PLUCKY Fulham went down fighting last night as their riches to even more riches tale ended in last minute disappointment.
Their extra time defeat to Atletico Madrid was heartbreaking for football fans across the country, who had followed this heroic band of violent, semi-literate millionaires all the way to the Europa League final.
But after the heady heights of a dazzling European run the club is once again facing the harsh reality of another domestic season blighted by enormous wages and a huge transfer budget.
Manager Roy Hodgson said: “We’re just an ordinary bunch of absurdly over-paid people whose very souls are the property of a billionaire megalomaniac conspiracy-theorist.
“But Mr Al Fayed’s a lovely, down-to-earth bloke and anyone who says different can look forward to being attacked by a massive leopard that’s completely unconnected to him in any way.”
Hodgson added: “After the match he spoke to the lads, mainly about how MI6 and the Duke of Kent had genetically engineered Diego Forlan to destroy our team after having assassinated Jade Goody.
“Then we had a proper down-to-earth cup of tea served from a 300-gallon ivory urn by a uniformed batallion of perfumed flunkies. Just like my old mum used to make it.”
Fulham have had an epic season, having played for almost 100 hours since July of last year. But Hodgson said the team was now showing the adverse effects of having to cram the equivalent of three weeks work into a space of just 10 months.
Meanwhile the Coattager’s pluckiness coefficient will also drop after having reached a European final, with commentators now expected to be around 68% less patronising.
But Hodgson insisted he is hoping to compensate for the down-grade with a series of summer signings including a 1950s Cockney orphan and a little dog that dragged a baby from a fire.