Martin Jol offered £20,000 to put the Michael Jackson statue in his back garden, but Mohamed Al Fayed’s most eccentric addition to Craven Cottage is heading for the National Football Museum in Manchester, according to the Daily Mail.
The statue of the pop performer ended up at the Cottage after Al Fayed sold Harrods, where he had originally commissioned it for. It was installed behind the Hammersmith End controversially and survived until September when new Fulham owner Shahid Khan approved its removal and the National Football Museum entered into discussions with Al-Fayed about a loan.
Mail journalist Charlie Sale discloses that former Fulham manager Jol, sacked by Khan in December, wanted to add the Jackson statue to his considerable art collection as a memento of his time at Craven Cottage. The Dutchman was reportedly ready to pay Al Fayed £20,000 to put the statue in his London home but discussions over the purchase ended once he parted company with Fulham after a 3-0 defeat at West Ham.
Instead, the statue will be housed in Manchester – to Al Fayed’s delight:
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.