They spent much time in the old First Division through the 1960s, but are yet to gain any major honours. 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 qualified for the UEFA Cup in 2002 by winning the Intertoto Cup, beating Bologna 5-3 in the final over two legs. In the UEFA Cup, they won through two rounds before being defeated by Hertha Berlin. In the mid-1990s they had a brief spell in the former Fourth Division, but they recovered spectacularly by the early 2000s.
They currently play at Craven Cottage, their famous home since 1896, a riverside ground on the banks of the River Thames in Fulham, having spent two years at Loftus Road while Craven Cottage was undergoing renovations to bring it up to Premier League standards. The club's training ground is located near Motspur Park (and was where Chariots of Fire among others was filmed), where Fulham's Academy is also situated, including a mini-stadium where the reserves play. The Fulham Ladies' team also played the majority of their games here prior to being dissolved in the summer of 2006.
|1898-03||Southern League Division 2|
|1903-07||Southern League Division 1|
|1907-28||Football League Div. 2||(Level 2)|
|1928-32||Football League Div. 3S||(Level 3)|
|1932-49||Football League ''Div. 2'||(Level 2)|
A highlight of that first season was an 8-3 away win at Luton Town in an FA Cup game. The club actually managed to reach the semi-finals of that tournament, where they were humbled 6-0 by Newcastle United. This is still a record loss for an FA Cup semi-final game. A couple of years later the club won the London Challenge Cup in the 1909-10 season.
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.
After finishing 5th, 7th and 9th (out of 22 teams) in their first three seasons in the 3rd 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. 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. Post-war, a full league programme was only restored for 1946-47. In the 3rd 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 3rd Division South 17 years previously).
|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 2nd Division followed, but then the club reached the FA Cup semi-finals in 1958 and used this momentum to win promotion back to the 1st Division in the following season, having finished 2nd 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 10th position in the 1st Division, which until finishing 9th in the FA Premier League 2003-04 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. On the morning of 26 February 1966 Fulham had just 15 points from 29 matches. The last 13 games saw Fulham win 9 and draw 2 to reach safety. Eventually the club suffered relegation in the 1967-68 season having won just 10 out of their 42 games. However even that was not as catastrophic as the calamity of next season. Winning only 7 in 42, the club were again relegated to the 3rd Division. (Note that this is not the same as the 3rd Division South, as the regional 3rd Divisions had been removed with the 1959 creation of the 4th Division).
It is impossible to talk about Fulham's history without mentioning probably the single most influential character in Fulham's history: Johnny Haynes. '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 against Southampton at Craven Cottage. Haynes played for another 18 years, notching up 657 appearances (along with many other club records too), his last appearance for Fulham coming on the 17 January 1970. He is often considered as the greatest player in Fulham history, and never played for another team in Britain. He gained 52 caps for England (22 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 which he would have stood a chance of being selected for. The Stevenage Road Stand was re-named in his honour after his death in a car crash in 2005.
|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)|
That run in the FA Cup saw the setting of an improbable record, that of the most games needed to reach the final, Fulham playing 11 games including replays. In the build up to the 12th game, the Wembley final, Tony Rees and The Cottagers released a single, "Viva el Fulham" (based on Manolo Escobar's "Y viva España") which is still played (and occasionally chanted) at Fulham games. It reached No.46 in the Pop Charts in 1975. The club set another record in the 70s, when they took part in the first ever British league game to be played on a Sunday against Millwall F.C. in 1974, which was staged at The Den.
George Best played 47 times for the club in the 1976-77 season. Rodney Marsh, who having grown up with Fulham in the 60s went on to play 1st Division football and play for England, rejoined the club in the same season, playing only 16 games. This capped one of the most successful eras in Fulham history.
The hangover from this meant the club were relegated again after winning only 11 in 42 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), they won promotion again in 1981-82 back to Division 2. 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. 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 88 mins due to a pitch invasion. 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. 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 28 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 saw Fulham's division of the time, the 3rd Division, re-named the 2nd Division. (There is a joke amongst football fans that at the end of the 1991-92 season they started to celebrate promotion, before realising all that had happened was that the FA had changed the numbers.) However the club were relegated from that to the new 3rd Division after a poor 1993-94 season, seeing the club in the basement of the Football League, with Ian Branfoot appointed as new manager.
|1994-97||Football League Div. 3||(Level 4)|
However, in February 1996 the club appointed then-player Micky Adams as manager, and it was in the summer of that year that his revolution really took off. That signalled the start of the new era of Fulham Football Club.
