Greetings and very happy holidays to you, and yours, and everyone in the Fulham family. It’s an honour to welcome you to Craven Cottage as we greet Sheffield Wednesday, a club we’re currently battling head-to-head for position in the Sky Bet Championship table. I know Wednesday have the same ambition as we do, and that’s to emerge from mid-table and begin a run at a Play-Off position as we near the midway point of the season. That’s why I view today’s match as extremely important on many fronts.
First, we need to move past our last home result several weeks ago and return to a winning and confident form at the Cottage. If you’re like me, you put that match behind you about 10 minutes after the final whistle. Everyone knows that wasn’t Fulham. Last weekend’s 1-0 win at Leeds United? That’s Fulham.
We definitely want to grab all three points at the expense of our visitors, who are just a step ahead of us in the table. We also want to deliver the message internally and externally that Fulham are serious about reaching the top. And a Fulham win will make your Christmas Eve and Christmas Day truly merry and bright. Yes, it’s a big match today, and it’s Christmas at the Cottage. It’s the ideal setting for the perfect opportunity to make our move.
As we bring 2014 to a close, I do want to again express my sincere appreciation for your loyalty to Fulham Football Club. For reasons that are evident and needn’t be revisited here, 2014 was a year that understandably would have tested the trust of anyone who loves Fulham. At a lot of clubs, a year like 2014 would have brought out the worst in their supporters. Here at Fulham, however, the disappointment and adversity of 2014 brought out your best. Whether in the Premier League or Championship, playing home or away, you remained faithful. I found this amazing and remarkable, and I thank you for it.But I cannot say I’m surprised. Fulham is known as a Club whose supporters are committed and passionate, but never at the expense of respect and civility. This was clearly reinforced to me several months ago as
our struggles triggered a managerial change. I heard from many of you, and the common theme wasn’t so much a call for change - though, there was that - as it was the opportunity to emphasise what Fulham means to you and the game of football. I was impressed by your perspective and touched by your stories. As we near 2015, all I can say is it feels good to feel good again.
In closing, I’d like to borrow from an email written by supporter Mark Harding, who had this to tell me about Fulham: “We don't expect to win trophies at Fulham Football Club, we don't expect to win every game, we don't expect to be playing in the Premier League or in European competitions (although, of course, we would love to see all of the aforementioned, but we don't demand it). What we do expect is to enjoy watching our team perform, see our players perform with pride and see the staff that are employed by the Club stay true to our principles and lead us with pride and passion.” I haven’t met Mark, but his words will always mean a lot to me. Thank you, Mark. And may all of you enjoy the holiday season and the anticipation of a wonderful 2015 and beyond.
Come On You Whites!
Shahid Khan, Chairman