The Fulham Supporters' Trust began life as the Back to the Cottage campaign, formed after Fulham Football Club announced it had dropped plans to develop Craven Cottage on the lines of the planning permission received in February 2001.
What began as a group of like-minded fans distributing leaflets and engaging the media to seek answers to a number of pertinent questions, soon developed into organisation campaigning under the Back to the Cottage banner. Following a well attended meeting at Hammersmith Town Hall, fans decided to establish a Supporters’ Trust, following the successful model in place at more than 100 clubs across England, Scotland and Wales.
A series of meetings with local authority representatives, politicians and advice from planners, architects and business people helped the Trust put up a convincing case that, counter to the club's position, a return to Craven Cottage was not only viable, but the only way to secure Fulham's future. The campaign was helped by generous donations from Fulham fans and support from former Fulham players and coaches as well as the wider footballing community. The club announced on 3 September 2003 that they would return to Craven Cottage - and Fulham played their first competitive game back at their historic home against Bolton in August 2004.
Since our return to the Cottage, the Trust has continued to have a dialogue with the club, holding regular meetings with club officials. The Trust is wholly independent of Fulham FC and was set up with the assistance of Supporters Direct, a government-funded initiative who aim to help fans “who wish to play a reasonable part in the life of the football club they support.”
The Trust have always been committed to helping to secure the long term future of the club and have focused largely on governance, supporter relations, ground development and the club's financial position. The Trust seek progress and success like every Fulham fan and remain extremely appreciative of our chairman. We are committed to working with Fulham FC, the local community, local authority and all other relevant stakeholders to ensure the long term viability of the club.