Question: What do Brian McBride and the late pop star Michael Jackson have in common?
Wrong. As of Saturday, both McBride and Jackson have been commemorated outside Fulham’s Craven Cottage stadium.
That’s because Fulham owner Mohamed Al Fayed somehow got it into his head to erect a statue of the deceased American pop singer at his team’s stadium, where there is also a sports bar named in McBride’s honor.
The hilariously awkward monument (above) was unveiled on Saturday, to a chorus of disbelief among the Fulham faithful, all of whom had the same question that occurs to everyone who hears about the development: Why?
Well, Fayed was a close friend of Jackson’s, and he’d originally planned to mount the statue outside Harrod’s department store, a former property of his. When Fayed sold the luxury retailer (to the Qatari royal family, for 1.5 billion pounds), he settled on … Craven Cottage as the site for his King of Pop tribute, even though Jackson has absolutely no connection to the club (he did attend a game there once as Fayed’s guest).
As one supporter says in this video of the unveiling (which features priceless footage of Fayed dancing), “He’s put $160 million into the club,” so he can do whatever he wants with the stadium.
Fayed was less diplomatic, saying that any “stupid” fans who don’t understand the gesture can “go to hell.”
There you have it. Check back in ten years or so when American Clint Dempsey—Fulham’s current leading scorer who helped the club to a 3-0 win over Blackpool on Saturday—gets his Craven Cottage tribute, to make it a trifecta of Yanks on display outside the stadium.