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The Tanner Report/Fulham past & present.

A local Fulham supporter who was moving entrusted me with his programme collection which went back to the 1950s.

I had a scant recollection of games in the past 10 years but those in the 70s were crystal clear.

Of particular interest was the Handbook for season 1971-72.

In a column called Looking Ahead  General Manager Graham Hortop expressed remarkably prescient thoughts about Fulham and football.

Fulham were in the process of constructing the Riverside Stand which presently is being replaced.

Graham Hortop  predicted all seater stadia but it was Hillsborough and the Taylor Report that were to usher these in much later.

In the short, middle and long term the new stand proved a disaster.

Playing in a three-sided stadium nearly demoted Fulham in 1972 but the financial longer term ramifications proved severe.

Eventually Fulham had to sell Steve Earle to Leicester and Paul Went to Portsmouth to offset the financial burden.

Tommy Trinder, ex-Musical Hall star and chairman of Fulham, was out of his depth to deal with the financial meltdown and a new board comprising Eric Miller and Ernie Clay took over after the 1975 Cup Final.

It was always thought by fans that – for Trinder – the club was a convenient forum for his jokes but he was incredibly naive.

In his column in the Handbook, along with his age-old joke of nipping into Craven Cottage when the tide was out, he complained of the cost of the new stand. The building project was beyond him.

Graham Hortop  also wrote of 2 other developments: computers and the Common Market entry. He predicted the influx of overseas players and even Sunday football.

There is a tendency to glamourise 1970s football, so let us not forget the racism, hooliganism and little concern for women (as fans or players) and the absence of any disabled facilities.

Turning to the present, the new stand is still an issue.

Unlike The Riverside Stand, it is hoped facilities will attract locals and go beyond match day.