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The Fulham We All Love

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I think it's fair to say that some people get lost in the glory of football.

They get lost in the money, the glamour, and the silverware, and they forget what it's all really about.

It's a game for the fans. All the fans want is to see is their side give 100% week after week. Not every fan expects their side to lift a trophy season upon season, and not every fan is only prepared to watch their side if they're sat in an executive box and are guaranteed a gourmet meal. Some fans just want the pleasure of seeing their side at all, be it on TV, be it in the stands, be it while they're 3-0 down or be it while they're 5-0 up.

We here at Fulham, gladly, have that ethos. We're by no means a side that expects silverware in our cabinet for every year that passes by. We're by no means a side that can cram executive boxes into our quaint ground in order to maximize income while minimizing passion, and we're by no means a side that has forgotten the real fans in favour of promised money from far-Eastern ventures.

We are, instead, a traditional club. A small, perhaps over-achieving, lovable club that play football to entertain and bring joy; rather than increasing profit margins.

We may be under foreign ownership and we may be far from poor, but, unlike in most cases, our chairman has a real love for Fulham. 

He visited London and adored our side to such an extent that he funded our rise to the top; right up through 3 divisions. Perhaps, to the untrained eye, this defeats my point, but in reality, it supports it. He didn't back us for monetary gain, because, for a club our size, there is very little; if any. Rather, he did it because he wanted to see the team that he admired enjoy success, and the fans that he worked with enjoy it too.

And, he achieved those goals.

Why am I saying this? Well, I left the house for work this morning a little riled at a certain Alex Ferguson.

Before his vastly popular Manchester United side face Blackpool on Tuesday evening, the United gaffer, who earns almost £6 million a year, took time from his busy schedule to bemoan the quality of our facilities; in particular, our changing rooms.

The 69 year-old labelled them as 'ridiculous' and 'an absolute disgrace.' Granted, the away changing area is barely any larger than my rather cramped room, but, it's the principle of what he's suggesting that has bugged me.

Ferguson has claimed that there should be 'standards' for such facilities and those who do not meet them shouldn't be allowed in the Premier League. To further that, many higher-end supporters (Man Utd, Chelsea e.t.c) agree with him wholeheartedly. It's just ludicrous!

How would teams like Blackpool ever make it to the Premier League if such regulations were in place? They have struggled enough with putting together a suitable ground for the Premiership, without worrying about shower heads, toiletries and tiles made of gold.

The man up top at United needs to get off of his high horse and allow some more traditional aspects of the game to stand tall; rather than bringing football into an all new era where the past is forgotten. We are a club built solely on tradition; being the oldest professional club in London and with the Cottage itself (the place of the changing rooms) being a listed building. His players are pampered enough as it is, with them earning more in one week than I could ever dream of earning in five years. Now, I'm not one of those people that complains about players wages as I'm aware that it's just progression of the game, but, it has to stop somewhere and I think his idea has definitely crossed the line.

Clubs like us, who have earned our Premier League status through classy, clean football do not, in any way, deserve to be discredited for such a menial thing. 

Pull yourself together (Sir) Alex.