Fulham relegated: The THREE things Cottagers need after sorry season – fans deserve change | Football | Sport

A 4-1 reverse at Vicarage Road goal sealed an immediate return to the second tier just 11 months after their play-off victory over Aston Villa at Wembley.

Ryan Babel gave them a glimmer of hope after he cancelled out Abdoulaye Doucoure’s opener, 

But it was not to be for the Scott Parker’s side after Will Hughes, Troy Deeney and Kiko Femenia meant they went down with a whimper and sealed their fate with five games still to play this term.

Here, Express Sport looks at what the issues they need to address between now and August.

The manager

Easily the biggest decision Fulham need to make, appointing the right manager is paramount to their chances next season.

Caretaker Parker appears to be in the box-seat and has performed admirably since picking up the mess left by Slavisa Jokanovic and then Claudio Ranieri.

To his credit, Parker has tried to install a style that is pleasing on the eye even if he has struggled to get results.

The former Tottenham and England midfielder wants his side to keep the ball on the floor and has urged his limited group of players to play out from the back.

It backfired in the recent 2-0 loss to Manchester City as they conceded possession all too readily and were punished by Pep Guardiola’s ruthless team.

But those tactics worked well for them in the Championship last season and if they can keep hold of some of their better players there is no reason why Parker’s philosophy cannot give them a chance at an immediate return to the top flight.

Should Fulham chiefs decide to look elsewhere, David Wagner is the obvious choice while Steve Clarke has impressed at Kilmarnock this season and has a decent record in the second tier.

Transfers

A big-spending summer promised so much but few of Fulham’s high-profile buys have adapted to life in England.

Jean Michael Seri and Andre-Frank Zambo Anguissa cost just shy of £50million combined and will have to be moved on as the pair are on wages a Championship side simply cannot afford.

Finding teams who are prepared to take them on a permanent basis might be difficult after their poor respective seasons. However, their reputations in France remain intact so Fulham will hope to recoup some of their outlay by sending them back to Ligue 1.

Elsewhere, Ryan Sessegnon, Aleksandar Mitrovic and Tom Cairney are all proven in the Championship but might angle for moves in order to stay in the top flight.

Tottenham are reported admires of Sessegnon while Mitrovic has been heavily linked with Everton.

That means a summer of rebuilding is on the cards and Parker recently revealed plans are already in place.

“That is probably the biggest thing,” he said. “There is planning going on now and that is vitally important.

“I have been involved in two relegations and when a club is in this position, nine times out of 10 it is the same issues.

“My learning from that is helping but, ultimately, we will try to work out where the mistakes were made.”

Ticket prices

Fulham’s suffering fans have proved a patient bunch throughout this miserable season.

So it came as something of a shock to discover they have been paying through the nose to watch their struggling side.

Fulham agreed to freeze season ticket prices for existing holders at the start of the campaign but raised them by almost £200 for new supporters.

They also increased the price of their cheapest tickets by £20 meaning the cheapest available seat for the recent visit of Manchester City was a staggering £55.

Fans are beginning to lose patience and many could be seen holding up banners in protest in the 55th minute of the City game.

Fulham desperately need them onside and they deserve a significant reduction after enduring this sorry season.



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