The Foot­ball League Pa­per

Be thank­ful for Ful­ham’s strong stance

The Football League Paper - - INSIDE: -

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?

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