Being a Fulham supporter I feel is a unique experience, as I have gone through many incredible moments such as watching the team play in a Europa League Final, but I have seen the other side now, as the club is currently struggling in the Championship after being relegated from the Barclays Premier League. Through all the good and the bad, the club and its fans are a real family, and I feel fortunate to be a part of it.
Over seven years ago, I was searching for Barclays Premier League team to follow, and when Clint Dempsey moved from the New England Revolution to Fulham Football Club, I decided to give this club a try to see if it fit. Well, not only did it fit, but Fulham got into my blood, and I have been a supporter ever since.
Fulham were relegated in May, and there was concern among some on social media, that the support for Fulham would suffer, and the fan base would diminish substantially. Well, I am here to tell you, that I have not seen a huge drop off in interest in Fulham Football Club that was feared.
I know attendance is down at Craven Cottage, but that is to be expected with a drop down to a lower Division, and the terrible start to the new season. The great thing is so many fans have shown how they feel, and wanted to be heard during this difficult time.
Former manager Felix Magath really alienated the fans and the players during his time in charge, and action was finally made with his sacking on Thursday. Many supporters last week sent constructive emails to the Communications Representative for the Fulham owner Shahid Khan, and their thoughts were passed on to him.
In the program for the Blackburn match, there was a message from the owner, and he shared his thoughts on the current situation on the club. He mentioned how he got the emails from the supporters, as many shared their personal stories of why they were Fulham supporters, and voiced their concerns on the current situation. Mr. Khan mentioned in this article that he knew Fulham was special, but after reading these emails he felt it.
Fulham are a family, and we go through the highs and the lows together. I have personally experienced the power of this family in several ways. I have an internet radio show called Cottage Talk, and this is the fourth year of the show. Since being relegated, the amount of listeners has gone up incredibly, and it is wonderful to see so much interest in the club and my show.
You would think the amount of listeners would go down, but I have seen so many comments on my show, and of course an increase in listeners since the end of May. It is obvious to me that the Fulham supporters are not going anywhere.
If you go on twitter or Facebook, you can read the passion that the supporters have for Fulham Football Club. I have seen a Facebook page for my show increase 500%, and a twitter account almost double in the same timeframe.
In person, I have recently experienced the Fulham family, and what it means. This summer I traveled to Jacksonville to see Fulham play in a friendly at EverBank Field, and it was the first time in many years that the club returned to the United States. The match was great, but the actual game is not what stood out for me.
First, I got to meet the owner of the club in person, and we talked for about 10 minutes. I left that meeting convinced that his intentions for Fulham are positive and genuine. He wants Fulham back in the Barclays Premier League, and he is committed to make that happen, and then have the club sustain itself in the best football league in the world.
Next, I got to see in person the interest for Fulham Football Club in the United States. I got to attend a meet up of Fulham supporters at a local restaurant, and the place was packed. Fans came from all over the country, and I got to hear all of their stories of how they became supporters.
It was amazing to see the passion for Fulham that resides in my own country. Fans traveled from California, Texas, North Carolina, South Carolina, Georgia and Massachusetts.
This meet up went to the next level as the Fulham owner showed up. He talked to fans, and took pictures with them.
To top it off, I never thought I would see Fulham supporters tailgating before a match, and that blew me away. The interest for the side is much bigger than many might think. The Fulham family is not just in England but is global.
In concluding, even with all of the problems that Fulham are currently having on the pitch, the interest for the club I feel is as strong as ever. I am proud to be a member of the Fulham Family, and we are there through the good times and the bad.
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