“Craven Cottage, by the river, take me home!” Thus goes a song which reverberates around the most beautiful stadium in existence on a regular basis, a ringing indictment of the special bond which Fulham fans have with their historic home on the banks of the Thames.
There’s simply no sporting venue on the planet like or even close to the Cottage. Uniquely embodying the best of a bygone era, many a Fulham supporter feels unified and privileged when sat within its quaintly captivating glory, and there have been numerous fights by brave and true men down the years to keep Fulham at the Cottage, even when all seemed lost.
However, after the Cottagers were granted permission to expand the Riverside Stand in 2013, the grand old auditorium is about to undergo a relatively spectacular revamp, a scheme which will catapult the south-west Londoners well and truly into the 21st century and beyond.
It’s projected that the Riverside Stand is to be expanded by 4,300 seats, supposedly taking the stadium’s capacity to approximately 30,000 or so. Extra room for spectators is the most welcoming factor, naturally; however the most surprising and mesmerising aspect of the proposed plans is the aesthetics – the concept of what’s to be expected once it’s finally completed is utterly breathtaking.
Indeed, in solidarity with the club’s followers, Fulham invited fans on Thursday, October 12th, to come and see two exhibitions which focused on the design of the redeveloped Riverside Stand, and though many believed it was an exquisite project to behold, some were evidently not so dazzled, taking to Twitter to voice their opinions.
No, just leave it as is. I signed a petition to “Save the Cottage” in 1996. One of the most special grounds I’ve been to.
— Michael J. Agovino (@MJAgovino) October 12, 2017
Looks a bit like a Westfield but nice and modern nonetheless; cracking roof!
— Morgan Calton (@mccalton) October 12, 2017
Ugh, no way. The cottage is a classic ground, with brick construction and wooden seats. Keep the new construction in the same vein, plz Tony
— Joe G. (@blatherball) October 12, 2017
Good concept, will be keen to see how it turns out
— Alex (@PurePower__) October 12, 2017
If anything is certain in life, it’s that you can’t please everyone. Prided on being the oldest club in the country’s capital, Fulham will forever be a key part of London’s continually thriving football scene, and the Cottage grounds that history in bricks and mortar.
However, ultimately, if Fulham are to progress as a club into the future as they strive to compete in the glitz of the Premier League once more, there surely can’t be any harm in giving the charismatic fortress a slight makeover, no matter how lavishly extravagant it may appear on the surface.