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Fulham manager Mark Hughes has defended chairman Mohamed Al Fayed’s decision to erect at statue of music legend Michael Jackson at Craven Cottage.

Al Fayed had caused controversy among fans by deciding to place a statue of the performer, who died in 2009, outside Craven Cottage.

The statue was was originally due to be erected at Harrods before Al Fayed – who was a close friend of Jackson – sold the Knightsbridge store.

But Hughes backed his chairman’s decision.

“In fairness to the chairman, he’s fully supported this club for a long time now, put in something like £200 million,” he told reporters.

“And if he wants to make that gesture to somebody who he knew personally then who am I to pass comment on it.

“What has to be judged are the reasons behind it.

“And the reasons are he was a close personal friend of the chairman of Fulham Football Club, and he obviously wants to mark that and make people understand the respect and affection that he had for the guy.”

“The fact that it’s at the football club will maybe cause a debate,” he added.

“But, really, we shouldn’t question our chairman’s motives.”