Fulham owner Shahid Khan targets top-six finish for improving side
It`s not everyone who can watch two clubs he owns in two different sports while staying on his own yacht moored in the middle of London, but that`s the pleasant situation Shahid Khan finds himself in this weekend.
London: It`s not everyone who can watch two clubs he owns in two different sports while staying on his own yacht moored in the middle of London, but that`s the pleasant situation Shahid Khan finds himself in this weekend.
The 64-year-old billionaire, who made his money in the motor trade, will watch Fulham play Huddersfield Town at Craven Cottage in the English soccer Championship (second division) on Saturday and will then see his Jacksonville Jaguars team take on the Dallas Cowboys in the NFL at Wembley on Sunday.
Although Fulham are languishing 21st in the table, a point above the relegation zone, there has been a marked improvement under new manager Kit Symonds and Khan is optimistically eyeing an immediate return to the top flight.
Under their previous German boss Felix Magath, Fulham took one point from 21 in their opening seven games, but have now lost just one of their last eight.
"Why can’t our target now be the top six?" Khan told Sky Sports on Friday.
A top-two finish would give Fulham promotion back to the Premier League but they could also go up through the playoffs by finishing between third and sixth.
"We’ve got great resources, good players and we’re still only out of it (the top six) by 11 points or so. That could have been less with one more goal against Blackpool (in Wednesday`s 2-2 draw).
"We’re not out of the top-six running and our goal has to be that. It doesn’t mean we’re going to reach it but that’s what we’re saying. What is not a target is complacency."
The Pakistani-American with the distinctive moustache bought Fulham from Mohamed Al Fayed for a reported 150 million pounds ($237.27 million) in July last year. Despite several managerial changes they were relegated after 13 years in the top flight.
But anyone who owns a yacht named Kismet valued at about 70 million pounds and moored in London for the weekend should not be underestimated when he sets himself, and his team, a target.