Khan’s fan row plunges Ful­ham deeper into ‘hell’

The Daily Telegraph - Sport - - Total Football - At Turf Moor na­tion­al­i­ties in Neil Warnock’s squad, with play­ers from Eng­land, Wales, Scot­land, Repub­lic of Ire­land, Den­mark, Spain, France, Ice­land, Philip­pines, Gabon and Canada. Warnock, who on Satur­day said “to hell the rest of the world”, works for a

Just when it seemed that Ful­ham’s mo­rale could get no lower, the club’s vice-chair­man, Tony Khan, told a sup­porter on Twit­ter to “Go to hell” in the af­ter­math of this de­feat. The fan could have been for­given for re­spond­ing that the club were al­ready there.

“I’ve never been in­volved in some­thing like this,” said winger An­dre Schur­rle as he re­flected on Ful­ham’s in­creas­ingly chaotic bat­tle against rel­e­ga­tion. The de­feat at Burn­ley has left them five points from safety and seem­ingly with no way out of their mis­ery.

Schur­rle, who set up the win­ner for Mario Gotze when Ger­many beat Ar­gentina to lift the World Cup five years ago, sug­gested that Premier League sur­vival, from this po­si­tion, would feel like a tro­phy. “Yes, it would be one of the big­gest achieve­ments be­cause we are deep, deep, deep in trou­ble,” he said.

With no away league wins all sea­son, Ful­ham’s trou­ble was of their own mak­ing at Turf Moor. Schur­rle gave them the lead with a su­perb sec­ond-minute goal, con­trol­ling De­nis Odoi’s long pass with the out­side of his right foot be­fore whip­ping an un­stop­pable shot that dipped in off the un­der­side of the bar. Then it all fell apart in spec­tac­u­lar fash­ion, with two own goals in three firsthalf min­utes, through Joe Bryan and Odoi. Burn­ley be­came the first team since records be­gan to score two goals in a Premier League match with­out manag­ing a shot on tar­get. It needs char­ac­ter to pull out of this kind of mess, but team spirit takes time to build, and Ful­ham are try­ing to get clear of trou­ble with a squad al­most en­tirely re­shaped fol­low­ing pro­mo­tion from the Cham­pi­onship last May.

Khan fa­ther’s, Shahid, the club’s owner, sanc­tioned the spend­ing of £100 mil­lion as 12 se­nior play­ers were brought in dur­ing the sum­mer; seven started at Turf Moor, in­clud­ing Schur­rle.

“A lot of play­ers who played last year aren’t play­ing,” Schur­rle, on a two-year loan from Borus­sia Dort­mund, ac­knowl­edged. “They had a very good team spirit. It’s not easy to build this team spirit that you need, es­pe­cially to win games like this, when the weather is s--- and ev­ery­thing goes against you. We haven’t man­aged to do that un­til now, but there are still a few months to go, and we will not give up.”

More new faces are likely to ar­rive. Be­fore re­spond­ing an­grily to the sup­porter’s re­quest to “leave our club please”, Tony Khan had tweeted: “As with last Jan­uary, we’ll make mul­ti­ple sign­ings to im­prove the squad.”

While Ful­ham floun­der, Burn­ley’s re­cent woes are be­com­ing a mem­ory; three suc­ces­sive league wins have pulled them three points clear of the rel­e­ga­tion zone.

Dwight Mcneil, the teenage winger pro­moted from the club’s un­der-23 side, has played a sig­nif­i­cant part in the re­vival, but is not let­ting it go to his head. “I still have break­fast with the un­der-23s in the morn­ing,”mcneil said.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from UK

© PressReader. All rights reserved.