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Fulham and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan makes bid to buy Wembley from the FA

Wembley Stadium, London (Steve Parsons/PA Wire)
Wembley Stadium, London (Steve Parsons/PA Wire)

A BID to buy Wembley Stadium from the Football Association has been launched by Fulham owner Shahid Khan.

The billionaire, who also owns the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team, has tabled the offer – understood to be £500m for the stadium and £300m for the FA to keep the Club Wembley debenture and hospitality business.

The FA said in a statement: “We can confirm that the FA has received an offer to buy Wembley Stadium.”

The Evening Standard reported the offer was being put before the full FA board today, and that an outline agreement between Khan and FA chief executive Martin Glenn is already in place.

It also reports that the money raised would be ring-fenced for investment in grass-roots programmes.

The stadium opened in 2007 and has an official capacity of 90,000.

Shahid Khan (Andrew Matthews/PA Wire)

 

Khan stressed that Wembley would remain “home to the England national teams” and that Fulham would keep playing at Craven Cottage in a message to the club’s fans.

In a statement on Fulham’s website, Khan said: “Wembley Stadium would return to private ownership and the Football Association would be able to focus on its core mission of developing players with the best player developers and facilities anywhere in the game, thanks in part to the vast financial benefit that would result from the transaction.

“I trust many, if not most of you, are also supporters of the England national teams, so I hope you welcome the potential of this becoming a reality.

“Always know Wembley would be home to the England national teams, and that we would strive every day of the year to be the best possible steward for a venue that is iconic and beloved here and throughout the world.”

A sale to Khan would also likely mean more NFL games coming to London.

Wembley and Twickenham have hosted a few games each season for several seasons, and rom this year, the new Tottenham Hotspur stadium will host a minimum of two games annually.

It has also long been rumoured that a London-based franchise could be set up, and Wembley could be used as their home ground.

The NFL released a statement which read: “We are very happy for Shad Khan and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

“The potential purchase of Wembley Stadium is a further powerful sign of their commitment to the UK and their vision to help us grow the sport.

“Having stadium options in London has always been critical to the NFL and, in tandem with our 10-year partnership with Tottenham Hotspur, this new relationship would allow for even greater flexibility in scheduling future NFL games in London.”