As the millions flow out of the Fulham bank account this season on stars from across Europe, it is very hard to believe that a mere quarter of a century ago the club was on the edge of oblivion.

It is even harder to imagine those far off bleak, hungry, days that the fate of London’s oldest clubs was influenced by a small, yet determined, band of volunteers.

There’s a lot of rot these days talked about “loyalty” to a club. Many so called supporters measure loyalty by the amount of online abuse you can throw at opposing supporters and their clubs; in my view, a measure of loyalty is how much money and time you are prepared to put where your mouth is when your club in in peril.

It was 1992, Craven Cottage had been sold off for housing development – after all it is valuable prime land by the Thames – and the bulldozers were ready to move in.

The club didn’t have two pennies to rub together, the team was struggling in what is now League One and crowds were down to just over 3,000. As one of my colleagues, a third generation Fulham supporter, said sardonically there was as much space for an open, passing, game on the terraces than on the pitch.

The rescue crew was called Fulham 2000 – in the vague hope that the club would still be around at the end of the century. Around 30 of us used to meet at the ground after games and on frosty Sunday mornings to work out how we were going to raise millions to save the club; a forlorn hope at the time. For a start, we all pledged 100 pounds each and I even persuaded my dad – a Kidderminster Harriers supporter – to follow suit.

I was working at the BBC then, so I was elected press officer - a small role in a coalition of the hopeful. I remember getting a pat on the back all round for getting an interview with lifelong Fulham fan Melvin Tenner, our leader at Fulham 2000, on BBC News.

But it wasn’t looking good in those dark days in a season when we lost 2-0 at home to Hayes in the FA Cup.

You could feel the interest melting away faster than the crowds. Business didn’t want to know, the talk was of a ground sharing with Chelsea, there was a conspiracy theory that the management wanted to run the club down to the Conference and then close it down quietly. I didn’t believe the latter, but one or two times, on rain swept terraces when we were losing away from home, I wondered.



Fulham fans celebrate the news that the club will be staying at the Cottage in May 1992 (Image: AntonWant/Allsport)



You know how deeply in the mire you stand when you are shaking a bucket in the faces of supporters of an even more impoverished team in the relegation zone fresh from a journey of hundreds of miles from the north that probably cost half their wages.

That is what we happy few of Fulham 2000 were doing on January 28 1992. We had chosen the Wigan game at home for the launch of our fund-raising drive, probably not the most glamourous fixture, but arguably the Lancashire club was a kindred spirit when it came to struggling in the lower reaches of English football. On that day, they were deep in the relegation zone long before the millions that took the club to the Premier League.

Even so, the Wigan fans tossed generously 50 pence pieces into our buckets.

 

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  1. Dear TOOFIF


  2. Thursday, 26 April 2018


  3. Responding to the confirmation from Fulham FC owner Shahid Khan that he has bid to purchase Wembley from the Football Association, the Chair of Fulham Supporters’ Trust, Tom Greatrex commented:


  4. “The news of the bid from Fulham’s owner for Wembley stadium is prompting interest and questions from across English football. While Shahid Khan’s ambition to promote NFL in England is well known, there are particular and specific concerns relating to the impact on his stewardship of Fulham Football Club that will be at the forefront of many of our fans’ minds.


  5. “While we welcome the statement from Shahid Khan that his bid for Wembley is separate to his ownership of Fulham, it nevertheless raises a series of questions. During his time as Chairman of Fulham to date, Shahid Khan has reiterated his understanding of and appreciation for the importance of Craven Cottage, it’s heritage and identity to the character of Fulham Football Club. It is important that is not diminished if his bid for Wembley is successful. At a time when we are enjoying an exciting second half and climax to the season, playing some superlative football, nobody associated with Fulham will want to be distracted by questions of future grounds, the approved plans for a new Riverside Stand and ultimately the ownership of the Club.


