A 17th place finish the following season was followed by 20th place in 2015/16, and after missing out on promotion a year ago in the play-offs having ended in sixth, Slavisa Jokanovic's side finished the recently completed season in third before overcoming Derby County and now Steve Bruce's Villa.
We saw in this past Premier League season that keeping a Championship core can bring you a successful season.
For winning the EFL Championship Play-off, Fulham get £160 million which will rise to £280 million should they survive at least one season in the Premier League.
He explained: "Of course I will be disappointed if I don't stay because there have been so many good moments and it's probably been the best football of my career".
But they defended heroically to end the club's four-year exile from the Premier League.
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He finished the game one assist shy of a triple-double, scoring 35 points while adding 15 rebounds - a game-high in either stat. While it's common to hear that at pretty much any point the Cavs lay a turd, it multiplies by about ten come playoff time.
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Playing just 30 minutes away from their Thames-based stadium, Fulham dominated in possession early on with Kevin McDonald and Stefan Johansen acting as screens to allow Cairney to have the freedom he needed to cause Aston Villa problems in the first 10 minutes of the game. "We must adapt and be clever, we must not make one step back". We must show ambition to be a Premier League team, show ambition with [transfer] money too.
He added: "We believe we can play this way, but we must know what characters and what players we need".
Asked of his future, he remained somewhat coy - suggesting his focus was on the upcoming World Cup with his country and that he was contractually still a Newcastle player, though admitting he would be more than happy with a return to Fulham next season.
Cairney was set up wonderfully by Ryan Sessegnon, who delivered an inch-perfect through ball into the path of his teammate for the 1-0 lead.
Liverpool have got their summer off to a flying start by signing Fabinho and Naby Keita, and their fans have been quick to stick the boot into United after the Grealish links emerged. I'm so exhausted right now I don't feel my legs "We are really happy and proud".
Fulham manager Slavisa Jokanovic believes playing the "best football in the Championship" could give his side the edge for the Championship play-off final.