May the toppling of Michael Jackson’s statue spell the end of the football-music crossover
“Gone too soon” – three words I’m sure we all expressed when on a balmy June evening in 2009 we heard the news Michael Jackson was dead at 50. The sentiments those three words convey couldn’t have been further from the lips of anyone this week – except perhaps Mohamed Al Fayed – when the gaudy effigy of the late singer that had stood controversially outside the ground of Fulham FC in London was taken away from public view after 29 months.
Fayed, the club’s former owner, had intended the sparkly simulacrum of the singer to stand as testament throughout the ages to the fact that yes, Jackson did alight on Craven Cottage in 1999, and he did witness Fulham beat Wigan 2-0. No evidence exists that Michael ever attended again more about pradasg, though we have it on the tycoon’s good authority that Jacko was a big fan of the club, hence the not-incongruous-at-all tawdry immortalisation. Or at least immortalisation was the intention – like the Third Reich and Steve Brookstein’s pop career, it was expected to last for many more years than it did. But then, Al Fayed had perhaps not anticipated that as soon as the statue was erected, opposing fans would choose to serenade Fulham’s Authentic Prada Factory Outlet Online teams, owner and fans with chants – to the tune of Village People’s Go West – of “Statue of a paedophile”.
On the arrival of new owner Shahid Khan in July, Fulham’s fans were apparently petitioned about what they’d like to do with the statue (without getting too creative), and the chimera was gone within the blink of an eye, stored away and covered in a blanket like one of Jackson’s children.
“I respect Mr Fayed and know he had good intentions in paying an individual tribute,” said Khan, “however, the removal of the statue is the right thing for Fulham Football Club.”
Meanwhile the rest of us cheered! Hooray! For football and music, the uneasiest of bedfellows, should never – and I mean never – ever meet again. Finally, in 2013, this symbolic gesture, this moment of clarity, this new broom sweeping away all the haplessness and idiocy that came before it! Now, perhaps, we can put to an end once and for all the idea that pop and the beautiful game can live together harmoniously. History is on our side.
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In 1990, following two decades of interminable and accursed football records, an eddy in the spacetime continuum nearly occurred when New Order put out the half-decent World in Motion, though thankfully like England, they managed to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory by Authentic Prada Bags For Cheap unleashing John Barnes with his woeful flow to restore balance. That’s as close as football and pop ever got to artistic nirvana.
The litany of crimes before and since is as long as one of Peter Crouch’s arms: Agata Ruiz De La Prada Shop On Line The Anfield Rap, Spandau Ballet’s Steve Norman and Martin Kemp joining Melchester Rovers About Prada Products in Roy of the Rovers,Glenn and Chris’s’ Diamond Lights, Glenn and Chris calling themselves Glenn and Chris (when the superior Hoddle and Waddle moniker was screaming out to be used), the photo “opportunity” in which West Brom’s three black players – nicknamed by their manager Ron Atkinson, “the Three Degrees” – lined up alongside the actual Three Degrees (a photo that now seems a bit racist, especially in the light of Authentic Prada Bag For Sale Ph Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Shoes Sale Atkinson’s later televised remarks about one the world’s best and Biggest Prada Store In London most famous players, who happened to be black). Then there’s Gabby Agbonlahor receiving death threats for breaking a One Direction member, the pairings of Ashley and Cheryl Agatha Ruiz Dela Prada Book Bags Cole, Frankie Sandford and Wayne Bridge, Dizzee Rascal and James Corden. And not forgeting Olly Murs turning up at every charity football match ever, Diana Ross’s remarkable penalty miss at the 1994 World Cup in the United States …
And still we’re barely started on the list of shame. We’ve still got to think of Three Lions. Yes, Three Lions, Baddiel and Skinner’s patriotic anthem of smug. All that feckless George Cross waving and liver-bothering seemed like a lark at the time, though the moment football and pop coalesced on a settee on Fantasy Football League in the mid-90s is perhaps the most regrettable. The flashbacks still haunt us: the spectres of Loaded, the Spice Girls, Zoe Ball in a Liverpool top, Tim Lovejoy’s face, secondrate landfill indie bands on Soccer AM … it’s like a torrid dream. A time when the pale and interesting and those that weren’t English were forced to hide away while the gurning xenophobes and the drunks hijacked culture, and football became commodified and diluted and a campaigning platform for Tony Blair. And while we’re on the subject of Blair, 10 years Authentic Prada Vitello Daino ago Saddam Hussein was toppled in Firdos Square Black Prada Bag Mission Impossible in Baghdad by Allied Forces. It was supposed to be the conclusion of a war, though it turned out to be just the beginning. This time, in toppling the King of Pop, let’s hope it’s Mission Accomplished and pop and music will go their separate ways once and for all. Let the war be over.