The Football Association are on the verge of selling Wembley Stadium in an astonishing £800million deal.
Shahid Khan, the billionaire owner of Fulham Football Club and the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, has tabled a formal offer that was being discussed for the first time by the FA board this morning.
Khan, who is worth an estimated £5.2billion, is prepared to pay more than £500m in cash and allow the FA to keep the Club Wembley debenture and hospitality business that is valued at a further £300m.
It is understood the approach includes £500m for the stadium and £300m for the FA to keep the Club Wembley debenture and hospitality business.
“We would strive to be the best possible steward for a venue that is iconic,” Khan said in a statement. “Wembley would return to private ownership and The Football Association would be able to focus on its core mission of developing players. “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.”
Selling Wembley would allow the FA to make a major investment into football at grassroots level. NFL executive vice-president Mark Waller said having stadium options in London has been “critical to the NFL”.
His statement added: “The potential purchase of Wembley Stadium is a further powerful sign of their commitment to the UK and their vision to help us grow the sport. “This new relationship would allow for even greater flexibility in scheduling future NFL games in London.”
The 90,000-seat stadium, which is the largest in the United Kingdom, cost £757m to build and opened in 2007. Tottenham have played their home Premier League games at Wembley this season while work on their new stadium takes place.