Dan Crawford In The Fulham Chronicle: "Al Fayed Won't Walk Out On Fulham"

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."


Praise For Fulham's Matchday Experience For Disabled Fans

Level Playing Field (LPF) may be more familiar to fans of Fulham as The National Association of Disabled Supporters (NADS), established in 1998. In March 2011, it changed its name to Level Playing Field in order to better embrace the social model ofdisability and its works and projects.

Over the years, Fulham FC has a very good track record in ensuring that its disabled supporters and visitors have as much access as reasonably possible to all goods, services and facilities provided or offered to the public by the Club. These efforts have been recognised by LPF, who issued the following statement this week:

Craven Cottage is one of the oldest stadiums in English football, and includes two Grade II listed buildings. Despite this, the club have recently had an LPF Access Audit carried out and have identified areas of improvement.

The club have been able to make inventive modifications to improve accessibility and provide a better service for disabled supporters. The club have released a short video that demonstrates the facilities and services available to disabled supporters at Craven Cottage. The four minute clip details how two fans in particular arrive at and get around the stadium, and can be viewed here.

We feel that this is a great example that improving accessibility at stadiums does not have to be a long and costly exercise, and that even the oldest stadiums can easily be modified. The club has reacted positively to the LPF Access Audit that was carried outand has started to take positive steps towards making Craven Cottage more accessible and providing an inclusive matchday experience for all supporters.

Well done Fulham!

The Fulham Supporters’ Trust recognises the considerable endeavours of the Club in providing access to and assistance within Craven Cottage and looks forward to further development of facilities for less able-bodied fans within the reconstructed Riverside Stand when complete.


Trust welcomes Fulham's debt-free future

The Fulham Supporters' Trust welcomes the recent announcement that Mohamed Al Fayed has converted his previous loans into equity and secured a debt-free future for Fulham Football Club.
Taken together with the recent planning permission to redevelop the Riverside Stand and other improvements to both Craven Cottage and Motspur Park, this news will be welcomed by all Fulham fans and solidifies Fulham's long-term future.
The Fulham Supporters' Trust looks forward to working with Fulham Football Club in the years to come.



The Fulham Supporters' Trust are looking forward to standing shoulder-to-shoulder with AFC Wimbledon supporters at Kingsmeadow on Sunday afternoon by supporting the Dons' Blue and Yellow Day to celebrate their unique community club status on the day of their FA Cup Second Round tie.

A delegation from the Fulham Supporters' Trust will join supporters of several clubs at Kingsmeadow to watch the televised Cup fixture with Dons' fans and colleagues from the Football Supporters' Federation and Supporters Direct. The Trust's special relationship with the Dons' Trust dates back more than ten years when Wimbledon supporters gave such sterling support to our campaign to take Fulham to Back to the Cottage whilst simultaneously battling against the scandalous uprooting of their own club.

Dan Crawford, the Fulham Supporters' Trust's communications and media officer, said: 'Members of the Fulham Supporters' Trust are looking forward to supporting AFC Wimbledon's Blue and Yellow Day at Kingsmeadow on Sunday. Fulham fans will never forget the countless hours of support, advice and co-operation Wimbledon supporters gave us during our fight to return to Craven Cottage and AFC Wimbledon's success - both on the field and in their community - since their formation has inspired everyone in the supporters' movement. As a successful supported-owned club, AFC Wimbledon are the example so many supporters' trusts up and down the country are striving to emulate in the future.'


Erik Nevland Becomes Patron Of The Fulham Supporters' Trust

Today we are delighted to announce former Fulham forward Erik Nevland as a patron of the Fulham Supporters' Trust.
Erik played a vital role in some of the most remarkable years since we successful campaigned for our return to Craven Cottage, scoring unforgettable goals in our Great Escape run of 2008, a regular in a side that achieved our highest ever league finish in 2009, and of course made numerous appearances throughout the incredible Europa League campaign of 2009/2010. His final Fulham appearance was during that night in Hamburg, before his return to FC Viking of Norway, the club at which it all started.
Erik Nevland certainly endeared himself to the Fulham fans with a selfless attitude, fantastic work ethic and no little skill, but Fulham certainly endeared itself to him. Now a self-confessed supporter of Fulham Football Club, he is even raising his son as a Fulham fan, and on the weekend when Nevland retires from professional football we would like to wish him like in his future endeavors and welcome him as a patron; we couldn't think of many more we'd like to be involved in our organisation.
Erik said: "As a former player and a Fulham fan its an honour to be asked to be a patron of the FST, and its something I'm doing with pleasure!"