There's one game left, but Fulham's season is effectively over. They're spending next year in the Championship. This isn't the outcome any of us wanted, but now that it's here, we need to accept it and move on. In that vein Felix Magath has written an open letter to us, the supporters.
He begins by apologizing to us:
We as a team, and I include myself and management, would like to apologise for our bad performance on Saturday. It certainly was not what you as fans were expecting and should rightfully demand of us, but we were unable to perform on the day, resulting in our downfall.
After the performance that some of the players put on Saturday, it's very nice to hear someone take responsibility. This is a far cry from what you would have gotten with Martin Jol. I would have liked a little more explanation for the questionable squad selection, but that's not the only reason the team lost.
He then goes on to thank the fans:
The support that you have given us has been exceptional and is much appreciated. I do realise that you have been through difficult times this season, but you have continued to be our ever faithful 12th man and I cannot praise and thank you enough.
For this I can't agree more. I was unsure what to expect when I went to see Fulham in person for the first time. My only experience with live soccer has been with the Seattle Sounders and the United States National Team. Both of those have set the bar quite high. While the Fulham experience was different, it was no less passionate. I was pleasantly surprised about how passionate it was. Even when they were losing the fans were singing and involved. And it's not just a small supporters section. It was women, children, young men, old men, and everyone in between. Fulham supporters might not always get the credit they deserve, but from what I experienced they are some of the best fans in the world.
He goes on to state something that many of us have been wondering. He's signed for next year, and doesn't appear to want out:
I was appointed by Mr Khan in February, and willingly signed a contract for 18 months, realising that there was a distinct possibility that we would not survive in the Premier League. Contrary to many opinions, I was not only brought in until the end of the season, with the primary target of keeping Fulham in the Premier League, but to build a team that can compete in the top flight.
Hopefully having a stable manager going into next season will let the players and the whole organization focus on what needs to happen to come back up. My only concern is that he's only signed through the end of next year. Does a bad start in the Championship mean he gets fired and the club has to start over again? Magath may not be the kind of manager that can stick around for four or five years, but I'd like to see him here long enough to get a real shot. If you bring him back, he should probably be given some certainty about his future.
Finally, he gives hints at the future:
During the summer months, there most certainly will be many changes within the Club, we obviously need to improve and redefine our playing staff. We have in our Academy team, talented, young and hungry players. I have experienced on many occasions, through working and developing youth team players, that they have the possibility to become top professionals...
We'll discuss in detail later what players should go and which should stay. But it's good to see Magath realize the club needs improvement. It's also great to hear him talk up the academy. I'm a firm believer that four or five of the academy players (or recent graduates) could be full time starters next year. If you can get them experience while coming back up, the foundation could be set for another great run in the Premier League.
I've had my say, but what do you make of this?