By Chris Wright
<Insert lame “beat it” joke here>
In storage since being torn from its moorings outside Craven Cottage last September when former owner Mohamed Al Fayed packed up and shipped out, it looks like Fulham’s infamously chintzy Michael Jackson statue is about to find a new home – the National Football Museum in Manchester.
According to the Daily Mail, the Jackson statue has been boxed up at a warehouse owned by Al Fayed since new Fulham owner Shahid Khan agreed to get rid of it from outside the ground upon his arrival last year, though the National Football Museum are now interested in displaying the god-awful thing in the plaza outside their building, presumably as a grim testament to the folly of man.
The Mail have it that the National Football Museum approached Al Fayed about a loan after the statue was first removed from Craven Cottage, and once the contractual details have been ironed out, the 7′ 6″ Jackson effigy is “due to occupy a showcase position near the entrance to the museum in the distinctive Urbis Building”.
“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.”
A spokeswoman for the National Football Museum then added:
“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.”
They also claim that former Fulham boss Martin Jol made an unlikely £20,000 offer to purchase the statue from Al Fayed to add to the “eclectic art collection” in his back garden, but it all fell through when Jol was canned back in December.
Well, there’s no accounting for taste, we suppose.