  6. “The fact that Shahid Khan has issued a statement signaling his continued commitment to the Club is welcome, but there will be questions fans wish to be reassured on in the period ahead. Fulham Football Club were the first in the EFL to agree to structured dialogue with the Fulham Supporters’ Trust. It is precisely in these type of circumstances that the value of that open, transparent and meaningful dialogue will be tested. We therefore ask Shahid Khan to ensure that any potential impact of his bid for Wembley in relation to Fulham is discussed with the Trust as we will fulfill our role representing Fulham fans and articulating their concerns as they arise.”


  7. Thanks for your continued support of the Fulham Supporters' Trust



 

  1. About the Trust

  2. The Fulham Supporters' Trust began life as the Back to the Cottage campaign, formed after Fulham Football Club announced it had dropped plans to develop Craven Cottage on the lines of the planning permission received in February 2001.


  3. What began as a group of like-minded fans distributing leaflets and engaging the media to seek answers to a number of pertinent questions, soon developed into organisation campaigning under the Back to the Cottage banner. Following a well attended meeting at Hammersmith Town Hall, fans decided to establish a Supporters’ Trust, following the successful model in place at more than 100 clubs across England, Scotland and Wales.

  4. A series of meetings with local authority representatives, politicians and advice from planners, architects and business people helped the Trust put up a convincing case that, counter to the club's position, a return to Craven Cottage was not only viable, but the only way to secure Fulham's future. The campaign was helped by generous donations from Fulham fans and support from former Fulham players and coaches as well as the wider footballing community. The club announced on 3 September 2003 that they would return to Craven Cottage - and Fulham played their first competitive game back at their historic home against Bolton in August 2004.

  5. Since our return to the Cottage, the Trust has continued to have a dialogue with the club, holding regular meetings with club officials. The Trust is wholly independent of Fulham FC and was set up with the assistance of Supporters Direct, a government-funded initiative who aim to help fans “who wish to play a reasonable part in the life of the football club they support.” 

  6. The Trust have always been committed to helping to secure the long term future of the club and have focused largely on governance, supporter relations, ground development and the club's financial position. The Trust seek progress and success like every Fulham fan and remain extremely appreciative of our chairman. We are committed to working with Fulham FC, the local community, local authority and all other relevant stakeholders to ensure the long term viability of the club.


  1. At last news on the Riverside redevelopment

  2. Last night’s decision paves the way
    for the revamped Cottage

  3. Fulham Supporters’ Trust

  4. 21 March 2018



  5. The Fulham Supporters' Trust are delighted to inform our members that Hammersmith and Fulham Council granted planning permission for Fulham Football Club's plans to increase the capacity of Craven Cottage to 29,600 seats by redeveloping the Riverside Stand at tonight's Planning and Development Committee meeting at Hammersmith Town Hall.

  6. Commenting on Hammersmith & Fulham Council’s approval for a new riverside stand at Craven Cottage, Chair of Fulham Supporters’ Trust, Tom Greatrex, said:

  7. “This is an important decision for the future of Fulham Football Club, and keeping Fulham’s football team at the heart of our historic community of Fulham. Most local people value what the club brings to the community, and better facilities and opening up the river walk are benefits to the club, fans and community. Fulham fans want to see the club to continue to engage with and respect our neighbours as this new stand is built, so we can all continue to benefit from our unique and historic setting for decades to come."

  8. The Trust welcomes this news and looks forward to working with Fulham Football Club, local residents, our members and all Fulham fans as we move towards the implementation of these ambitious plans.

  9. Thank you for your continued support of the Fulham Supporters' Trust

  10. COYW!




 
The Fulham Supporters’ Trust
It used to be called Back to the Cottage
billp TOOFIF Site updated Friday, 18 May 2018


There’s only one F in Fulham

The Fulham Fanzine

  1. CONSULTATION

  2. The Trust would like to consult on the following draft objectives which have been ratified by the Committee:

  3. To secure the long-term future of Fulham Football Club at Craven Cottage

  4. To promote the history and heritage of Fulham Football Club and Craven Cottage

  5. To identify the issues affecting and interesting Fulham fans and the Trust membership and, if appropriate, run campaigns and ask questions of the relevant individuals and ask questions of the relevant individuals and organisations

  6. To establish the Fulham Supporters' Trust as the progressive and independent home of Fulham fans

  7. To boost our membership figures and develop an effective communication strategy with our membership via email, newsletters and the internet

  8. To publicise the Trust through the local and national media

  9. To continue to forge strong links with Fulham Football Club, the local authority and local decision makers, political figures and national supporters' bodies (such as Supporters' Direct and the Football Supporters' Federation) and take part in the appropriate campaigns for organisation.

