Fulham owner Shahid Khan says he is confident that it will be third time lucky as the Whites look to end their prolonged period of bouncing between the top two divisions of English football.
In a wide-ranging interview with the Times’ Alyson Rudd, Khan – who insists the new Riverside Stand will give the best views of London – details why he feels like Fulham are in a better position to avoid going straight back down to the Championship than on either of the two previous occasions they were promoted during his tenure in charge.
“If you don’t learn from history, you’re doomed to repeat mistakes. We had a much stronger team this year coming up, won the Championship, set records. That young team, you have to supplement it in a way that is complementary, so you’re counting on analytics, the track record of the players and, most importantly, the manager. He might have a recipe but the technique of putting it all together is the art.
Having a manager who is engaged and accountable is very important. I was at the training ground, one on one, with several of the players who have been there a long time. And I got a really good feeling from them that this time it feels different and we’re going to stay up. I feel really good. The last two times we went up we had a manager who had never coached in the Premier League, but we do have one now who has enjoyed success and that is very important.”
Khan, who wasn’t directly questioned on the club’s decision to charge as much as £100 for tickets to the opening game of the season against Liverpool, also dismissed the suggestion that there was ‘a Khan brand’ of sports ownership – given that he also owns the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“That sounds too narcissistic and arrogant. I think you want to have the values of accountability, integrity and success on the pitch and those things need to operate in harmony and not be mutually exclusive.”