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Apr, 3, 2011

Al Fayed slams fans over Jacko statue

Mohamed Al Fayed has told Fulham fans they can "go to hell" or "go to Chelsea" if they do not like the statue of Michael Jackson unveiled outside Craven Cottage on Sunday.

• Premier League gallery Photo Gallery

Al Fayed was a close friend of the late pop star and chose to honour Jackson by placing a statue of the singer outside Fulham's ground in West London. It was originally destined for Harrods before Al Fayed sold the department store.

His decision to erect the statue at Fulham has caused some disquiet amongst supporters, as Jackson attended only one game at Craven Cottage in 1999 but now has pride of place along with a statue of club great Johnny Haynes. Jackson, who died in 2009, was of course also a deeply controversial figure during his career in the music industry.

The Fulham owner reacted angrily when questioned about the statue at its official unveiling prior to Sunday's Premier League game against Blackpool.

"Why is it bizarre?" Al Fayed asked. "Football fans love it. 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."

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