Second World War, the 1946/47 season saw Fulham finish top of the Second Division. John Fox Watson moved to Real Madrid in 1948 in what was a rare move abroad to a top club for a British player.

Establishment as top-flight presence

Fulham lasted only three seasons in the top tier before they were relegated again. The two prior to relegation were spent desperately clinging on to survival, finishing 17th in the first season and 18th in the second before finishing dead last in the third.

Fulham took the team on tour on May 20, 1951, as they played one of their first ever games in North America, taking on Celtic in an exhibition match at Delormier Stadium in Montreal, Canada with 29,000 spectators in attendance.

Johnny Haynes signed for Fulham in 1952 and went on to become one of the club's most iconic players ever, if not their most iconic of all. The inside forward spent 18 years as a player at the Cottagers, and as such was nicknamed "Mr Fulham".

In 1957/58, Fulham reached the semi-finals of the FA Cup. However, they were beaten in a replay by Manchester United, who had only recently faced the traumatic experience of the Munich Air Disaster.

The following season, Fulham once again won promotion to the top flight. The Cottagers subsequently survived in the top flight until 1968, finishing as high as 10th in the league in the 1959/60 season.

Towards the end of that stint in the First Division, the signs were beginning to show that the team were going to fall.

Bouncing around the divisions

In February 1966 during the 1965/66 season, there was a point where they sat last in the table with 15 points from 29 games. They then managed a remarkable run to the end of the season, picking up nine wins and two draws from the remaining 13 games to ensure survival.

It was the 1967/68 season that saw them finally succumb to the top flight, being relegated after winning only 10 games from 42 played. The slide didn't stop there, though.

The following season in the Second Division was even worse than their last in the First, winning only seven in 42 games this time to get relegated back down to the Third Division.

The spell in the Third Division only lasted two seasons before Fulham hoisted themselves back up to the Second Division with a second place finish in the 1970/71 campaign.

This achievement saw them receive an invite to the Anglo-Italian Cup, a former competition between English and Italian soccer clubs. Fulham's one appearance in the competition saw them draw each of the four games that they played in.

In the mid-70s, with Alec Stock as their manager, Fulham secured a number of high-profile signings, including the return of club legend, Alan Mullery, and captain of the England World Cup winning team, Bobby Moore.

On their fifth attempt, Fulham finally won an FA Cup semi-final in 1975, reaching their first Wembley final. While the final ended in a 2-0 loss to West Ham United, the achievement of finally making it there was a win in itself.

And with that achievement, they also gained qualification for another European competition, the Anglo-Scottish Cup, which unfortunately also resulted in a final loss to Middlesborough.

The legendary George Best arrived for the 1976/77 season, making 47 appearances for the Cottagers. Rodney Marsh also rejoined the team on loan for 16 games that season, returning for the first time since he left in 1966 after a four year stint having come up through Fulham's youth side.

In 1978, they signed Gordon "Ivor" Davies, who would go on to become the teams top goalscorer of all time, netting 178 goals in all competitions, a record that still stands today.

He was part of the team that first got relegated from the Second Division once more in the 1979/80 season, but was also part of a strong Malcolm McDonald-led side between 1980-1984.

They gained promotion back to the Second Division in the 1981/82 season and almost achieved back-to-back promotions the following season, though a loss on the final day of the 1982/83 season to Derby County stopped the hopes of rejoining the First Division.

What could have been a glorious new period for the Cottagers ended in 1986, as the club was quickly sold off due to the club being in debt.

This led to an unsurprising relegation one again to the Third Division, and almost led to the club going out of business in 1987 because of an ill-advised merger attempt with Queens Park Rangers. Thankfully, ex-player Jimmy Hill stepped in to stop that from happening.

When the Premier League was formed in 1992, Fulham were restored to the Second Division as 22 clubs from the Football League resigned after the formation.

Though the Third Division seemed to be where they belonged still for the time, as they were relegated back down in the 1993/94 season.

Revival and present era

After gaining promotion from League Two in 1997, Egyptian businessman Mohamed Al Fayed bought Fulham after their recent promotion to League One and instantly changed the club.

Fulham enjoyed a remarkable rise up the ranks of English football. Promotion to the the second tier under Kevin Keegan before reaching the top flight by 2001, with Jean Tigana the manager who secured their promotion.

Fulham's players celebrate promotion into the Premier League after a draw with Sheffield Wednesday ensure them as Division Champions as Mohamed Al Fayed thanks Jean Tigana.

