Fulham cruise through as Martin Jol seeks balance

Fulham manager Martin Jol believes it is possible to strike a balance between the Barclays Premier League and the Cottagers' exertions in other competitions but concedes it will be tough.

The west Londoners made it through to the Europa League third qualifying round last night with a 4-0 victory - 7-1 on aggregate - over Northern Irish part-timers Crusaders.

Andrew Johnson, Damien Duff, Bobby Zamora and Steve Sidwell netted in the second leg at Craven Cottage to set-up a tie with RNK Split in Croatia next week.

While Jol conceded the Premier League remains Fulham's priority, the Dutchman insisted his side can still flourish on the European stage - as proven by the Fulham side that reached the final in 2010.

"For me the Premier League is the most important thing but if you want to be a good club you need to play well in all competitions and try to do well," he said.

"Last year they did not have the biggest squad and five or six players left, which is why we need five or six players in to get a good squad.

"Then you can probably rotate more, which is not what Fulham is known for, yet they still got to the final a couple of years ago.

"It is possible to do well in Europe and to do well in the league but of course it is not easy.

"Even in the year they went to the final they were 12th. Last year they did very well but the difference with the team in 14th spot was, if I'm not mistaken, two or three points."

While Fulham were able to celebrate on-field success yesterday, off it the club was forced to launch an appeal to the Supreme Court after failing in a renewed bid to oust Premier League chairman Sir Dave Richards.

The dispute centres around the role which Fulham claim Richards played in England striker Peter Crouch's £9million move from Portsmouth to Tottenham two years ago.

Fulham refused to accept a High Court judgment that the dispute with Richards should be settled by arbitration, but three Court of Appeal judges yesterday dismissed the Premier League club's appeal after a hearing in London.

However, Fulham will now launch an appeal to the Supreme Court in an attempt to have the case heard in open court.

"Fulham will be seeking permission from the Supreme Court to appeal this decision since it considers that a point of law of general importance is involved and that it has a good prospect of success," the club said in a statement released to Press Association Sport.

"The decision by the Court of Appeal affects not only the world of football but potentially every company in the land which has a shareholders' agreement or set of articles of association with an arbitration clause."

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