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ESPN FC  By ESPN staff

Jackson statue loaned to museum

Former Fulham owner Mohamed Al-Fayed has loaned the infamous Michael Jackson statue that used to stand outside Craven Cottage to the English National Football Museum.

Fulham have unveiled their statue of Michael Jackson outside Craven Cottage
The statue was removed from Craven Cottage by current Fulham owner Shad Khan.

Mison: Stay of execution

The statue of the “King of Pop” was commissioned by Al Fayed -- a friend of Jackson’s -- during his time in charge of the West London club, but proved to be unpopular with many of the side’s supporters.

And after selling Fulham to Shad Khan last summer, the new owner chose to remove the tribute to Jackson, who once came to watch the team play, from the grounds of Craven Cottage.

The statue has since been in storage, although former Cottagers manager Martin Jol reportedly came close to buying it for 20,000 pounds, only for his dismissal earlier this season to disrupt negotiations.

However, rather than selling the memorial, Al-Fayed has opted to lend it to the National Football Museum in Manchester, where it is expected to be displayed near its entrance.

Al-Fayed was quoted as saying by the Independent: "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 of people for ever. I think Michael would have approved of the choice. Like football itself, he entertained the world."

An spokeswoman for the museum added: "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."

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