Fulham’s fine 13 year spell in the Premier League was brought to a sad end after the Cottagers suffered the ignominy of relegation, following a 4-1 defeat at the hands of Stoke City on Saturday.
There have been many factors that have contributed to Fulham demise this season. Going through three different managers, presence of an ageing squad and the lack of fight among the players are just some of the reasons believed by many, which have contributed to the Cottagers’ relegation but former owner Mohamed Al-Fayed has a completely different theory.
The eccentric 85-year old has outrageously claimed that the real reason why Fulham went down was due to current owner Shahid Khan removing the infamous Michael Jackson statue outside Craven Cottage.
It was Al-Fayed who controversially unveiled the 7ft 6ins sculpture of Michael Jackson outside Craven Cottage in 2011 and although it drew a lot of ridicule from many quarters, the billionaire was least bothered.
However, following Shahid Khan’s takeover of the London club at the start of the season, the American businessman ordered the swift removal for the statue in September last year.
Now, Al-Fayed has sensationally claimed that the statue had a direct effect on Fulham’s fortunes on the field and stated his belief that the removal of the sculpture has resulted in the Cottagers’ relegation to the Championship.
Speaking to the Press Association, Al-Fayed said, “This statue was a charm and we removed the luck from the club and now we have to pay the price. When (Khan) asked me to move it I said, ‘you must be crazy’. This is such a fantastic statue which the fans are crying out for.
“But now he has paid the price because the club has been relegated. He called me because he told me he wanted Michael to return. I told him, no way.”
The infamous statue will now be on show at National Football Museum where it is expected to be displayed near the entrance in the Urbis Building.