Micky Adams was appointed as manager and oversaw an upturn in form that lifted the side out of what little relegation danger was present. The next season he engineered a complete turnaround in form and his side, captained by Simon Morgan, finished second - only missing out on first place due to the league dropping the old "goal difference" system in favour of a "goals scored" tally. (While Fulham's goal difference was one better than that of champions Wigan Athletic, they scored twelve fewer goals.) This was somewhat ironic, as 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.
|1997-99||Football League Div. 2||(Level 3)|
|1999-01||Football League Div. 1||(Level 2)|
|2001+||Premier League||(Level 1)|
Millionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed purchased the club that summer and fired Adams in the aftermath of a poor start. In Adams' place he installed a managerial '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 steered the club to a spectacular promotion the next season, winning 101 points of a possible 138, captained by Chris Coleman - then the most expensive footballer outside the top two divisions of the English league. Keegan then left to become manager of the England team, and veteran player Paul Bracewell was put in charge.
Bracewell was sacked in March 2000, as Fulham's promising early season form dwindled away. Frenchman Jean Tigana was put in charge and having signed a number of young stars, including Louis Saha, he guided Fulham to their third promotion in five seasons in the 2000-01 season in emphatic style, scoring 90 goals in 46 games. That gave Fulham top flight status for the first time since 1968, which had only taken four years - one shorter than Al Fayed's pledge. During this season club captain and subsequent manager, Chris Coleman, was involved in a car crash which eventually finished his playing career. Fulham's run through the divisions saw many players come and go, but the only player to play for the club in all four leagues was Sean Davis, indeed he is one of few players to ever have played at every level of professional football with one team.
Despite some skepticism, Fulham were widely tipped to take the Premier League by storm, with many pundits predicting a challenge for the UEFA cup or even Champions League places, but their first Premier League season was largely underwhelming; despite a couple of good games and some flashes of brilliance, the end product was a respectable 13th place finish. Fulham remain the only team in this millienium to host top-flight football with some standing areas. Due to restrictions on standings, Fulham decamped to Loftus Road, during the 2002-3 and 2003-4 seasons while their own stadium was rebuilt, but then returned back to Craven Cottage.
2002/03 Season The following season saw Fulham dangerously close to the relegation zone, and chairman Mohammed Al Fayed told Tigana that his contract would not be renewed at the end of the season. But an awful run of results, culminating in a 4-0 home defeat by Blackburn Rovers led him to be sacked before the season came to an end with relegation desperately near. Jean Tigana made the club's record signing, buying Steve Marlet from Olympique Lyonnais for £11.5 million. He failed to live up to expectations playing only 54 league games in 3 years, and scoring only 11 goals. He was loaned out to Olympique de Marseille for 18 months when Coleman took over, with his sizeable contract still being paid by the English team, before it eventually expired.
Coleman was given the manager's job on a permanent basis in the summer of 2003 and 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 which they received a club record £13 million. The final day of the season saw them win 2-0 away to Bolton - a third goal could have seen them jump the Trotters into eighth place. Coleman notched up another impressive performance in the 2004-05 season and guided Fulham to a secure 13th place finish.
The 2005-06 season proved a tougher affair, but safety was once again mathematically assured with three games left of the season and a 1-0 win over Wigan Athletic. There were three relative high points in an inconsistent season: a 6-1 rout of West Bromwich Albion, a 1-0 win over rivals and champions Chelsea in the West London derby, and a 2-0 win over 2005 European champions Liverpool F.C. Fulham's home form was the best outside the top six, with 12 wins from 18 games, while their away form was the worst in the entire league with one win and four draws from 18 games. A game they were winning away 1-0, versus Sunderland, was abandoned after 21 minutes because of persistent snowfall. Finally, on 29 April 2006, Fulham achieved a first away victory of the campaign with a 2-1 win over Manchester City F.C.. Despite the difficulties experienced throughout this season, Fulham achieved a 12th place finish - an improvement on the previous campaign.
Fulham did not get off to a good start in 2006-07, losing their first match 5-1 to Manchester United at Old Trafford. This result consigned them to the foot of the table and left them as the season's favourites for early relegation contenders with the bookies; but then recovered well and were riding as high as 8th at one point in December 2006.
During the January transfer window Coleman added Russian midfielder Alexey Smertin, American winger Clint Dempsey and fellow countryman Simon Davies to the squad, and captured exciting loan signing Vincenzo Montella. Between mid-December and May however, Fulham only won a single game, a 2-1 victory over Newcastle United. In the same time period Fulham drew 9 games and lost 4. Additionally Fulham were dumped meekly out of the FA Cup 4-0 by Tottenham Hotspur. On the 10 April 2007, following defeats at the hands of Manchester City (3-1) and Everton (4-1) Fulham Football Club terminated the contracts of Chris Coleman and Steve Kean with immediate effect, while Northern Ireland manager Lawrie Sanchez and Les Reed were put in temporary charge.
