The Secret Footballer, an anonymous British player and writer, reviewed all of the Championship clubs last week. His article on Fulham surprised many Cottagers fans with its scathing report. TSF shed light on the inside dealings at the Cottage, describing a depressing scene of a desperate search for a director of football and budget slashing. The Secret Footballer went on to criticize Fulham even more, taking shots at our home supporters, the purchase of Ross McCormack, and the appointment of Kit Symons as manager. While things are far from perfect, The Secret Footballer's comments miss the mark.
"Khan has slashed the budget at Fulham across the board"
The author claims that Shahid Khan is frantically searching for a director of football, but no one wants to come near the job. The reason, according to TSF, is that "Khan has slashed the budget at Fulham across the board." He cites a conversation with a young Fulham player he had recently.
"I was talking to a first-year pro at Fulham who had been offered £2,500 a week under the old management only to see his contract offer slashed by Khan to £1,200 a week. Take it or leave it."
The way TSF puts it, these are worrying signs that are examples of Fulham's complete mismanagement. However, these actions are quite average and are being blown out of proportion. In any situation where a club is relegated, expenditures are going to be limited. It would be foolish and naive to expect the same level of wages to be paid when you are playing in the Championship, with smaller attendances and less television money.
The author then goes on to take a shot at Khan's major decisions to date. TSF called the Ross McCormack "a decent Championship striker" and described the decision to sign him as an 11 million pound mistake. This criticism is completely unfounded, as McCormack has been one of our best players all season, contributing 15 goals and 10 assists. While it may be true that Khan overspent, all British players are drastically inflated and we needed a proven Championship goalscorer.
TSF continues his assault on Shahid Khan by condemning the five-man panel's decision on the Fulham manager.
"Who[m] did they choose? Kit Symons, who was already in the role, albeit as caretaker manager. And where are Fulham now? In 20th, two places above the relegation zone."
The panel came to a decision that was overwhelmingly supported by the supporters at the time. Symons had a superb start to life as manager, and it would have been disastrous to deny him a chance at the full time job. The appointment of a panel was to give knowledgable insiders a voice, instead of Khan making a unilateral decision, as was the case with Felix Magath.
Finally, the oddest part of the whole report was The Secret Footballer's comments on the Craven Cottage crowd.
"I have to say, I’m not a big fan of playing at Fulham... around the ground, there seems to be an odd mingling of fans, tourists and interested bystanders."
This opening insult to the Cottage faithful puts the entire piece in a poor light. First off, what does this have to do with the current state at Fulham? In addition, it is simply not true. The author has obviously never been to many Fulham matches, where the atmosphere is fantastic and the songs of the supporters radiate off the hallowed stands of Craven Cottage. It is hands down the best ground in England, let alone the Championship.
What do you think of these allegations? Would you support them as a necessary, shrewd business move; or decry them as unwise actions by the chairman? Do you agree with the Secret Footballer's views on Shahid Khan? Feel free to leave your thoughts in the comments below.