Fulham owner Shahid Khan has apologised to the club’s fans after their Premier League relegation was confirmed.
The Cottagers splashed out more than £100millon on new players following promotion last summer but have registered just four top-flight victories and sacked two managers during a season of struggle.
Tuesday’s 4-1 thumping at Watford was a ninth successive defeat for the west London club and sealed their fate with five fixtures remaining.
“Our results over the past three months were as troubling for me and everyone associated with our club as I know they were for you,” said Khan in a statement.
“Last night’s outcome made official what we didn’t think would be possible in August and tried desperately to remedy and avoid as the season wore on. For me, that makes today the most difficult day of all.
“I am sorry that we let you down. Our goal this season was to build on what we achieved in promotion and deliver on our pledge to invest heavily in the squad, ensuring that Fulham would always compete in the Premier League and, no matter the result, never disappoint.
“That didn’t occur and, for that, we hold ourselves accountable. We will reflect, plan thoroughly and respond accordingly.”
Caretaker manager Scott Parker has overseen the last five defeats, including the thrashing at Vicarage Road, after taking over on a temporary basis following the sacking of Claudio Ranieri in February.
Former Chelsea and Leicester boss Ranieri lasted just 106 days in charge, having being appointed in November following the dismissal of promotion-winning manager Slavisa Jokanovic.
Khan reaffirmed his commitment to Fulham and promised an impending update on improvements to the club’s Craven Cottage ground.
“In the weeks ahead we will communicate further as to our vision for the future, which includes the latest progress on the Riverside Stand project that will underline my investment in your beloved club,” said the billionaire businessman, who bought the club in 2013.
“I recognise that may not be of consolation today, but I offer it nonetheless to assure you of my total commitment to Fulham Football Club.
“Thank you for your faith, endurance and support.”
Temporary boss Parker, meanwhile, intends to tell the Cottagers’ hierarchy the reasons for their relegation.
The 38-year-old is unsure what his own future holds.
“I was put in this position and I realise where the mistakes are, what needs to change. Ultimately I’ll put my points across,” he said after losing to the Hornets.
“I’ve not honestly thought about myself (remaining as manager).
“I’m obviously gutted. I realised how big the task was and we all understood how big the task was to try to stay in this division.
“There needs to be a sit-down, work out where the mistakes were made this year, work on that as quick as we can and go from there.”