The Brits may count themselves as some of the most ardent Michael Jackson fans — tragically, London’s The 02 Arena was to be the site of his farewell tour — but some lovers of the national game might beg to differ.
On Thursday, Premiership club Fulham, F.C., which plays at Craven Cottage South London on the banks of the River Thames, announced that a Michael Jackson statue would be removed and returned to the club’s former chairman Mohammed Al Fayed.
Current owner Shahid Khan, who bought the club from Al Fayed back in July, made the announcement. Jackson was a guest at the stadium in April 1999 when he watched the side beat Wigan 2-0.
The statue was installed behind the Hammersmith Stand in 2011; originally Al Fayed had wanted to place it outside Harrods — the iconic London store he sold in 2010. Although it was not popular with some fans, the flamboyant businessman suggested any fan that didn’t like it could “go to hell.”
Khan, may not serve that fate, but he is firm in his intention.
“Our supporters’ views on the statue have been made clear,” he said. “I respect Mr. Al Fayed and I know he had good intentions in paying an individual tribute. However, the removal of the statue is the right thing for Fulham Football Club.”
It has been announced that the late pop icon’s sculpture outside Fulham soccer club will be removed and returned to the club’s former owner Mohammed Al Fayed.