Chairman's message

Wednesday 13 March 2002

On Sunday 14th April Jean and the players will be involved in Fulham Football Club's most important game in 27 years when we play our local rivals Chelsea in a fairytale FA Cup Semi Final. Today, I wish to make a personal appeal to you all, our loyal fans.

I fully understand that many of you are unhappy about the time and venue of this massive game. However my understanding of the situation with regard to the kick off time is that Fulham Football Club has no influence over this situation whatsoever. It is a matter entirely at the discretion of the FA, the television companies and the Police. It is a huge compliment that the BBC have chosen to show our game, and they have requested that the game kick off at 7pm as it is prime time viewing. This is a symbol of just how far we have come in recent years.

I fully appreciate that it will be difficult time to travel to Birmingham. However in both Jean's mind and my own, it is the best location for the game as, unlike Highbury, it will allow more tickets for Fulham fans, as well as an equal allocation with Chelsea.

I am calling on each and every one of you to rally behind Jean and his players for this momentous occasion. We are only one game away from a place in the most prestigious club tournament on earth, a game that will ensure that the name of Fulham is known in all four corners of the world. In addition, should we proceed to the Final a place in next season's UEFA Cup is highly likely. There is so much riding on this game that we cannot afford to let the logistics of time and location deter our support. We must embrace this occasion with all the pride and passion that it merits.

Consequently I want to take this opportunity to assure you that I will do everything I can, as I always do, to enable you and your friends and families to travel to and from the game as easily as possible. I have invested so much in Fulham Football Club. Not just financially, but in every way. And watching a vast sea of black and white at the FA Cup Semi Final at Villa Park will make it all so worthwhile.

In the next 48 hours we will announce full ticket and subsidised travel details on fulhamfc.com We will be providing the usual subsidised coach travel for £10 as well as an option to use a train. Further details will be given as soon as we have sorted out the logistics. I ask you all to get behind the team. We have waited so long for this great opportunity. This is Fulham's time and we are nothing without our fans.