LONDON (CelebrityAccess) The deal is reportedly off for billionaire Shahid Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars, to buy Wembley Stadium.
Khan offered £600 million to make the famed London stadium his own but says he expected more support from “the game,” according to Pan Stadia. Khan also owns the Fulham Football Club, one of the oldest soccer teams in England, which plays out of the 25,700-capacity Craven Cottage in Fulham, London.
When the offered was announced in April, Khan said he had the backing of the NFL and the Football Association of England said “We can confirm that the FA has received an offer to buy Wembley Stadium.” Khan told Fulham fans that their team would be unaffected and Wembley was essential to the financial stability of the Jaguars, who would play games at the facility.
However, FA CEO Martin Glenn has released the following statement:
Earlier this year, The FA received an unsolicited official offer from Shahid Khan to buy Wembley Stadium. It was a very credible offer and was given very serious consideration. Shahid Khan has informed us that he will be withdrawing his offer to buy the stadium – and we fully respect his decision.
Mr Khan believed that his offer to buy Wembley Stadium would release funds to help improve community football facilities in England and that it would be well received by all football stakeholders. At a recent meeting with Mr Khan he expressed to us that, without stronger support from within the game, his offer is being seen as more divisive than it was anticipated to be and has decided to withdraw his proposal.
Glenn thanked football stakeholders, the government, etc., and the FA will “continue to work together (with them) to identify new and innovative ways of investing in community football facilities in the future.”
In April, Khan provided a lengthy statement on Fulham’s website, reassuring fans that none of this affects his soccer team:
“The games the Jaguars play at Wembley are essential to the financial stability of the Jaguars in Jacksonville, which is one of the smallest markets in the NFL. If my ownership interests were to include Wembley Stadium, it would protect the Jaguars’ position in London at a time when other NFL teams are understandably becoming more interested in this great city. And the stronger the Jaguars are in London, the more stable and promising the Jaguars’ future will be in Jacksonville.
“As important, 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.
“No matter what the outcome of our offer may be, I want to emphatically state to you that none of this will have any effect on my commitment to your Club.”