“We are a club with ambition to grow, but to grow you must protect and never damage your roots. Here at Fulham, those roots are at our home of Craven Cottage. That’s why it was important to me when I was privileged to become your chairman in 2013 to find a way to grow all that is good about FFC while always minding our roots. And that is what we will do.
“We are currently in the process of submitting pre-application documents to the council this week which will highlight our intentions for the much-anticipated redevelopment of the Riverside Stand. This procedural measure will be followed later this year with a formal application to the local authorities, and the process will include consultation with our wonderful supporters.
“The future of the Riverside Stand and, by extension, Craven Cottage itself, has been the subject of speculation and various plans well before my arrival, maybe going back as far as 10 years. For my part, the project has always been a priority, but not at the expense of making a mistake that wouldn’t serve our club, the neighbourhood and all of London both immediately and for generations. I have admittedly been deliberate in reviewing concepts, interviewing designers and studying the economics of what will turn out to be a signature project for an entire community. I know that our supporters have hungered for information or signs of progress, and I appreciate that. But, I am confident that our approach has been the right one, and equally assured that you’ll find the wait to be worth it.
“We have engaged Populous, a worldclass architectural and design firm, to deliver a Riverside Stand project that will transcend the customary standards of football grandstands. Imagine a new Riverside Stand that will be iconic and beautiful, include riverside pubs and restaurants, event facilities, green spaces, open the river walk every day of the year and, of course, make Craven Cottage a greater destination in all of sport than it already is. It will be a spectacular venue to watch Fulham. And our home ground will blend history and the contemporary like no stadium in the land or beyond.
“It won’t be long before we’ll be sharing some of the architectural elements and designs. In the meantime, we continue with the consultation process with local authorities and look forward later this year to making a full plan submission for approval. Your CEO, Alistair Mackintosh, has my complete respect and appreciation for keeping this challenging yet rewarding project on task, and I ask that you join me in thanking him for being a champion not only for the new Riverside Stand but for all things that represent your club.
“Finally on the Riverside Stand, what the project timeline will look like upon approval of the plans will be known soon, but it’s almost certain that we anticipate playing our home matches at Craven Cottage through any construction periods. Craven Cottage, after all, is home to Fulham Football Club.” - Shahid Khan