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Relegation won't stop Fulham's Riverside Stand from being completed

Relegation won't stop Fulham's Riverside Stand from being completed

Relegation from the Premier League brings with it financial ramifications that can often bring a club to its knees. The advent of parachute payments has helped soften the fall from England's top-flight but they're only as effective as an owner is practical. The long and short of it is that if clubs don't cut their cloth accordingly following relegation, impending doom is not far away.

For Fulham, relegation is somewhat woven into the fabric of the football club and this will be their second relegation in three seasons. Of course, some fans may take great exception to that and point to the 13 successive seasons that Fulham managed in the Premier League before being relegated in 2014. A fine achievement indeed, but perhaps the standout exception rather than the rule. For whatever reason, it feels as if Fulham will always be fighting for their Premier League lives when they take up residence in the top-flight after arriving from the Championship.

It is the yo-yo nature of the club, however, that has made Fulham so adept at bouncing back when they do go down. In many respects, the owners always have one eye on the worst-case scenario which means that when relegation does happen, it isn't a case of panic stations.

Perhaps there isn't a better example of that this season than the fact that Craven Cottage's swanky new stand will still be completed despite not having the Premier League riches to call on anymore. This news will be warmly received by Fulham fans given how much excitement there initially was when it was announced that the club would be drastically revamping the Riverside Stand. Indeed, the annual loss of around £55 million that relegation brings is not enough for this quite magnificent stand to be left half-built.

Interestingly, it's worth pointing out that the Riverside Stand has been renovated with the future in mind instead of its size when you consider that it will only add a mere 3,900 seats to the ground's current capacity of 25,700. Rather, the £80 million development will ensure that Fulham fans get to call Craven Cottage home for quite possibly another 125 years after moving in during the 1896 season. Adding luxurious extensions to this ground is confirmation that Fulham don't expect to move anytime soon.

Additionally, it is probably the only stand in the world where supporters will be torn between the football on the pitch and the idyllic setting of the famous River Thames behind them. There will be few better grounds in world football to enjoy a refreshment during halftime as fans get to rest their eyes on the Thames.

Once the Riverside Stand is completed, however, the onus is very much on Fulham to get back into the Premier League now that they have a ground to match the glitz and glamour of England's top-flight. Encouraging for fans, the sports betting UK markets for the 2021/2022 Championship season will without a doubt have Fulham as one of the favourites to bounce back yet again.

There are of course no guarantees when a team gets relegated but this is a club that knows the extent of the challenges that lie ahead better than anyone else in the division. Fulham will now embark on operation promotion back to the promised land once more. When they do inevitably return, Craven Cottage will look unrecognizable.

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