Michael Jackson statue: Former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed loans memorial to the King of Pop to National Football Museum

After being unceremoniously removed from Craven Cottage the statue has found a new home

Unwanted by new Fulham owner Shahid Khan (as well as many fans of the west London club), it would appear the Michael Jackson statue formerly displayed at Craven Cottage has found a new home.

The tribute to the deceased entertainer is to be taken in and displayed at the National Football Museum in Manchester.

The statue was commissioned by flamboyant former Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed with the original intention of displaying it at Knightsbridge department store Harrods. However, when Al Fayed sold the store, the statue was instead erected inside the grounds of Fulham's stadium by the River Thames.

It divided opinion among Fulham fans, with many seeing the funny side but others feeling it brought ridicule on the club. Fans of the Cottagers were regularly subjected to chants from opposing supporters concerning the statue.

When Al Fayed sold the club to Khan last summer, he warned that he would chop the moustache of his American successor if the statue was removed. However that wasn't enough to deter Khan from removing it in September last year.

The Michael Jackson statue that was installed at Craven Cottage The Michael Jackson statue that was installed at Craven Cottage  

The tribute to the King of Pop has since been in storage but it hasn't been short of suitors. Former Fulham manager Martin Jol was reportedly willing to buy it for £20,000 before his dismissal earlier this season disrupted negotiations.

But rather than sell the 7ft 6in memorial, Al Fayed has opted to loan it to the National Football Museum where it is expected to be displayed near the entrance in the Urbis Building.

Al Fayed said: "The National Football Museum is a splendid institution. The statue means a great deal to me and my family. But on reflection, I decided it should go to a place where it can be enjoyed by the greatest amount of people for ever. I think Michael would have approved of the choice. Like football itself, he entertained the world."

An NFM spokeswoman said: "The story behind the statue and its relationship with Fulham would certainly make for a thought-provoking addition. We are very grateful to Mr Al Fayed for offering to donate this important item."

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