  10. We would like to encourage all Fulham members, whether they are currently members of the Trust or not, to contribute their ideas and thoughts as we shape our campaigns for the forthcoming season. Fulham fans are invited to do this either by emailing the Trust directly on info@fulhamsupporterstrust.com or using the form located in the 'Contact Us' section of the FST website.

  11. Trust Board

  12. The current elected Trust Board, comprises of:

  13. Tom Greatrex  • Chris Gilbertson  • Gerry Claydon • Neil Springate

  14. Dan Crawford • Mike Gregg • Gerry Pimm • Jamie Doak

  15.  

  16. Copyright © 2010, Fulham Supporters Trust. All rights reserved.




Copyright © 2018 Fulham Supporters Trust, All rights reserved.

You are receiving this email because you are a member of the Fulham Supporters Trust


Our mailing address is:

Fulham Supporters Trust

PO Box 63958

London, SW15 9AH

United Kingdom


Add us to your address book



  1. Website: www.fulhamsupporterstrust.com

  2. Email: info@fulhamsupporterstrust.com



 

I found this old article on the getwestlondon site and as it’s relevant to the formation of BTTC and subsequently the FST, I thought it worthy of inclusion here rather than on the media page.


The Fulham 2000 story and how it helped save a football club on the brink of disaster

Chris Bishop tells the story of Fulham 2000 and how it tried to bring back some stability to Fulham Football Club


By Chris Bishop

13:56, 24 JUL 2017

“Good luck and hopefully we will still be playing you next season,” they said cheerfully. I often think of that day when I see some of the spoilt, repugnant, moronic, abuse that is thrown around on the internet these days. As a football fan, I was happy when Wigan escaped relegation that season.

Earlier in the day, Fulham 2000 had announced itself to the world in a Hammersmith hotel where we had arranged for the late Fulham legend Johnny Haynes to come down from Edinburgh to launch our campaign to save the club.

Haynes was arguably the best footballer ever to lace up a pair of boots at Fulham and a fine captain of England; as a public speaker, Haynes was arguably the best footballer ever to lace up a pair of boots at Fulham and a fine captain of England; as a public speaker, he struggled.


To make matters worse, George Best, another Fulham great, turned up late in the middle of his opening address.

The Fleet Street journalists forgot Johnny was speaking and swamped Bestie for a few choice quotes. I can still see Johnny droning through his speech with one eye on the impromptu Best press conference. It was, as they say on line these days, cringe worthy.

Anyway, we all pitched up for the last home game of the season against Bradford City in the understanding that it was going to be the last ever at the Cottage. The first shock was we won; the second shock was it was announced over the tannoy that a stay of execution for at least another season had been secured.

More than five years later, the banks, who wanted to get the Craven Cottage asset off their books, sold the club to Mohammed Al Fayed and the rest is history. It was all worth it on that wet April day in 1997 I flew from Africa to Heathrow and drove up to Carlisle for the crunch promotion game.

There was about 2,000 of us at Brunton Park – Terry Angus, the injured centre half, was leading the singing in the stands! (Can you imagine David Luiz doing that?)

Two goals to one: Micky Conroy equalised and I was dead in line when Rodney McAree smashed in the second. It was like Christmas; total strangers were hugging and shaking hands. It was worth every yard of my 7,000-mile journey.

Thirteen years on, I almost wept when I watched Fulham walk out for the Europa Cup final in Hamburg. As fate would have it, I was on assignment in Nairobi and rued how I could make it to Carlisle for a League Two game, but not to Germany for a European final. Watching it TV on a hot Kenyan night, I mused that cold meetings in Craven Cottage 18 years before had been worth it. To think it could all have been lost in the path of a bulldozer.

 
 
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