Goodbye to the Jackson Statue
A brief but rather poignant era in Fulham’s history came to an end on Friday when it was announced that new owner Shahid Khan has decided to remove the Michael Jackson statue that had stood next to the Hammersmith stand since 2011.
September 20th, 2013
The controversial statue was erected by previous owner Mohamed Al-Fayed, a friend of Jackson, and has been a point of ridicule for the Craven Cottage club. It was never likely to last under the new owner and he confirmed as such this morning. The statue is to be returned to Al-Fayed.
“Craven Cottage means the world to generations of Fulham supporters, and I have heard from many of them over the past two months. Our supporters’ views on the statue have been made clear,” revealed the club in a statement on their website.
“I respect Mr Al Fayed and know he had good intentions in paying an individual tribute. However, the removal of the statue is the right thing for Fulham Football Club.”
Mohamed Al-Fayed always insisted that the global superstar was a Fulham fan after he had visited the club in 1999. The Michael Jackson tribute was put up in memory of the singer following his death in 2009; and quickly became one of the things to enjoy about Al Fayed’s ownership of the club.
He steered Fulham from the fourth tier of the English league system and comfortably into the Premier League. Many argued that erecting the statue or even Al Fayed’s pre-match strolls across the pitch to his seat were simply luxuries he was allowed to indulge in; having given the club so much.
Worryingly for Martin Jol, the move is a sign of Khan’s ruthless ownership streak. The Jacksonville Jaguars owner has no issues removing coaches he has placed in charge of his NFL team. The Dutchman was Al-Fayed’s appointment and with the team struggling of late, he may be the first managerial casualty of this Premier League season.