Published: Sun, April 29, 2018
Industry | By Jeannie Evans

Jacksonville Jaguars Owner Makes an Offer to Buy England's National Soccer Stadium

Jacksonville Jaguars Owner Makes an Offer to Buy England's National Soccer Stadium

A sale is also likely to result in fewer England internationals being hosted at the 92,000 capacity north London venue - particularly during the National Football League season in the Autumn.

Auto parts tycoon Shahid Khan - owner of Fulham FC and the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team - is understood to have struck an outline agreement with FA boss Martin Glenn to transfer the "home of English football" to foreign ownership for the first time.

"Wembley will be home to England's national teams and, under our stewardship, continue to be a destination for top global football matches and championships, as well as major events such as NFL football games and concerts", he said.

While it logically fuels speculation that Khan is looking to relocate the Jags, and become the first National Football League franchise to set up shop in London, Khan reaffirmed his commitment to the city of Jacksonville.

Khan, who is worth around £5.25bn, bought Fulham football club in 2013 and his NFL side the Jaguars have played in London in each of the last five years.

Spurs chairman Levy, who hopes to host an NFL game at Spurs new ground in October, also opened the door to a permanent NFL franchise eventually coming to London, and the NFL insist having stadium options in London has always been critical to the NFL.

"When I say us, I'm talking about the Jaguars, NFL, Wembley, and I think it also makes a lot of sense for the FA and the English football team".

Speaking to BBC Sport, Khan stressed that he understands fans' concerns over his offer for the 90,000-seat stadium, which is the largest in the United Kingdom. In 2015, Khan signed a deal to play at least one game a year there through 2020.

Khan said a takeover of Wembley would "have no impact on Craven Cottage", which is his soccer team's current home in the Fulham district of west London by the River Thames.

The FA will also remain at their Wembley Stadium headquarters rent free and keep the Club Wembley hospitality business, which combined are valued at around £300m, leaving the FA with the possibility of £500m to reintroduce into the grassroots game.

On Thursday, Khan confirmed that he made an offer to buy Wembley Stadium and in a statement released through the Jags' official site he explained why. If you sell Wembley you can sell Big Ben and Buckingham Palace?

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".

Local MP and shadow worldwide trade secretary Barry Gardiner was equally hostile to the bid: "Let's not see our National Football Stadium traded away in a backroom deal".

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