Fulham's billionaire owner in bid to buy Wembley as FA confirm offer

Fulham's billionaire owner in bid to buy Wembley as FA confirm offer

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan purchased Wembley Stadium in London, the team announced Thursday.

Chelsea will have to negotiate with Khan if a proposed deal goes ahead rather than the FA and a move could be blocked off if the 67-year-old wants to use Wembley as a frequent venue for Jaguars' matches, which would interrupt the regular football season.

A spokesman for the FA confirmed Thursday an offer had been tabled to purchase the stadium, with reports suggesting the deal could be worth somewhere between £800 million and £1 billion pounds ($1.1 and $1.4 billion).

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 released to Press Association Sport.

Most of their worldwide games would still be played at the feted venue, but games falling throughout the NFL's autumn season would be played elsewhere.

Under the plan, the FA would keep Wembley as the main venue for major games, including England internationals and the FA Cup Final, but the England team could play elsewhere in October and November due to clashes with the U.S. National Football League season.

But, according to the FA's latest financial results, it still owes £113m to public bodies such as Sport England, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport, plus the London Development Agency, which helped pay to build the stadium, which cost £757m and opened in 2007.

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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.

Khan emphasised that the deal was not a foregone conclusion but talked confidently about his plans for the national stadium.

Khan insisted that his goal for the potential transaction is not to send the Jaguars to London, rather to strengthen the franchise. The potential purchase of Wembley Stadium is a further powerful sign of their commitment to the United Kingdom and their vision to help us grow the sport.

"One of the many benefits of the Jaguars' commitment to London has been our partnership with the FA and Wembley Stadium".

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.

For one thing, the FA would be relieved to get rid of outstanding debts of £142 million and concentrating more on talent hunting - England has not won the world cup since 1966 (and that was at Wembley under Bobby Moore whose statue graces the entrance to the stadium).

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