A controversial 7ft 6 statue of Michael Jackson is moonwalking its way to Manchester’s National Football Museum after stirring up Bad feeling at Fulham’s Craven Cottage.
The Mancunian sporting attraction contacted owner Muhammad Al Fayed to ask if they could loan the piece as a Thriller at the museum’s entrance.
A museum spokesman 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.”
Muhammad Al Fayed, a close friend of Michael Jackson, had the statue commissioned after the star’s tragic death in 2011.
The Egyptian business tycoon originally intended to house the effigy outside of Harrods, but after selling the luxury department store he decided that Jacko should reside outside Fulham’s Craven Cottage, where the singer once watched a game with him in 1999.
He 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 [sic] of people forever.
“I think Michael would have approved of the choice. Like football itself, he entertained the world.”
Fans did not hold back in their disdain for the larger-than-life Prince of Pop likeness when it was unveiled in 2011.
The statue was the butt of many jokes however Al Fayed famously told naysayers they could ‘go to hell’.
The statue reigned over proceedings at the club’s home for two years but it was torn down in September 2013 by the current club owner Pakistani-born American billionaire Shahid Khan.
But the National Football Museum wasn’t the only destination eyed up for this Smooth Criminal; surprisingly Fayed intended to sell it to Fulham manager Martin Jol.
The Dutchman is an avid art collector and offered to pay £20,000 to have Jacko in his garden, but preliminary talks stopped after Jol was sacked last December, proving that once you fall from power They Don’t Care About Us (or him).
The mammoth memorial depicting the king of pop has been languishing in a warehouse since it was removed in September last year and will be wanting to be Startin’ Something here in Manchester soon.
Image courtesy of BBC via YouTube, with thanks.