FST board member Dan Crawford gave some words to local newspaper The Fulham Chronicle this week, in which he speaks about the recent debt-to-equity move taken by Al Fayed and how it underlines his commitment to the football club. The article has been reproduced in full below.
• The Fulham Chronicle
FULHAM Supporters Trust spokesman Dan Crawford says he is convinced Mohamed Al Fayed’s move to secure a debt-free future for the football club is not a step towards bailing out.
The Craven Cottage club recently announced that owner Al Fayed has converted his previous loans into equity – a move which appears to put the club on a sounder financial footing.
But the intention is not to attract potential buyers, Crawford believes.
"Every indication is that while he has scaled back, or even sold off, many of his other investments, like Harrods, the football club is the one he has kept on," Crawford told the Chronicle.
"I don’t think Fulham fans doubt his commitment.
"He’s a visible presence and his son Karim is on the board, working closely with [chief executive] Alistair Mackintosh, which points to a continued desire to retain his interest in the club.
"I hope I’m not just swallowing the PR, but the loans gesture gives Fulham long-term security and removes any lingering doubts over long-term plans.
"When you consider some of the uncertainty at QPR, by comparison, that has to be a good thing. I’m all for a pragmatic approach."
Fulham’s 0-0 draw at Norwich City on Saturday hardly set the pulses racing and a season that began full of promise with a 5-0 win over the Canaries has faded.
But at least the Whites went into a two-week break with a handy cushion above the drop zone, and Crawford senses that Al Fayed’s equity plan, along with the recent planning permission to redevelop the Riverside Stand, should give fans confidence in the club’s direction.
"We’ve been financially prudent since the initial splurge to get us promoted a decade ago and we are starting to look more at bringing on younger players," Crawford said. "These are all sensible steps."