Seemingly down and out when former Bayern Munich manager Felix Magath, their third boss of the season, took over, the Cottagers had suffered an upturn in fortunes somewhat in recent weeks, giving fans renewed belief in the possibility of a miraculous survival.
Narrow wins over Newcastle, Aston Villa and Norwich left Fulham within touching distance of safety, but last week's deflating throwaway of a 2-0 lead over Hull looks to have been impossible to recover from.
Each of Fulham's managers had enjoyed moments of positivity but ultimately been unable to prevent the side from getting further stuck in the enfolding relegation dogfight.
Bringing in a manager of Magath's calibre in February seemed to have had a positive effect on the players and their belief that escape was possible, with performances improving considerably in his time at Craven Cottage.
But sadly as it turned out, their worst result under Magath saw them relegated alongside Sunderland's impressive win over Manchester United.
A Peter Odemwingie goal put the Potters ahead at the Britannia, with three second half goals and a consolation from Kieran Richardson leaving Fulham way short of the win needed to keep the escape plan alive.
For the first time since 2001, Fulham will be out of the top flight, unbelievable for many of the club's supporters.
Many took to Twitter to express their disappointment.
Fulham might be able to win more than two games in a row next season but staying up late for the football league show is a downer #fulham— Phillip Cahill (@P_Cahill_Osteo) May 3, 2014
When John Obi Mikel scores against u you know you're going down #Fulham— idii (@abdee94) May 3, 2014
What did I learn this season? That playing a bunch of out of shape 30-somethings is surprisingly not a winning strategy in soccer #Fulham— Michael Nichols (@Mlke_Nichols) May 3, 2014
And Fulham... Dear me. You don't lose 4-1 when battling to avoid relegation, just embarrassing. #fulham— Rich Francis (@therichfrancis) May 3, 2014