Shahid Khan

LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 24:  New Fulham Chairman Shahid Khan is greeted by fans ahead of the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Arsenal at Craven Cottage on August 24, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images)
Photo by Jamie McDonald/Getty Images

Fulham owner Khan pledges transfer “green light” in aim for Premier League promotion


Fulham has done some magnificent things in the 2000s, something owner Shahid Khan probably expected to continue when he took over in 2013.

Instead, Khan got one year of Premier League football, a season that involved three managers and a lot of tumult en route to relegation.

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Now after two seasons of failing to bounce back to the top flight, Khan is pledging to support manager into 2016-17 with the aims of returning to the Premier League.

In a message to season ticket holders on Fulham’s site, Khan said the following regarding the team under former Watford manager Slaviša Jokanović, who took over Fulham on Dec. 27:

Slaviša will be given the green light to build a team capable of promotion, and that’s important, because it appears the Sky Bet Championship will be as difficult as ever.

The complete support and passion of our loyal fans will be crucial as we begin our first full season under Slaviša’s direction and take aim at promotion, and that’s why season ticket prices will not increase next season. We want and need you with us!

Fulham is in the Championship’s 21st place, nine points clear of the drop zone but 23 points off the promotion playoff pace. That’s 39 points away from the automatic promotion spots, so smart buys and plenty will be needed to improve the club for a run at the Premier League (especially with at least two sizable clubs joining the Championship next season in Aston Villa and Sunderland and/or Newcastle United).

The Cottagers, in the past sometimes described as “Fulhamerica”, have a pair of American players in Emerson Hyndman and Tim Ream, though the former is expected to move onto greener pastures in the summer. U-21 midfielder Luca de la Torre is another Yank at Craven Cottage.

49 days after firing Symons, Fulham hire replacement Jokanovic

Slavisa Jokanovic, Fulham FC
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LONDON (AP) English Championship club Fulham appointed former Watford manager Slavisa Jokanovic as head coach late Sunday, 49 days after firing Kit Symons.

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Jokanovic led Watford to promotion to the English Premier League last season but talks on a new contract collapsed and the 47-year-old Serb left to become boss at Maccabi Tel Aviv.

He apologized to Maccabi fans for departing now, saying the Fulham position was “a very important job” and he hoped “to be there a very long time.”

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If so, it will be a change to the pattern under Fulham owner Shahid Khan, who also owns the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars.

Since buying Fulham in July 2013, Khan has gone through several managers: Martin Jol, Rene Meulensteen, Felix Magath and Symons.

From new Florida shirt sponsor to new pro player, Fulhamerica is still a thing

CARDIFF, WALES - AUGUST 08:  Fulham captain Ross McCormack in action during the Sky Bet Championship match between Cardiff City and Fulham at Cardiff City Stadium on August 8, 2015 in Cardiff, Wales.  (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

Sometime earlier this decade, the death knell of Fulhamerica rang out in the American media. Gone from the English side were players like Brian McBride, Carlos Bocanegra and Clint Dempsey, and that American Player in London vibe was left to Deuce at his new digs at White Hart Lane.

Maybe the American vibe never went away, but it’s blossoming again under owner Shahid “Shad” Khan. The Pakistani businessman bought the team in 2013, and there’s been a Fulhamerica revitalization under Khan (who also owns the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League).

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That’s increased with Fulham’s new shirt sponsor, and another pro player joining the club’s ranks.

With Emerson Hyndman making an impact for the club already at age 19, reported today that 17-year-old San Diego attacking midfielder Luca de la Torre (above) has inked a professional contract with the club (He’s currently with the Fulham U-18s).

And the next time either of those players nets a goal for the Cottagers, you’ll see the Southern Sun beaming off their chests (in a sense, scroll down for image). Visit Florida is the new Fulham shirt sponsor, to the tune of “high six figures”.

