In addition to Justin Blackmon, another topic Jaguars owner Shad Khan was asked about today was the relegation of Fulham FC from the English Premier League. Khan purchased the London-based team last July but they won only nine of 38 matches, had the league’s worst goal differential (minus-45) and Khan fired two managers.
When Khan purchased Fulham, he envisioned cross promotion possibilities between the Cottagers and the Jaguars. That remains the case although Fulham will now be playing in the Championship Division of English soccer.
“To me, it’s unfortunate, it’s not what we wanted, but it’s reality, OK?” Khan said. “What we have to do is build [Fulham] for the long haul. It has great assets and great fan support. Now we have to get the football side right, where you build it from the ground up and it’s something that will last a long time.”
One problem with the “ground up” philosophy, which is similar to the Jaguars’ plan: If Fulham is terrible in 2014-15, it could be in danger of languishing in the lower division for years, a revenue-sapping debacle. The Jaguars have no such concerns during their build.
Most teams that are relegated are forced to sell off their top players in order to balance the books.
“I’ve talked to [manager] Felix [Magath] and what we want to do is what’s in the best interest of the team,” Khan said. “This isn’t about balancing the books. Certainly, I’m committed to doing whatever we can to get them back [to the Premier League].”
Khan is encouraged about Fulham’s future because of its under-21 team (which finished fifth in its league this year), finances (no debt), sponsorship support (100 percent renewals) and ticket revenue (Khan said prices were among the highest in the Premier League).
“This isn’t a one-shot deal for me,” Khan said. “Are they sustainable? Yes, 100 percent.”