Wednesday 17 October 2018

English FA in talks to sell Wembley Stadium to US Billionaire in blockbuster deal

LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04: A general view outside London's Wembley Stadium (Photo by Miles Willis/Getty Images for Nike)
LONDON, ENGLAND - FEBRUARY 04: A general view outside London's Wembley Stadium (Photo by Miles Willis/Getty Images for Nike)

Press Association

The Football Association has announced it has received an offer to buy Wembley.

The London Evening Standard reported on Thursday that Fulham owner Shahid Khan, who also owns the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team, had put in a £500million bid to buy the national stadium.

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

The FA told Press Association Sport that it had nothing further to add at present.

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.

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."

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."

Khan added on Fulham: "To be clear, this venture is 100 percent independent of my investment in and operation of Fulham Football Club, Motspur Park and Craven Cottage.

"No less attention will be paid to developing players and fielding a squad that will win with frequency and always make you proud. It will have no impact on Craven Cottage as the home of FFC."

Press Association

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