FA Scrooges to block Fulham's hamper hopes

Fulham chairman Mohamed al Fayed has promised his players a £5,000 hamper of goodies - each - if they beat the drop.

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Skipper Brian McBride reckons Fayed's encouragement can only improve their chances and revealed: "When he told us before the game what he was planning, a few of the guys were going ‘What's a hamper?'

"It looks like we'll have to acquire a taste for caviar but it is a great gesture.

"It was very impressive to see the owner in the dressing-room and showing his desire."

Midfielder Jimmy Bullard added: "I can't wait for my hamper. I'll be the first one in the queue. The chairman came in and told us all he wanted to give us a five-grand hamper, so pull you fingers out and do the job.

"He doesn't mince his words. He tells it how it is. He is a character and he's a top man. He wears his heart on his sleeve and the fans love him for it."

However, the bad news for Fulham's stars is that FA rules prevent them from receiving any form of incentive which is not specified within their contracts.

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