Fulham chairman Mohammed Al Fayed on Michael Jackson statue: Go to hell if you don't like it

Chairman claims memorial will bring more visitors to Craven Cottage where the legendary singer attended a match on invitation from Al Fayed himself
Fulham owner Mohammed Al Fayed is adamant the newly unveiled Michael Jackson statue at Craven Cottage belongs there and has told fans to “go to hell” if they do not like it.

The Egyptian businessman was a close friend of the late singer and was due to have the statue on display at Harrods before the department store was sold after Jackson passed away in June 2009.

However, he sparked off controversy when he revealed that the statue would be placed outside Craven Cottage despite the singer having no real affiliation with the west London club.

The “King of Pop” was invited by Al Fayed in 1999 to watch the Cottagers' clash against Wigan but does not hold any strong links to the club.

Al Fayed slammed fans who have complained about the statue and denied that its presence at the stadium is strange.

"Why is it bizarre? Football fans love it,” he said in News of the World.

"If some stupid fans don't understand and appreciate such a gift they can go to hell.

"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, they can go to anywhere else.

"People will queue to come and visit it from all over the UK and it is something that I and everybody else should be proud of."

U-18 manager and former Fulham defender Kit Symons featured in the back five in the game watched by Jackson and, unlike a number of fans, was supportive of the chairman's decision.

He added: “The big thing is it is obviously something that the chairman feels very, very passionately about and he has decided to erect this statue and fair dos to him.

"It is great. It was just happy times. They were great times back then. The chairman obviously used to bring high profile people down the games.

"Tony Curtis was here a few weeks after and it was just fantastic times."

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