The decision to terminate the services of Fulham club skipper Brede Hangeland has not gone down well with either Brede or the fans. It’s a sad reflection of where our club is now that someone who served the club for five years, was one of our best-ever defenders and club captain, should get an email to say he is no longer wanted. One thinks of another club captain Brian McBride, who had a bar named after him.
You never know the inside story and certainly Brede did not, by his standards, have a good season. It may be that his sciatica, which made jumping painful, was not corrected by the operation. Once the other centre back member of the “Thames Barrier”, Aaron Hughes, left he was never the same.
Brede has gone public to the press and private to his many admirers in castigating the club. I have cleaned Brede’s windows and he is an intelligent man, son of a CEO of a Texan oil company. He was more accessible to fans than yer average pro and most of all loved the club.
Most clubs are ruthless in terminating the contracts of an ageing pro but we are not most clubs and this is not the Fulham way. Although the Chairman in his well-crafted phrases in his programme notes speaks of being a custodian of a family club, his decisions and judgment reflect something rather more alien to the Fulhamish culture: the sad thing for him is that, if he stuck with a team whose playing staff is too good for the division, he had more chance of recouping his investment by speedy promotion but I fear his thinking now is how best to trim costs in the Championship and that we – like Blackburn, Bolton and Middlesbrough – once Premier regulars all, will be spending more time than necessary in the second tier.