MOHAMED AL FAYED, the controversial owner of Harrods of London, has taken over as majority shareholder at Fulham football club.
Al Fayed has invested £30 million in a deal which will help finance the redevelopment of Craven Cottage and pay for new players.
The rebuilding of the old ground on the banks of the River Thames will cost at least £7 million, with a new 25,000 seater stadium now the target.
Al Fayed said manager Micky Adams will have "no excuses" not to provide a team good enough to grace such a stadium.
He said: "I am delighted to have this opportunity to invest in such a great and historic football club which so many people hold in such high esteem.
Al Fayed's interest in the west London club comes just a week after football pundit Jimmy Hill quit as chairman after a decade at the helm to devote more time to his family.
"The intention is that we are going to rebuild Craven Cottage and challenge for the Premiership. These are our ambitions and targets and funds will be made available for that," said the club's vice chairman, Bill Muddyman.
Fulham's manager has laughed off suggestions that he is under extra pressure to produce the right results on the pitch. Adams, who produced a promotion winning side by spending just £70,000 last season, said: "I think I have got to produce a team to get us out of the second division regardless of whether we have got any money or not".