Former Fulham star Collins happy Al-Fayed getting return on investment

Former Fulham star John Collins is delighted to see chairman Mohamed al Fayed's commitment repaid with their run to the Europa League final.

Former Fulham star John Collins is delighted to see chairman Mohamed al Fayed's commitment repaid with their run to the Europa League final.

Collins knows the financial input of chairman Al-Fayed, owner of Harrods until he sold the iconic London department store for £1.5 billion yesterday, cannot be ignored.

“Al-Fayed has taken the club from the lowest level of English football and built it gradually,” Collins told The Herald. “He has not been like Roman Abramovich, buying everyone in sight really quickly, but has done it gradually over 13 years.

“It is a lovely, traditional club, next to the Thames, but it had gone into the wilderness and Al-Fayed brought it back to life. He brought in managers like Kevin Keegan and Jean Tigana to raise the profile and Roy has taken it to another level.

“When Fulham bought me from Everton in 2000 the idea was that the club would eventually reach this stage. When I spoke with Al-Fayed I could see a glint in his eye and hear a passion in his voice about the project.

“He bought us a great training ground, revamped Craven Cottage and brought in top players to make Fulham established in the Premier League. A European trophy would be incredible.”