In return, Visit Florida expects a lot of Londoners abroad. From The Sun Sentinel:

“I love Fulham and I love Florida, so naturally it brings me a lot of satisfaction to see two of my personal passions become one,” Khan, a supporter of Gov. Rick Scott, said in a prepared statement. “One of my stated goals has long been the expansion and development of Fulham as an international brand, particularly in the U.S. Visit Florida has a great tourism and leisure story to tell in the competitive London and UK market, and I don’t think there can be a better way of communicating all Florida has to offer than through the power and following of Fulham Football Club.”

The one-year deal, which Paul Phipps, Visit Florida’s chief marketing officer, said is “high six-figures,” is expected to generate a $3 return in Florida for each $1 spent.

“We think this sport ties into a very passionate fan base, and Florida can become the destination of choice,” Phipps said. “You have to find new and different ways to communicate your brand.”

That could be worth close to $200 million to Florida in tourism, Phipps says in the article. It’s little surprise that big American dollars would look into the value of Visit Malaysia’s deal with Cardiff City and similar deals.

Whether de la Torre becomes a force for Fulham or the USMNT — he also holds a Spanish passport — the returning Fulhamerica vibe is sure to bring back warm memories for many American fans. Now can it help bring back Premier League football to Craven Cottage?

source: Getty Images
CARDIFF, WALES – AUGUST 08: Fulham captain Ross McCormack (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images)

USMNT legend McBride, Jaguars president helping select Fulham manager

Tampa Bay Buccaneers v Jacksonville Jaguars

Having suffered the ignominy of having had three managers in charge during one season of play, Fulham owner Shahid Khan is taking his time to make sure he gets things right this time around.

With Fulham mired near the bottom of the Championship standings, the next man-in-charge has to be an inspired selection after Martin Jol, Rene Meulensteen and Felix Magath held the position over the past year.

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American midfielder Emerson Hyndman is currently playing fairly regularly for the Cottagers, and a report says Khan has reached into the Fulhamerica files to help him sort out the position. Current caretaker manager Kit Symons considered a candidate.


David Daly, Huw Jenkins, Brian McBride, Danny Murphy and Niall Quinn have all been named on the committee to review the contenders to take over at Craven Cottage.

All five committee members spoke last week with Khan, and all but McBride met in London within the past few days with Mark Lamping, the president of the Jacksonville Jaguars of the National Football League and a non executive director on the Fulham Board of Directors.

Khan met with Daly last month in London, and Khan and Lamping met with McBride during the summer at a United States men’s national team match in Jacksonville.

“I’ve got the right five men to help us find the right man for Fulham,” Khan said. “They each bring something similar, and yet unique, to the search.”

Khan says he’ll be the one to ultimately choose the manager, which is at least somewhat-obvious. Wonder if McBride could toss a name like Stabaek boss Bob Bradley into consideration?

Fulham add Ray Wilkins to coaching ranks

Ray Wilkins
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Fulham has hired former manager Ray Wilkins as the Cottagers new assistant head coach.

“I am delighted that the chairman and the CEO have, again, backed my desire for further experience and support within the backroom staff,” manager Rene Meulensteen said.

“Retaining our status of being a Barclays Premier League club next season is vitally important to our long-term plans, and I know that Ray’s own experience and his knowledge of the game will be a vital component in our success.”

The acquisition of Wilkins is the latest high profile move that new owner Shahid Khan has made over the last two months.

First, Khan introduced Meulensteen as head coach under Martin Jol and, once Jol was fired, as manager.

Then last week the American businessman brought in former Charlton and West Ham manager Alan Curbishley as first team technical director. Now, he’s padded his staff of notable professionals even further by adding Wilkins, who managed the club between 1997 and 1998 when it was in the third tier.

The 57-year-old Wilkins began his managing career at QPR as a player-manager from 1994 and 1996 and later had spells as assistant manager at both Millwall and Chelsea, where he last coached until November 2010. Wilkins has since worked as a television pundit.

With Meulensteen, Curbishley and Wilkins now in tote, Khan will hope his side can turn around what has been a disappointing first half of the season. Despite notable talent throughout the squad, the Cottagers have failed to find their rhythm and currently sit 18th following the 6-0 hammering at Hull City.

Fulham will look to find their way out of the drop zone on Wednesday when they host West Ham United at 10:00am ET on NBC’s Live Extra.