(not, we should stress, the MJ statue at Fulham. Unfortunately)
Presumably Southern California’s dailies took a dim view of public funds being spend on police presence during Michael Jackson’s Staples Center funeral ; either way, I’m not sure there’s precedent for an American daily taking issue with a West London soccer club’s choice of exterior decorating, but I appreciate the Gary Glitter reference just the same. The Observer’s Giles Richards calls our attention to Graeme Jones’ coverage of Mohamed Fayed’s questionable tribute to….well, to the day Michael Jackson paraded around the pitch at Craven Cottage?
“One wonders what Fulham soccer greats of the past – Johnny Haynes, for instance – would make of all this fuss. Well, at least the pigeons will appreciate it.” A gentle dig, written before the city of angels had a look at the actual piece. ‘Statue outside Fulham soccer stadium even more appalling than feared,’ read the first banner in reference to what the article called “the thing” that was “grotesque” and “up there with the worst of London’s many visual atrocities”.
A little harsh for admirers of St Paul’s, but it turned out to be only the opening salvo: ‘Statue is an affront to decency and an insult to fans’, read the next headline. “I thought we had some crazy sports owners here”, the piece continued, “but not one of them would have been so unaware and obtuse as to erect a giant statue of a man accused multiple times of child molestation.” It then asked: “What’s next? A huge bas-relief of Gary Glitter on the walls of Craven Cottage?”
Yet the humorous tone soon turned mournful: “Things looked rosy for the Cottagers heading into this season … That is gone now. The grim realization that their club is owned by a raving lunatic with piles of cash is unavoidable. Oh, I almost forgot. If you aren’t into Fayed’s pederast on a pedestal, he has a personal message for you: Go f*&$ yourselves.” Which surely means hell. Or Chelsea.