After completing the purchase of Fulham on Friday, new owner Shahid Khan met the man from whom he bought the club, Mohamed Al Fayed, at Craven Cottage for a hand-over of sorts in front of the press. The eccentric Al Fayed welcomed Khan, who also owns the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars, by wearing a giant fake mustache to match Khan very real and very lustrous lip sweater.
Aside from the usual primary question for a new owner — "Are you a minion of Satan who will destroy not only this club but all of football?" — the most pressing matter that faces Khan actually has nothing to do with football at all. In 2011, Al Fayed erected a statue of his friend Michael Jackson as an out of place tribute to the late singer. Widely mocked, Al Fayed defended it at the time by saying, "Why is it bizarre? Football fans love it. If some stupid fans don't understand and appreciate such a gift, they can go to hell."
But now that Al Fayed is out, whether the statue stays is now up to Khan. And not even a promise to modernize Craven Cottage and increase capacity from 25,700 to 30,000 could distract his interrogators from asking about the Michael Jackson statue.
From the AP:
"I have been the owner less than a day. We have to preserve and respect history but we also have to move forward. I am going to reflect on it, listen to the fans and then decide.
"This is a special, historic place that really needs the investment and our goal would be to redevelop it moving forward."
But Al Fayed made it very clear that if Khan so much as touches the glove on the statue's one hand, there will be retribution.
"The Michael Jackson statue is listed with the club and if he dares to move it, he will be in big trouble.
"You listening to me? You promise now - otherwise I will come in front of all the fans with a big razor and I will take your moustache off."
Don't think he won't do it, either.
- Sports & Recreation
- Mohamed Al Fayed