New stadium latest

Monday 23 December 2002

In light of increasing speculation from fans and the media following the Club's official statement regarding the House of Lords decision recently, the Chairman of Fulham Football Club, Mohamed Al Fayed, wishes to clarify his and the Club's position regarding the re-development plans for the Craven Cottage site.

It has always been the Chairman's aim to develop the best possible stadium facilities for the future but, since the project to re-develop Craven Cottage first began the cost has spiralled out of all proportion. It is now obvious that to invest heavily in building a stadium which would only generate revenue, at most, once a week is not a financially viable option.

If the proposed Craven Cottage stadium were now to be built according to the original plans the cost would exceed £100 million. Clearly, to saddle the Club with this magnitude of debt in the current financial climate would be foolhardy in the extreme and could seriously jeopardise the long term future of the Club.

Accordingly, we are currently pursuing a range of more sensible options. But there are a number of delicate and complicated issues involved in this process which must, of necessity, be conducted with the utmost discretion and under the most confidential of terms.

The Chairman fully understands the impatience and frustration of the fans but, since he has a greater personal stake in the club than anyone else, he is determined to do nothing which might derail these potential projects. To detail the current plans publicly would certainly have this effect.

The Chairman hopes that all true Fulham fans will understand, remain patient, and continue to place their trust in him to do what is best in the long-term interests of the club and appreciate the sacrifices he has made to bring Fulham to the Premiership.

The Chairman, Mohamed Al Fayed said:

'Any decisions we take will be in the interests of stability and the financial survival of the Club and not built on irrational, emotional or impractical thinking which could adversely affect the success of the Club.'