As soon as Fulham's relegation was confirmed with their 4-1 loss to Stoke, it was only a matter of time before the club's former owner, Mohamed Al Fayed, blamed the end of their 13-year stay in the Premier League on the removal his beloved Michael Jackson statue from Craven Cottage. And now he's done it.
Two years after being unveiled to a confused and bewildered public, Fulham's new owner, Shahid Khan, promptly removed the statue and gave it back to Al Fayed earlier this season. But upon presenting the garish figure to its current home, the National Football Museum in Manchester, Al Fayed spoke of the Michael Jackson curse that now haunts Fulham.
He said: "This statue was a charm and we removed the luck from the club and now we have to pay the price.
"When (Khan) asked me to move it I said, 'you must be crazy'. This is such a fantastic statue which the fans are crying out for.
"But now he has paid the price because the club has been relegated. He called me because he told me he wanted Michael to return. I told him, no way."
For the record, almost none of that actually happened. But this is how superstitions grow. If Fulham are unable to win promotion right back to the Premier League next season, look for club representatives to make a peace offering at Neverland Ranch or force all the players to wear one glove during cold weather matches. The Michael Jackson statue will not be denied its bizarre placement at a football ground!
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