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Fulham owner Khan backs manager: ‘Don’t believe anything you read’

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Fulham owner Shahid Khan says reports that he could fire manager Slavisa Jokanovic are simply not true.

The Cottagers are struggling this season despite being considered one of the more promising promoted clubs in recent Premier League seasons.

[ MORE: Top PL storylines — Week 10 ]

Fulham has allowed 25 goals so far this season, on pace for the highest total in league history, and handed fellow promoted club Cardiff City its first win of the season with a 4-2 loss in Wales this weekend.

Khan, however, has Jokanovic’s back in the wake of reports that he could sack the 50-year-old Serbian manager.

“Slavisa’s record shows he has always led FFC admirably when the stakes are at their highest, and with 29 matches still to play in the league – three quarters of the campaign still ahead – I am sure the same will hold true this season,” Khan said.

“As for the sensational and fictional headlines related to Slaviša this week, I’m equal parts amused, astonished and disappointed. I ask you not to believe everything you read. Or, in this case, don’t believe anything you read.”

Opposition to Wembley sale ‘bizarre’ and led by ‘old men’

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Greg Dyke sees Shahid Khan’s capsized bid to buy Wembley Stadium as a massive missed opportunity for English soccer, and the former Football Association chairman is quite displeased by the “bizarre” opposition of the “old men” on the FA council.

[ MORE: What did we learn in the Premier League, Week 9? ]

With an offer of more than $780 million on the table, Dyke believes that unprecedented — and otherwise impossible — investments could have been made to grassroots soccer that might just create a brighter future for the English game. If only it wasn’t for those meddling kids “the council is living in the past, as it always has done,” as he put it — quotes from the BBC:

“If I’d been chairman, I would have said it is the board’s decision.

“I don’t think the council is equipped to make this decision — that is what the FA board is for.”

Most notably, England is in desperate need of artificial playing fields up and down the country, as well as a tidal wave of newly licensed coaches to begin working at younger and younger age groups.

“The FA has only owned Wembley for 10 to 15 years, before that it was a private business.

“The idea you are going to lose something of value to Britain because it is not owned by the FA is the wrong one compared to spending [$784 million] doing what is desperately needed in this country and that is to spend money on grassroots facilities.

“If you want to have a step change in grassroots facilities in this country, you need this sort of money to be spent.

“It’s bizarre that the old men of the FA Council have stopped this.

“One of the tragedies of English football in recent years is that all the extra money that has come into the Premier League has by and large gone to players or agents, and not to football generally.”

Oftentimes, tradition and history come at the expense of revolution and progression, only to later realize that a golden opportunity has come and gone.

$800 million sale of Wembley moves to next stage

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American businessman Shahid Khan has moved a step closer to owning Wembley Stadium.

The current owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham Football Club made an offer of close to $800 million to buy the home of world soccer from the English Football Association and the latter have been discussing the bid.

On Thursday the English FA revealed that talks were held about how to spend the money the sale of Wembley would provide and that discussions have moved onto the next stage.

“The sale of Wembley Stadium, the negotiated protections and an outlined plan to invest £600m into football community facilities, were presented and discussed at The FA Board meeting today. Following on from this discussion, The FA Board has agreed to take the presentation to The FA Council to get its input now that the full facts are known.”

Khan then released a statement saying that his potential purchase of Wembley would have “no effect on my plans to renovate Craven Cottage and, as such, has no impact on Craven Cottage continuing to be the permanent home of Fulham Football Club.”

He also added that he will continue “toward reaching an agreement that will serve English football for generations to come” as his plans are moved onto the next level with the English FA.

The FA Council will now meet to Oct. 11 in what is seen as the crunch meeting in deciding whether or not the bid will be accepted.

In theory the bid could have been rejected by the FA Board but the fact that they will now present to the council suggests it is being taken seriously.

The main talking point about the stadium being sold is that it would provide a huge cash injection for the FA to use on building the grassroots game in England and improving facilities for young players.

It is believed that the English national team will still play their home games at Wembley, but the fact that they have played recent internationals in Leeds and Leicester suggests they could move around the country with certain games in the years to come.

Men in Blazers podcast: Speaking with Fulham/Jaguars owner Shad Khan

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Rog sits down with owner of Fulham and the Jacksonville Jaguars to talk about Fulham’s return to the Premier League, life as a pro sports owner, and his remarkable personal journey, from college student with $500 in his pocket, to self-made billionaire.

All of the MiB content — pods, videos and stories can be seen here, but to really stay in touch, follow, subscribe, click here:

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Prospective Wembley buyer Khan has ideas for venue

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Fulham and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan is striking a lot of the right notes when it comes to his desired purchase of Wembley Stadium.

Khan, 67, says he wants to continue to host England matches if he gets the venue, and will also look to have a working retractable roof in order to further insure big events.

[ MORE: Twenty-Three thoughts from MLS ]

“England must play there,” the American billionaire said. “Otherwise it will be a shell. It would be like an empty suit that doesn’t have soul.”

Khan also has an interesting idea to help smaller events at Wembley:

Another possibility, which has already been looked at by the FA, is the use of “video boards” which would be “automatically lowered on cylinders” to close the top tier of Wembley for certain events to give it a reduced 50,000-seat capacity. “There’s a lot creative stuff that can be done,” Khan said. “We are looking at all of those to get more use and create more revenue.”

It all sounds pretty cool, Shad… but are you bringing your NFL team? The comment section on the last post nearly started fire at the thought.

“I’d been to Wembley by then a couple of times and I told the NFL that the only venue we wanted to be part of was Wembley,” Khan said.