Billionaire Shahid Khan has promised that Wembley will continue to be the home of England’s national football teams if his offer to buy the stadium is accepted.
It was announced on Thursday that Khan has officially tabled a bid for the venue, which could be worth as much as £800million, according to reports.
The American, who owns Fulham and the Jacksonville Jaguars, is keen to tap into the growing interest in the NFL in the UK and boost revenues for his Florida franchise.
However, he insists he will not relocate England’s home matches and is confident the deal would also allow the FA to concentrate on its promise to strengthen football at grassroots level.
“I am very pleased to learn today that The Football Association board of directors received our offer to purchase Wembley Stadium, our home away from home in London, from the FA,” Khan said in a statement posted by the Jaguars on Thursday.
“One of the many benefits of the Jaguars’ commitment to London has been our partnership with the FA and Wembley Stadium. 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.
“For the FA, 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. For the Jaguars, it would deliver another – and very significant – asset and local revenue source that would further strengthen our investment in London, which as everyone knows is crucial to the Jaguars’ continued sustainability in Jacksonville.
“In every respect, the Jaguars’ standing in London would be improved and dramatically enhanced if we are fortunate to be approved as the new owner and steward of Wembley Stadium, and that’s good news for the Jaguars and all of Jacksonville.
“If you’ve had the occasion to join us for one of our Jaguars home games in London, you know that Wembley Stadium is a very special place. Our commitment to the FA is we will own and operate Wembley with the care and respect it deserves, always being mindful that it is – and will continue to be – the home of England’s national teams as well as the ultimate destination for the world’s top entertainment and sports event, including Jaguars and NFL games.
“And today’s announcement is additional evidence that we are committed to create and enhance new revenue streams to boost the Jaguars, such as the incredibly successful Daily’s Place and the project we revealed last week with The Cordish Companies on the proposed development around EverBank Field.
“Today’s news changes none of what we envision for the long-term promise for the Jaguars here in Jax, and it changes nothing as to the goals we have for your downtown. If anything, today’s news is the embodiment of the ethos we adopted several years ago of being proud, bold and committed.”