When former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed removed the statue of Michael Jackson that stood outside Craven Cottage after he sold the club last year, most football fans probably thought (and maybe hoped) they would never see the out of place tribute again. But it seems that won't be the case.
According to the Daily Mail, the statue, which only stood outside the 118-year-old stadium for two years and is currently being stored in a warehouse owned by Al Fayed, will be put on display at the National Football Museum in Manchester. And perhaps in an even more bizarre twist, it almost ended up in the possession of former Fulham manager Martin Jol.
From the Daily Mail:
The National Football Museum approached Al Fayed about a loan after it was removed from Craven Cottage, and once contracts have been agreed, the 7ft 6in memorial is due to occupy a showcase position near the entrance to the museum in the distinctive Urbis Building.
Fayed had other options, including an unlikely sale to former Fulham manager Martin Jol. The Dutchman has an eclectic art collection and made it clear he was prepared to pay £20,000 to have Jacko in his garden. But preliminary talks stopped after Jol was sacked last December.
A spokeswoman for the museum described the statue as "a thought-provoking addition" and an "important item." And no, this does not appear to be a belated April Fool's joke.
In case you don't remember, the statue of the departed pop singer was originally intended to reside at Harrods department store, but when Al Fayed sold that property, he moved it to Craven Cottage, where Jackson once attended a match as his personal guest. Once unveiled, the statue immediately became the butt of jokes, prompting Fulham fans to rejoice when it was eventually removed. But now Jackson's tenuous connection to football will be able to live on and confuse even more people.
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- Mohamed Al Fayed
- National Football Museum
- Craven Cottage
- Martin Jol