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Fulham allowed to return to The Cottage

last updated Friday 12th December 2003, 9:13 AM
Fulham's long-awaited return to Craven Cottage is set to get the go-ahead next week.

Fulham at the Hammersmith End on a lazy sunny afternoon
Planners have recommended that the club are given approval to turn the historic ground into a 22,000-seat stadium and councillors are expected to rubber stamp the decision on Tuesday.

The club needed permission to convert terraces, cover them and put in more executive boxes before their proposed return for next season.

But they have only asked that Hammersmith and Fulham Council temporarily approve the changes for three years because chairman Mohamed Fayed is still determined to build a new stadium at White City.

The move is a partial victory for fans, who have been campaigning to go back to the ground since they began sharing with Queens Park Rangers at Loftus Road last season.

It is also a relief for Fulham, who have been banking on a return to the place they first made their home in 1896. Groundsharing at Loftus Road beyond this season would have required expensive improvements to comply with Premiership standards and previous plans have failed largely because of cost.

News of the club's imminent return will be a boost ahead of their game at Leeds on Sunday.
Source Evening Standard by Leo Spall
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