English FA Confirm Proposed Sale Of Wembley Stadium

English FA Confirm Proposed Sale Of Wembley Stadium

English FA Confirm Proposed Sale Of Wembley Stadium

The England Football Association, FA, has confirmed it has received an offer to buy Wembley stadium from Pakistani-American billionaire Shahid Khan, the owner of Fulham and the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars.

Wembley itself is also familiar to Florida-based businessman Khan - who is now valued at over $7.2 billion dollars - as his Jacksonville Jaguars team have played regular season games at the venue on five occasions.

Selling off Wembley would give the FA about 500 million pounds to invest in grassroots soccer, which could increase the chances of the England team winning its first World Cup title since 1966.

An outline agreement between Khan and FA chief executive Martin Glenn is said to already be in place, with the Fulham chairman confirming his intention to buy the national stadium in a statement.

If a transaction does happen, Fulham will still be playing at Craven Cottage but this affects Chelsea's plans to temporarily locate to Wembley during the renovation of Stamford Bridge.

Khan's move to buy Wembley is understood to be focused on strengthening the Jacksonville Jaguars' standing in the UK.

He told The Associated Press he expects to own Wembley within eight to 12 weeks, increasing the prospect of an National Football League franchise in London.

"We are very happy for Shad Khan and the Jacksonville Jaguars", NFL executive vice president of events and worldwide Mark Waller said in a statement.

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Other critics questioned how much the new owner might charge the FA for England to play at his ground, while others joked the stadium might soon be named after United States firms Budweiser or Taco Bell.

"For the FA", Khan said, "it would mean Wembley Stadium returning to private ownership, permitting the FA to direct its full attention to its mandate to develop talent and serve the game with the vast resources it would realize from the sale".

The new Wembley stadium was opened in 2007 at a cost of nearly £800 million, with the FA receiving £161 million of taxpayers' money for the project.

England would go on the road for many games if the Jaguars moved to London.

That was undoubtedly a reference to the 10-year deal signed between the National Football League and Tottenham Hotspur chairman Daniel Levy to host National Football League games at their new 61,000-seater stadium on the site of the former White Hart Lane.

But for a ground officially known right now as "Wembley Stadium connected by EE" that's maybe not such a leap.

Built on the site of the original Wembley Stadium, it has been the home of English soccer since then, and also hosted Tottenham Hotspur fixtures, rugby matches, boxing events and many high profile concerts. And this is imperative to know, and I encourage you to spread the word - absolutely nothing changes in our plans to redevelop the Riverside Stand'.

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