When Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan acquired the English Premier League's Fulham soccer club over the summer, one question stuck out in the mind of many Fulham fans. What would happen to Michael Jackson?
On September 19, to the delight of the team's most vocal fans, Fulham Football Club announced it would remove the statue of Michael Jackson from its location in front of the team's stadium.
Fulham's prior owner, British billionaire Mohamed Al-Fayed, had installed a huge statue of Michael Jackson at the team's Craven Cottage stadium in 2011. Al-Fayed was a fan of the King of Pop and once hosted him as a guest at a Fulham match. After Jackson's death, the eccentric sports mogul decided to erect the monument.
Fulham's fans, on the other hand, were not as excited. Many begged the team to remove the strange fixture, but Al-Fayed would famously tell anyone who didn't like the statute to "go to hell."
When the team was sold, new owner Khan promised to consider all options regarding the team and facilities. But Al-Fayed was clear that he wanted Michael Jackson to stay right where he was and even joking threatened to shave Khan's iconic mustache if anything happened to the statue.
"Michael Jackson will stay," said Al-Fayed. "He can’t go, he is here. It is part of the deal, it is history, it is listed. You can’t change... otherwise I will come and take your mustache in public."
Now, it seems that fans will get their wish. Al-Fayed has decided to relocate the statue to another one of his many real estate holdings.
A Fulham spokesperson said: "The statue is not part of the Riverside development of the stadium and will be returned to the former chairman in due course."