Despite a return of just 4 points from a possible 15, Sanchez had retained Fulham's top-flight status and was rewarded for his efforts with a permanent contract, subsequently resigning as Northern Ireland manager on on Friday 11 May 2007.
Sanchez received strong financial backing from the board and made a number of signings during the summer-break. The most expensive of these additions was striker Diomansy Kamara, a £6 million signing from Championship outfit West Brom. However, the majority of Sanchez's purchases were players from the Northern Ireland set-up, including Steven Davis, David Healy, Aaron Hughes and Chris Baird.
Fulham showed signs of improvement from the previous season and were unfortunate not to start the 2007/08 season with a victory, after leading Premier League title contenders Arsenal for 84 minutes at the Emirates Stadium. Healy opened his Fulham account taking advantage of a mistake by the gunners 'keeper Jens Lehmann in the opening minute. However Robin Van Persie replied from the penalty spot before Belarusian Alexander Hleb added the winner in the 90th minute. Fulham brushed aside this disappointment to beat Bolton Wanderers 2-1 in the following match. Despite defensive frailties, The whites had begun their first-full season under Sanchez by playing attractive, attacking football. However, this Fulham team team was cursed by bad-luck, and as Sanchez was quick to point out, dubious refereeing decisions. In their third fixture of the season, at home to Gareth Southgate's Middlesbrough, striker and club captain McBride was seriously injured in the process of opening the scoring, before Tony Warner's mistake allowed 'Boro back into the game. Fulham's misery and Sanchez's fury was compounded when Healy's injury time strike was incorrectly ruled out by the linesman, despite clearly crossing the goal-line.
Following this result, Fulham registered several draws, including two six-goal thrillers against Tottenham Hotspur and Manchester City. Both games showcased the good and bad aspects of Fulham's play under Sanchez - incisive attacking football undone by continued poor defending. Sanchez attempted a more direct style of play to grab an elusive win but his squad were ill-suited to long ball football. Though the former Wimbledon defender oversaw a second win of the campaign at home to Reading, he was dismissed on 21 December 2007, with Fulham in the relegation zone. His case was not helped by the number of championship-quality players he signed and his reliance on a high-defensive live, despite employing relatively slow personnel.
Roy Hodgson was named as the new manager of Fulham on 28 December 2007, and took up his contractual duties on 30 December 2007, just two days before the January transfer window opened. The squad's spine was strengthened with the signings of Brede Hangeland, Leon Andreasen, Eddie Johnson, Erik Nevland and veteran former Liverpool striker, Jari Litmanen. Canadian captain and right-back Paul Stalteri and Finland's Toni Kallio were also signed on loan from Tottenham Hotspur and Young Boys, respectively. This new look squad was complimented by the return of key players and fan favourites Brian McBride and Jimmy Bullard. Both would prove to be hugely influential in Fulham's end-of-season run-in.
Hodgson's tenure started with a 2-1 loss to Chelsea on New Year's Day, followed by a goalless draw with Bolton Wanderers at the Reebok Stadium before he claimed his first win five days later against Aston Villa, courtesy of a trademark Bullard free-kick. Despite this positive start, Fulham struggled to build momentum and their form remained patchy throughout March. Hodgson did however add a second victory on March 16th, 2008, against an Everton side chasing the fourth and final UEFA Champions League qualification spot. Former Toffees Simon Davies and McBride combined, with the latter heading home to secure a 1-0 win at Craven Cottage.
Again however, Fulham failed to maintain a consistent run of form following a victory. A drab 3-1 home defeat at the hands of Roy Keane's Sunderland side left Hodgson on the verge of tears in the post-match press conference and many pundits writing off Fulham's survival chances. Fans contended that although Hodgson's side were markedly improved defensively, and retained possession much better than under either Coleman or Sanchez, with aesthetically pleasing football, a lack of fire power up-front and the failure to settle on a first-choice 11 had hurt the team and caused vital points to be dropped.
Despite the negative press Hodgson continued to believe survival was attainable and rallied his team to win 4 of their remaining 5 games and secure their Premier League position for the 2008/09 season. This incredible run of form started with a first away win in 34 attempts against relegation rivals Reading. However, for many fans the turning point of the season came two games later, 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 2-3 victory and second consecutive away win.
This result set the scene for a "six-pointer" against fellow strugglers Birmingham City at Craven Cottage. McBride and Erik Nevland struck to lift Fulham out of the relegation zone for the first time in months and leave survival in the club's own hands.
