Fulham owner reacts to ‘nonsense and bogus’ corruption claims

Date published: Wednesday 10th October 2018 7:18 - Joe Williams

The Football Association is investigating a series of claims, including one of “systemic corruption” related to the proposed sale of Wembley, which have been dismissed as “nonsense and bogus” by Shahid Khan.

Fulham’s former assistant director of football Craig Kline has made the allegations, 11 months after being sacked by the Cottagers, who are owned by Khan, the American billionaire seeking to buy the national stadium.

Kline, a university friend of Khan’s son Tony, was dismissed by the London club last year when his relationships with other senior figures broke down.

At the time of his exit, he made several allegations about his Fulham colleagues to the police and posted several of them, including claims of bullying and racism, but the police dismissed them and the tweets were deleted.

But now Kline has posted three new tweets on his account saying he and Tony Khan have a “paper trail” of evidence about “fraud, child endangerment and exploitation” in the game and claiming that his life has been threatened.

Fulham have refused to comment on the claims having been contacted by Press Association Sport, but Shahid Khan’s spokesperson gave short shrift to the latest allegations.

The spokesperson said in a statement: “This is nothing more than the same ongoing nonsense and bogus claims made by a former employee who left the club in 2017. Nothing here merits a further response.”

Kline’s first tweet, sent on Monday from the account @CRK1006, said: “Dear FA Council (+relevant police, MPs, regulators, press etc). I have key evidence of systemic corruption relevant to the Wembley vote which I’d like to submit. Please request this info from me.”

The FA Council meets on Thursday to discuss Shahid Khan’s £900million offer to buy Wembley.

In a statement, an FA spokesperson said: “We have recently been contacted by Craig Kline who has made a series of allegations about Fulham FC. We are currently in the process of reviewing these allegations.”

Contrary to Kline’s suggestion that the FA is not acting on his complaint, it is understood that he phoned the national governing body’s disciplinary team last Wednesday and emailed his evidence to them a day later. He then met the FA on Monday.

Kline’s time at Fulham was punctuated by frequent rows with the club’s coaching staff and other executives as he tried to enforce a data-based, ‘Moneyball-style’ approach to player recruitment.

This led to Fulham passing on several players, including Premier League players Aaron Mooy and Glenn Murray, because they did not meet Kline’s criteria, which he refused to share with other staff.


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