What does a Premier League Chairman have to do to make fans of his club leave?
With the exception of the FC United of Manchester’s breakaway from, ah, Manchester United, fans prefer to protest while continuing to support the club thereby maintaining the hated regime.
Notable examples include Manchester United fans’ Green and Gold protests against the debts placed on the club by the Glazer family and this horrible video of (some) celebrity Liverpool fans moaning about American owners (Echo and the Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch’s soundbite is particularly distressing) while wearing replica tops (£50) and flashing season tickets (£680).
In both of these examples, the fans are fed up with seeing the money they put into a club draining straight out of it again and into the pockets of opportunistic businessmen. Fair enough really. Except, at least once that money’s made it into the pockets of the aforesaid monopoly men, it stays there. It’s hidden.
Admittedly that’s not as good as it reappearing again wearing the number 9 shirt and banging in loads of goals, but surely it’s better than it reappearing in front of the stadium in the form of a memorial to a probable paedophile pop star?
Fulham Chairman, Mohamed al Fayed, who unveiled the above monstrosity (actually, unlike him, it’s too puny to be a monstrosity isn’t? Atrocity?) outside Craven Cottage at the weekend, clearly doesn’t think so:
If some stupid fans don’t understand and appreciate such a gift this guy gave to the world they can go to hell. I don’t want them to be fans. If they don’t understand and don’t believe in things I believe in they can go to Chelsea, they can go to anywhere else.
The ostentatious oaf delivered these remarks after Jacko’s initiation ceremony received an underwhelmed reaction from Fulham fans; ‘it makes the club look silly’, remarked one. In doing so, the former Harrods owner and several time unsuccessful citizenship applicant has upped the ante in the simmering unrest between English football’s fans and its money men. Animosity in this contest generally flows in only one direction with the owners generally and logically unwilling to piss of the fans to the extent that they actually will leave.
Fayed has abandoned this caution. He has abandoned it spectacularly and hilariously.
He seems to imagine Hell as a Danteesque place in which a special circle exists for those who don’t share his appreciation for The King of Pop. What would their punishment be? ABC, easy as 123 ad infinitum? Or perhaps they would be eternally condemned to ride the carousel at Neverland Ranch.
He seems to regard Stamford Bridge similarly. Perhaps he should have a word with his fellow megalomaniac Roman about installing a special circle around the stadium where people who don’t agree with him can sit and watch Chelsea. That probably wouldn’t work though, such a circle would need to be MASSIVE and West London, unlike The Inferno, has very strict planning regulations.