How long is a reasonable time for a club to be expected on find its feet in a new division? One year? Three years? Five years? It’s a question worth answering in the case of Fulham Football Club, because after over ten years in the Premier League, there are still some that consider this club to be interlopers in the top division, the plaything of an occasionally eccentric multi-millionaire. Football supporters are an inherently conservative bunch, and Fulham had the temerity of break through the glass ceiling that we had put in place for them. After eleven years, however, times have changed. No longer, in some respects, that quirky club with the pretty ground on the banks of the River Thames and Jimmy Hill hanging around somewhere in the background, Fulham FC has grown up, and not everybody, it sometimes seems, has even has noticed yet.
Fulham FC has, however, kept most of its charm in spite of the pace of change around it. The redevelopment of Craven Cottage has – Michael Jackson statue excepted – been more tastefully handled than that of any other club at their level in recent years, and there remains something modest about the club, (...)