Fulham to Increase Capacity of Craven Cottage
October 10, 2011
Fulham have revealed plans to increase the capacity of their Craven Cottage stadium to 30,000 dashing claims of a possible move.
The stadium has been the Whites’ home since 1896 and currently holds 25,700 after several refurbishment projects over the past decade.
Recent speculation suggested Fulham have been looking to move to a new stadium, and a potential ground share with West London neighbours QPR or Chelsea has also been reported.
However, the Cottagers have confirmed that no such talks have taken place with either club and that they intend to stay at a redeveloped Craven Cottage.
Fulham chief executive Alastair Mackintosh said: “Fulham has seen unprecedented success both on and off the pitch in recent years, and is now an established Barclays Premier League club, qualifying for European competitions and accommodating over 25,000 people on a regular basis.
“We are confident that a redevelopment will improve the fans matchday experience, and enhance our corporate offering, whilst remaining sympathetic to the design of this historic ground.
“Naturally our core family values, and the tradition of the football club, continue to be at the forefront of everything we do. This investment at Craven Cottage demonstrates yet again the chairman’s continued ambition to see the club prosper and grow and to continue to compete at this level for many years to come.
“We are still in the very early stages of the planning process and will be holding a public exhibition in mid-October, where we would very much welcome people’s thoughts on our initial ideas.”
Fulham are looking at ways to develop the Riverside Stand in order to increase the stadium’s capacity up to 30,000.
The venue would also be subject to wider facility improvements and, as part of the consultation process, the club will begin speaking to residents, supporters and other interested groups from next week.
Fulham thought they had played their last match at Craven Cottage at the end of the 2001-02 campaign, spending the following season at QPR’s Loftus Road with the intention of starting out a new stadium a year later.
Opposition to the proposal put paid to the process and spiralling costs eventually resulted in the Whites aborting plans for a new home. Instead, the club invested money in refurbishment work to increase Craven Cottage’s capacity to 25,700, while upgrading facilities.