The Football League Paper
Be thankful for Fulham’s strong stance
AS the transfer window today opens wide and the cash starts to fly, Fulham have sent out a little reminder that clubs are no longer willing to let player power and agents rule the world.
Chris Martin, the team’s in-form striker, woke up on Friday and took leave of his senses.
He no longer wanted to play for Fulham, a club who had given him a platform to get career that was fast fading away from him firmly back on track.
He wasn’t injured, and he didn’t have another club looking to offer him a pot of cash as a big-money January signing.
No, Martin has just had enough. He wanted to return to Derby County, and cut short his season-long loan at Fulham there and then. He didn’t care who he upset.
Not the supporters, who were setting off on Friday night to the Madejski Stadium when the news broke that their inspirational frontman was going ‘on strike’.
Not manager Slavisa Jokanovic, who had kept his end of the bargain and did something Derby wouldn’t – allow him to play.
Within touching distance of the play-offs, the Whites should be, in the view of Martin, perfectly fine with losing not only a player they have built their season around, but seeing a direct promotion rival suitably strengthened.
Monday is a big day, Fulham host Brighton and if Jokanovic is to be believed we should expect to find the forward back somewhere within their team sheet.
It’s a risk for the Serbian manager, who some will argue should instead focus on signing a striker who will be proud the wear their west London white.
But their stance is to be applauded. It sends out an important message at the right time.
Give it a rest!
THE results on Monday night after the Bank Holiday weekend will make for more interesting reading than usual.
While most clubs played yesterday, a hefty chunk were in action earlier. Some a lot earlier.
With two Championship matches on Thursday, certain clubs could boast a big advantage of two days’ rest.
We all know how compact the fixture list is over the Christmas and New Year period and most wouldn’t have it any other way, but surely it needs to be a level playing field?