Barring a goal-rush from Reading, a win against a Portsmouth side looking ahead to their first FA Cup Final appearance in 69 years would guarantee survival. This however would be no easy feat. Portsmouth manager Harry Redknapp, himself a survivor of several relegation scrapes (West Ham in 1995 and 1997 as well as Portsmouth in 2006), promised to field a full-strength side. More importantly Fulham had never recorded 3 consecutive victories in the Premier League, much less 3 consecutive away wins. Fulham's fans travelled to Fratton Park expecting a tense final-day and they weren't disappointed. In-fact, with 15 minutes to play Fulham were again mathematically relegated with Birmingham City and Reading leading comfortably. However Kamara earned Fulham a free-kick with 76 minutes played, and 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.
Planning Ahead: 2008/09 Season After Fulham's relegation escape, Hodgson spoke of the need to ensure Fulham never found themselves in such a precarious position again. He struck early during the summer transfer window to claim the signing of experienced, Australian goalkeeper Mark Schwarzer on a free from Middlesbrough on 22 May 2008. On 28 May 2008, the club announced that captain and club legend Brian McBride would not renew his contract and would be returning to his homeland. On 12 June Fulham added the signing of Andranik Teymourian to its summer acquisitions. The 25-year-old Armenian-Iranian defensive midfielder has played most recently for Bolton Wanderers and the Iran national football team. Zoltan Gera was also added to the squad earlier in the same month, after turning down a new contract with newly promoted West Bromwich Albion. In early July, Toni Kallio, whom Hodgson had signed on loan in January, signed a full contract with the club. On 15 July, Fulham announced the joint signing of Bobby Zamora and John Paintsil from London rivals West Ham. Next followed the saga of Andrew Johnson in which it was reported in the press on the 29th June that Johnson (from Premiership rivals Everton) would be joining immediately for up to 12 million pounds. The transfer eventually happened more than a week later and at fees rising to almost 13 million, he is the most expensive signing in Fulham's history and will be looking to make an impact along with the other 9 player Roy Hodgson signed in the 2008/09 season. The current captain is former Liverpool FC and Tottenham Hotspur central midfielder Danny Murphy.
|Assistant Manager/Goalkeeping Coach:||Mike Kelly||English|
|Technical Director:||Les Reed||English|
|First Team Coach:||Ray Lewington||English|
|Development Squad Coach:||Billy McKinlay||Scottish|
|First Team Physio:||Jason Palmer||Australian|
|Fulham Academy Director:||Simon Cox||English|
|Player Analyst - Sports Science:||Andy Scoulding||English|
|2002/03||Intertoto Cup||Second round||FC Haka||0-0, 1-1 (away goal)|
|Third round||Egaleo FC||1-0, 1-1|
|Semi final||FC Sochaux-Montbéliard||1-0, 2-0|
|Final||Bologna F.C. 1909||2-2, 3-1|
|2002/03||UEFA Cup||First round||Hajduk Split||1-0, 2-2|
|Second round||Dinamo Zagreb||3-0, 2-1|
|Third round||Hertha BSC Berlin||1-2, 0-0|
Fulham have lesser rivalries with other London clubs, including Tottenham Hotspur, West Ham, Arsenal, Charlton Athletic, and Crystal Palace, all of which Fulham have played regularly during recent seasons.
Outside of London, Gillingham are still considered rivals to Fulham despite the two clubs having played in different divisions for the past eight years. Fulham and Gillingham have been involved in several high-tempered matches in the lower leagues. The unfortunate death of a Fulham fan outside Gillingham's Priestfield Stadium in 1998 has only served to intensify the bad relationship between the clubs' fans.
On 19 March 2006, Fulham recorded their first victory over Chelsea in nearly 27 years, with a goal from Luís Boa Morte. In a very heated and controversial game, Didier Drogba had a goal disallowed for a hand ball, and Chelsea's William Gallas was sent off for a late challenge on Heidar Helguson, which led to a melee between the two sets of players. A pitch invasion by both sets of fans following the final whistle led to some skirmishes and arrests and resulted in an FA probe. A roller-coaster of a game in December 2006 (during which Moritz Volz scored the 15,000th goal in Premier League history) ended 2-2.
Temporary managers at the club have included:
Notable players, past and presentEmboldened players have represented their respective countries at full international level Australia
GroundsBetween 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 QPR has played at more 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 controversyThe Fulham FC club official mascot is Billy the Badgerwho was the winning design sent in by Kyle Jackson after an open competition by the club. Billy the Badger wears the number 79 fulham shirt. 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 breakdancing 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.