England's FA set to sell Wembley Stadium to USA billionaire


Wembley could fall into foreign ownership for the first time Credit Getty Images

Fulham owner Shahid Khan promises that Wembley Stadium will continue to be the home of England's national football teams if his bid to buy the venue is successful.

Khan's purchase of the stadium would allow him to "protect the Jaguars' position in London at a time when other National Football League teams are understandably becoming more interested".

Khan's offer is reported to be put before the full FA board on Thursday, while an outline agreement between the Jaguars owner and FA chief executive Martin Glenn is said to already be in place.

Mr Khan, who owns Fulham FC and the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL franchise, has tabled a bid of £500 (€574m) for the iconic English national stadium.

"He's an ambitious man, but this business doesn't have big relationship with Fulham, it's more a relationship with American Football and the Jaguars".

Over the past several years, it became clearer to us and the FA that the idea of our purchase of Wembley Stadium made a lot of sense for all of us.

"Khan has invested a lot in the areas around the National Football League stadium in Jacksonville with plans to develop even more around it, so it would be millions of dollars down the drain if the ultimate plan was simply to rip the team away as all of that comes to fruition".

The 90,000-seat stadium, which is the largest in the United Kingdom, cost £757m to build and opened in 2007.

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However, it would not threaten Wembley's status as the England team's home for all major fixtures.

The funds from the sale of "the home of English football" would be invested in all-weather football pitches for grassroots teams up and down the country. In 2015, Khan signed a deal to play at least one game a year there through 2020.

Theresa May tonight warned the FA to think of England fans before committing to selling off Wembley Stadium.

The stadium is now owned by the Football Association (FA) - an administrative body of English soccer - and was opened in 2007.

Khan, who sports a luxuriant moustache that would not disgrace a Pakistani general, has promised to be a good citizen and said that "should we be fortunate to close on the purchase. the spirit and essence of Wembley would be unchanged".

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

"The the stronger the Jaguars are in London, the more stable and promising the Jaguars' future will be in Jacksonville". "Everywhere you go in the world they talk about Wembley". The recent FA Cup semi-finals followed on successive days, which has always been considered the norm - as has allowing the likes of Lincoln and Shrewsbury to go head-to-head on the Hallowed turf in the final of the much-maligned Checkatrade Trophy which saw a crowd of 41,261 head to Wembley.

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