Some football clubs expand their stadiums without cutting capacity throughout the process. It's not possible at Craven Cottage, though, which means a reduction to some 20,000 will take place until late 2021.
We'd say that after this announcement Fulham will have one of Premier League's smallest stadiums but they're not likely to avoid relegation at this point. But their stadium will get smaller either way. Regardless of possible relegation, expansion has to begin, will begin in May.
The plan, as we've shown you almost exactly a year ago, will see Craven Cottage gain a brand new Riverside Stand and it's now been confirmed that the project cannot follow the way of Anfield or many other stadium expansions in England, which saw additional structures built while old ones were still in use.
Though matchday revenue is crucial and demand for tickets is expected to remain huge at Fulham, it's simply not easy to retain the existing stand as space is extremely scarce. That's why all 4,689 seats will be gone for two seasons, starting next summer. Expected capacity during this period will be about 20,000.
The football team has pledged to work with Fulham Supporters Trust in the process of relocating season ticket holders. However, with Fulham having immense demand for season tickets regardless of their league standing, some people are bound to be left out.
Patience will be rewarded in the 2021/22 season, when the new Riverside Stand will open with over 8,500 seats on two tiers. The project ran by Shahid Khan was awarded to Buckingham Group and is worth some £100 million.