The wild scoreline from this weekend’s soccer slate certainly wasn’t Chelsea’s snoozy 2-0 win at Blackburn, Villareal’s 0-0 La Liga opener at Real Madrid, nor was it Red Bull NY’s improbable 6-0 humiliation of Dave Checketts’ Real Salt Lake. Instead, I’ll submit the following result, as reported on by the Guardian’s Tony Leighton.
The rise and fall of Fulham, who capped three years as full-time professionals by winning the treble of Women’s Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup in 2003, plumbed new depths in a humiliating 14-0 defeat by the champions Arsenal yesterday.
(Fulham’s 2002-03 squad)
Since being cast adrift by their parent club in May, Fulham have become an amateur outfit struggling desperately for players as well as finance. A mass exodus took place during the close season, with Chelsea, Bristol Academy and Charlton Athletic the main beneficiaries.
With fund-raising proving extremely difficult, the club secretary Fred Brockwell admitted: “After the summer we’ve had we’re looking to survive at best this season. When we decided to carry on rather than fold the team after what happened with Fulham, we set ourselves a budget target of £30,000. But that came down drastically when we couldn’t get any sponsorship, and we are having to rely on the efforts of the players and supporters to raise cash.”
After a 5-0 opening-day defeat by Chelsea and yesterday’s pummelling at Arsenal, for whom Lianne Sanderson scored five times, Fulham are facing a harsh season