Michael Jackson's Fulham statue taken down
27 September, 2013
A controversial statue of Michael Jackson has been removed from outside Fulham Football Club's stadium after two-and-a-half years, Sky News reports.
A team of stonemasons removed the 7ft 6in artwork from behind the Hammersmith Stand on Wednesday. It was erected in April 2011 at the request of former owner and chairman Muhammad al Fayed, who was a close friend of the late King of Pop.
Some Fulham fans fiercely opposed the decision to put up the statue but al Fayed told them to "go to hell".
Four workmen cut the sculpture free from its plinth and returned it to the former Harrods owner.
Jackson, who died in 2009 aged 50, only visited the ground once – to watch a game against Wigan in 1999 as al Fayed's guest.
Fulham's new chairman Shahid Khan said removing the statue was the "right thing" to do. In a statement on the club's website, he said, "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. I respect 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."
At its unveiling, al Fayed claimed football fans loved the statue, adding, "If some stupid fans don't understand and appreciate such a gift they can go to hell."
Al Fayed sold the west London club to Khan in July.
It is understood the Egyptian tycoon has received offers for the statue and might sell it to raise money for charity.