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Chairman Al Fayed appeals to Government

last updated Wednesday 07th November 2001, 7:48 AM
Fulham's outspoken chairman Mohammed Al Fayed has hit out at the Government for not backing young, talented footballers in this country.

The Harrods owner has bankrolled manager Jean Tigana's assault on the Barclaycard Premiership but he would like to see politicians put money into the game in the lower divisions of the English game.

Fulham's outspoken 
      chairman Mohammed Al Fayed
Mohammed Al Fayed has hit out at the Government for not backing young, talented footballers.
"A lot of talented players do not have the chance because there are not the facilities," Al Fayed told BBC Radio Five Live.

"Unfortunately the Government do not support things like that."

With no backing for youth academies at lower division clubs, and with many of them close to bankruptcy, new players were being brought in from other countries because of a shortage of new talent, according to Al Fayed.

"We have a youth academy at Fulham and I am very proud of that," he said.

Fayed said French manager Tigana had his full backing for the signing of players such as Steve Marlet, but insisted there was no transfer fund at the club.

"He (Tigana) has proved himself at Monaco. "I will just leave it as it is, I do not plan anything. There is no budget."

Al Fayed has set his sights on Fulham emulating Manchester United by winning the Premiership and the Champions League.

"It's a possibility. I am optimistic and I am sure Tigana will deliver. I will leave it to God."

Al Fayed, born in Alexandria, also revealed that he had been a Fulham fan since the age of 14.

After swapping Egypt for England he had taken the chance to buy Fulham when it arose.

"London was my favourite city and Fulham was my favourite club in London," he said. "When I saw the club going downhill that was when I jumped."
Source PA Sport
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