The Cottagers stabilised in the top flight under Tigana and then Chris Coleman. However, Lawrie Sanchez had a poor spell at the helm in 2007 and Fulham were in the relegation zone when Roy Hodgson took over midway through the 2007/08 season.

The experienced former Inter Milan manager led the Cottagers to safety during that Premier League campaign. The following season, Fulham finished seventh and earned qualification for the UEFA Europa League.

In 2009/10, Hodgson's side embarked on an incredible Europa League run. They made it all the way to the final, beating Juventus along the way. In the final, they were beaten 2-1 by Atletico Madrid after extra time. Following the end of the campaign, Hodgson left for Liverpool and that ultimately proved to be the end of Fulham's Premier League glory years.

In 2013, Shahid Khan took over as chairman. The 2013/14 season was his first overseeing the club and he sacked manager Martin Jol after a poor start. Rene Meulensteen took over, but failed to immediately improve Fulham and paid with his job. Felix Magath subsequently took charge and his disastrous stint in charge saw the club relegated to the Championship.

Fulham returned to the Premier League in 2018, but were immediately relegated. Scott Parker, an iconic former Cottagers midfielder, led them back up in 2020, but once again, they were relegated straightaway in the 2020/21 season.

Fulham won just five games out of 38. Scott Parker's sacking would follow and to be replaced by Marco Silva for the 2021/22 campaign.

After one season in the Championship Silva, and the 43 goals of Aleksandar Mitrovic, guided Fulham back to the Premier League for the 2022/23 season.

Johnny 'Mr. Fulham' Haynes

Johnny Haynes is seen as one of the most influential players that has ever played for Fulham. Haynes signed for the Cottagers in 1950 and from then he has been known as Fulham's best ever player.

The forward made his debut for the club against Southampton during the 1951/52 season, as Fulham were relegated from the English First Division. From then on, history would be made.

Johnny Haynes, Fulham FC

During Hayne's period with the club, between 1950 to 1970, Fulham dipped in and out of the First and Second Division, and despite interest from bigger clubs he remained loyal to Fulham.

The forward played 658 games for Fulham, a club record, as well as scoring 158 goals which was the goalscoring record until 1989.

He dedicated his career to Fulham, and the closest he came to silverware was during two defeats in two FA Cup Semi-Finals in 1958 and 1962. He earned the club promotion back to the top flight in 1959 where they would remain until relegation in 1968.

Haynes was idolised by Fulham supporters and as well as making an impact for club, he made an impact on the English National side, making 56 appearances, captaining them 22 times.

In 1962, Haynes endured broken bones in both feet as well as injuring his knee during a car crash. Haynes recovered but since the accident he was never the same player.

However, despite not being picked for the 1966 England squad, Haynes continued to perform for Fulham, and after their relegation from the top flight in 68' and relegation to the Third Division the season after, Haynes retired as a English soccer legend in 1970.

The statue of Johnny Haynes outside Craven Cottage, London.

After his death in 2005, the original Stevenage Road Stand was renamed to the Johnny Haynes stand in remembrance of his commitment to the football club.

Fulham's biggest rivals

Fulham have rivalries with Chelsea and Queens Park Rangers who are both close London sides.

Fulham and Chelsea are only separated by 1.8miles, and in more recent times, have faced each other every other season in the Premier League to see who will take home the local derby crown.

As well as Chelsea, QPR are only 4.2miles from Craven Cottage but have not faced them as much as Chelsea. Their most recent win over the Rs was a 6-0 win during the 2011/12 season.

Fulham's fanbase

Fulham fans traditionally come from the Fulham and Hammersmith area, as well as other areas in South West London.

They have been known as loyal and passionate fans, being a part of the top 20 average attendances in the country.

During Fulham's time ground sharing with QPR, a fan committee called Back to the Cottage was created, playing a huge role in the clubs return to their home ground.

Fulham's finances

Shahid Khan, who first took over as Fulham's chairman in July 2013, is the current owner and chairman of the club. He is a Pakistani-American billionaire businessman and sports tycoon who made his money as the owner of Flex-N-Gate, an American automotive company.

Valued at $8billion as of March 2021, Khan owns not just Fulham FC but also the Jacksonville Jaguars in the NFL and is the co-owner of All Elite Wrestling, a challenger to the WWE in the Wrestling/ Sports Entertainment world.

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