Inscrutable Khan the enigma

Posted by Phil Mison

Shahid Khan close up smileAPPhil Mison is calling upon Shahid Khan to fix Fulham at a boardroom level.

The Internal workings at Fulham are, at the time of writing, being pulled apart and examined with more gusto than a million Thanksgiving turkeys. Here in London, one overweight bird who has lost the power of flight remains -- against all odds -- on his lofty perch.

I sense we have moved on from the polemic of debating the manager’s credentials, because following five straight defeats and a frightening falling off in levels, Fulham fans of every hue have clearly seen enough. What is distressing this writer is the inertia at the boardroom level. Are the fans being listened to?

Apparently so, because this week the bean counters at Motspur e-mailed selected "customers" with season tickets to ask why they had not been attending. Well that’s asking for it! Do you think the object of the exercise was to fold the best answers into Christmas crackers for the staff to all have a jolly good laugh at their upcoming festive dinner?

Unfortunately, turning Fulham FC from respectable mid-table performers into hotly tipped relegation candidates is not merely a function of one Dutch manager who is no longer as good as he thinks he is. Others with responsibilities, and control over the finances, especially when it comes to recent transfer policy, should also be asked some searching questions.

Their failure is no less apparent than Martin Jol’s.

Just three months into the campaign, fate has whipped up the perfect storm. Mohamed Al-Fayed and his advisors are safely away among the snowy peaks of Switzerland counting their cash pile. But the policy of treading water, trimming the deficit, and going with a squad in decline abetted by stop gap replacements has now come home to roost.

No blame should be directed at our new owner over in Florida. Snapped jauntily striding up the red carpet rolled out in his honour last August, little did he know someone had fly-tipped a ton of steaming manure at the back of Craven Cottage and all the pipes would burst with the first frost.

Shad Khan was looking for a feel-good honeymoon period whereby he would get a handle on his new toy while bouncing into town to parade his Jaguars. Khan has one man over here minding the shop for him. God knows what he’s being told. The rump remaining on the board post-Fayed are protecting themselves. It is obvious. They are the men who have backed Jol since 2011. Shove Jol out the door with a pay-off and who goes next? Khan, when he does fire, likes to go through the corridors with a clean sweep.

So there you have it. The Whites are hobbled in their current predicament. The board have thrown their final chips on the table. Can Rene Meulensteen bail them out and wrest enough initiative away from Jol to try to kick-start this team?

I really hope so. If we can scratch the odd point or three up to January, Khan then has to show his hand in the transfer market. Spending 20 million pounds there is chicken feed compared to the losses incurred by relegation. Especially as Fulham’s roster of senior players will barely raise enough for a round in "The Crabtree" when they all jump ship next May.

Shad may not know much about the Premier League, but I am certain he can read a balance sheet.

In the meantime Fulham fans, the loyal yet masochistic bunch that we are, will do our best to cheer the team on.

Big banners, bad tempers and bawling out individuals is really not in our DNA, though it’s hardly surprising some have seen fit to verbally vent their anger. Footballers are paid fabulous amounts of money, and they’re all grown up, so I personally think paying customers have every right to express their disgust. For those abusing fellow fans I have no time.

And for those who say this blogger is way too critical, I will never make it personal. When one considers some of the woefully inept players we had donning the jersey in the old fourth division, and where comments from a few hundred in the Enclosure easily carried to the players -- well, just a roll of the eyes and a shrug of the shoulders said it all.

I am looking forward enormously to the time we get the real low down on this perplexing period in our history. For now, we are all being kept in the dark. If you’ve got any different views on the crisis, I’d love to hear them.

West Ham preview coming soon. COYW!



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