Football

Hodgson urges caution

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Fulham manager Roy Hodgson is adamant the club should not risk financial oblivion by trying to break into the Barclays Premier League's top six.

Hodgson has been feted for transforming the west Londoners from relegation strugglers to Europa League contenders, with their sensational victory over Juventus on Thursday night taking them into the last eight of the competition. The Cottagers finished seventh in the Premier League last season to qualify for Europe but Hodgson does not want the club to try and compete financially with the top flight's bigger sides to achieve a higher position.

The modest Hodgson, who described himself as "nothing particularly special" despite their stunning success against Juve, told BBC Radio Five Live's Sportsweek programme: "The amount of money that the top teams are spending increases every year - not just the transfer fees but also wages."

He added: "I know the chairman (Mohamed Al Fayed) has done an article this week that in his view clubs should not really be living beyond their means and clubs should not be depending on sugar daddies in order to survive.

"I totally agree with that philosophy as well so it would be unwise of me to say that we should try to break into that top six by breaking the bank.

"The teams in that top six have a massive advantage over Fulham, and that is that they have a capacity of 60-70,000 whereas we have 23,000."

Hodgson admitted the problems of Portsmouth, who have gone into administration with debts of around £80million, should serve as a warning to clubs like Fulham.

"The existence of the football club is more important than short-term gain," he said.

"If we need a reminder of that, you have the short-term gain of Portsmouth winning the FA Cup (in 2008) which is really something that after years of moving between the top two divisions they thought maybe was beyond them.

"But when you see what happens as a result of it, with the club going into administration, that would bother me more than hoping or believing that Fulham could stay in the Premier League for years to come."

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Topics:
Europa League
Portsmouth
Fulham
Football
Premier League
FA Cup

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