Fulham made an instant return to the Premier League on Tuesday, beating Brentford 2-1 at Wembley in what is regarded as the most lucrative game in world football.
Defender Joe Bryan was the unlikely hero for Scott Parker’s side in the Championship play-off final, scoring two goals in extra time after the London clubs were locked at 0-0 at the end of a cagey 90 minutes.
Henrik Dalsgaard scored a late consolation for Brentford but it was too little too late for Thomas Frank’s team, who have not played in the English top-flight for 73 years.
The Craven Cottage club will earn around £135 million ($176 million) for bouncing back from relegation last season and this result also gives rookie boss Parker a first success of his fledgling managerial career.
“We’ve done what we’ve done tonight, but there’s still improvement, and that’s what makes me so proud and happy,” Parker told Sky Sports.
“For all of the good players and everything you see, what makes me so happy I see a group of players who only a year ago were struggling psychologically, didn’t have a mindset or mentality.
“I’ve driven this team every single day and what makes me proud is I stood on the touchline tonight and have seen a team that represents what I’ve been saying over the last 12 months.”