LONDON, ENGLAND - MARCH 04: Fulham's Clint Dempsey.celebrates after scoring his second goal and Fulham's fifth goal of the match during the Barclays Premier League match between Fulham and Wolverhampton Wanderers at Craven Cottage on March 4, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Scott Heavey/Getty Images)
It's fair to say the panic has kicked in. Martin Jol has done little in the way of calming the nerves ahead of what is set to be a testing summer for Fulham FC. His comments that he's prepared to sell the more glorious crop of players currently on the books at Fulham stink of pessimism and reflect more-than-poorly on a club that, for at least a decade now, has been attempting to shake off a seemingly sticky tag of 'the selling club'.
The quotes were probably in passing - just a mere footnote to today's genuine show of our visit to Old Trafford. However trivial they may have been to Jol though, you can't help but feel that the vultures were already circling the likes of Moussa Dembele, Brede Hangeland and Clint Dempsey, and now they've all been happily invited to swoop down and take a jab at whomever they like.
While the vitriol will undoubtedly fly the way of our Dutch manager, however, there is also somewhat of a balance to the debate in that this was becoming an increasingly inevitable phenomenon anyway and all Jol has done is hastened the process. The three names mentioned are the ones most expected to leave SW6 but there are others to be concerned about too and no matter our success this season, be it top ten or top six, financial might in the same league as Manchester City or Chelsea is something we cannot acclaim to. Thus, we cannot always keep ahold of our most prized assets.
And why must the prognosis be quite so depressing? With player sales comes the obvious virtue of increased wealth and that can be reinvested astutely. Yes, Jol has perhaps not proven himself the master of all things singings in South West London just yet, but his role at Tottenham was little more than that of the transfer market matriarch. His tactical nous played a part in his success at White Hart Lane but the story would be entirely different were the likes of Dimitar Berbatov and Aaron Lennon not around. Of course, at Fulham, his most costly signing has proved his most flawed, with Bryan Ruiz failing to make much of an impact, but even Zdenek Grygera, with his lack of playing time, has impressed - as has Pavel Pogrebkyak.
So we must have a little faith in our manager to find some sort of silver lining from what is otherwise a gloomy forecast. Presumably, at least two will go, but it could free up funds in excess of £25 million. In Jol's so far vain attempt to reshape this club into some sort youthfully exuberant outfit, we could find at least a grain of solace. It's a plan, at least.
But to lay out the plan, monetary gains are required and Al Fayed, despite his vast fortunes, will not provide it willy-nilly. Income must be generated first and when you consider the fact that both Dempsey and Dembele have openly expressed their desire to ply their trade in the far higher echelons of the Premier League, there is a feeling that we could all be winners here.
Jol can remould and reconfigure while players that have served us so well over the prevailing years will get their hard fought opportunity to graze in the land of the big guns. Their hearts won't be in it any longer but, at least, Martin Jol's will be. Let us stand by him and support his vision because he's deserving of a break.