London - Fulham are to return the statue of late pop star Michael Jackson outside their Craven Cottage ground in west London to the club's former owner, Mohamed Al Fayed, the Premier League side announced on Thursday.
The statue was installed at the back of the Hammersmith Stand in 2011, a decision that baffled many Fulham fans but one which Al Fayed justified on the grounds that Jackson too was a supporter of the club.
But with Al Fayed selling Fulham to American businessman Shahid Khan for £150 million before the start of this season, the statue now seems set to find a new home at one of Fayed's properties as the club press on with plans to redevelop Craven Cottage.
"The statue is not part of the Riverside development of the stadium and will be returned to the former chairman in due course," a Fulham spokesman said Thursday.
Al Fayed became well-known originally in Britain for owning London's Harrods department store and latterly as the father of Dodi Fayed, killed in the same car crash as Diana, Princess of Wales, his then girlfriend, in Paris in 1997.