London’s Fulham Football Club is now home to a 15-foot-tall memorial to Michael Jackson. And soccer fans who don’t like it can "go to hell," the club's owner said Sunday.
Fulham owner Mohamed al Fayed on Sunday unveiled a statue of the King of Pop on the grounds of the soccer club’s Craven Cottage stadium in London before Fulham’s English Premier League match against Blackpool, the Daily Mail reported.
Al Fayed, an Egyptian businessman who once owned London’s famed Harrods department store, counted Jackson as a friend. He was going to put the statue at Harrods until he sold the store in 2010, according to The Sun.
Sensing criticism for erecting a statue of a man who had little discernible connection to the club - Jackson once attended a match in 1999, according to The Sun - he essentially told critics to beat it.
"If some stupid fans don’t understand and appreciate such a gift, they can go to hell," al Fayed, 78, said, according to the Daily Mail. "I don’t want them to be fans. If they don’t understand and don’t believe in things I believe in, they can go to Chelsea."
Chelsea would be a Fulham rival and fellow EPL club, situated just a couple miles away.
Both papers found Fulham fans who weren’t impressed by the memorial, which depicts Jackson holding a microphone in one hand and wearing a bejeweled glove on the other. The statue, which by itself is 7 feet 6 inches tall, rests on a granite base. The memorial is reported to have cost al Fayed about $161,000.
"We're a laughing stock. It has nothing to do with football," fan Michael Tune said, according to The Sun.
This isn’t the first time al Fayed has memorialized people with statues. The businessman placed a bronze statue of his son, Dodi, and Princess Diana at Harrods after the two were killed in a Paris car wreck.
-phile, that is.
No proof that he was a pedophile. Stop calling him that.
I had to work REALLY hard to get that posted.
Fe'licitations, faux M.!
That statue looks cool. It's nice to know that Michael's being remembered even in the oddest places like a soccer stadium. It looks like my MJ Christmas ornament I have.
for the fans
God bless Miss Katherine and her grandkids!