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$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.

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“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.

Report: Fulham, NFL owner Khan agrees to $700M price for Wembley

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Fulham owner Shad Khan also owns a National Football League team, and could have two top-flight teams from different nations playing in England soon.

For Fulham, the Cottagers are currently very much in the race for automatic promotion to the Premier League and at the least will have a chance at qualifying through the playoffs.

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For the Jaguars, who have rarely needed all the seats in their stadium, it could mean a move to London if Khan goes through with what’s being reported as an accepted $700 million bid to buy Wembley Stadium.

Tottenham Hotspur’s new stadium was also built with the design to host NFL games.

Here’s how ProFootballTalk’s Michael David Smith puts a bow on it (on one of the biggest days of the NFL calendar, nonetheless):

So it’s possible that there could soon be two iconic soccer stadiums in London with strong NFL ties, one which was built with NFL games in mind, and another that is owned by an NFL owner. The league is pouring serious resources into London.

It seems unlikely Khan would move Fulham from Craven Cottage, but there are other repercussions of this move for soccer in England.

There’s the potential for the England national team to no longer utlizie a permanent home, and the FA Cup and League Cup both potentially requiring new or rotating venues for their final rounds.

A lot to monitor here, and we’ll surely have all the details as they emerge from Khan’s crew.

Fulham owner Khan pledges transfer “green light” in aim for Premier League promotion

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Fulham has done some magnificent things in the 2000s, something owner Shahid Khan probably expected to continue when he took over in 2013.

Instead, Khan got one year of Premier League football, a season that involved three managers and a lot of tumult en route to relegation.

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Now after two seasons of failing to bounce back to the top flight, Khan is pledging to support manager into 2016-17 with the aims of returning to the Premier League.

In a message to season ticket holders on Fulham’s site, Khan said the following regarding the team under former Watford manager Slaviša Jokanović, who took over Fulham on Dec. 27:

Slaviša will be given the green light to build a team capable of promotion, and that’s important, because it appears the Sky Bet Championship will be as difficult as ever.

The complete support and passion of our loyal fans will be crucial as we begin our first full season under Slaviša’s direction and take aim at promotion, and that’s why season ticket prices will not increase next season. We want and need you with us!

Fulham is in the Championship’s 21st place, nine points clear of the drop zone but 23 points off the promotion playoff pace. That’s 39 points away from the automatic promotion spots, so smart buys and plenty will be needed to improve the club for a run at the Premier League (especially with at least two sizable clubs joining the Championship next season in Aston Villa and Sunderland and/or Newcastle United).

The Cottagers, in the past sometimes described as “Fulhamerica”, have a pair of American players in Emerson Hyndman and Tim Ream, though the former is expected to move onto greener pastures in the summer. U-21 midfielder Luca de la Torre is another Yank at Craven Cottage.