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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.

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.

Wembley Stadium to host more games in Euro 2020

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An additional four games at the 2020 European Championships will take place in the North London suburb of Wembley.

With delays to the construction of a proposed stadium in the Belgian city of Brussels, UEFA has made the decision to move the group-stage matches that were originally set for Belgium to Wembley Stadium, as well as a Round-of-16 matchup. Wembley Stadium was already set to host the semifinals and finals of the tournament.

“Due to the Eurostadium project’s failure to meet the conditions imposed by the UEFA Executive Committee during its meeting of 20th September 2017, the four matches initially scheduled to be held in Brussels will now be allocated to Wembley Stadium, London following a vote by the committee,” UEFA wrote in a statement on their website.

The decision is a blow to the Wales FA and Swedish FA, which had lobbied UEFA to take Belgium’s place as a group-stage host nation.

The UEFA executive committee did make a number of other decisions, including deciding which groups for Euro 2020 would be located in which cities, as well as deciding that the Stadio Olympico in Rome, Italy will host the first match.

Here’s where the group-stage matches will be played.

Group A: Rome and Baku
Group B: Saint Petersburg and Copenhagen
Group C: Amsterdam and Bucharest
Group D: London and Glasgow
Group E: Bilbao and Dublin
Group F: Munich and Budapest

UEFA also had an interesting note, stating that each qualified host country will play a minimum of two matches at home in the group-stage.

That likely means that if England qualifies for Euro 2020, they’d be placed into Group D and would have at least two games in London. Same for Italy, Russia, Denmark, the Netherlands, Spain, Germany, the Republic of Ireland, and the other host nations in the groups where their nation is hosting matches.

VIDEO: Alonso’s artful free kick a fitting goal for Chelsea at Wembley

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Marcos Alonso‘s left-footed free kick goal is a thing of beauty.

It’ll go down as the Premier League’s first goal at Wembley Stadium, and deservedly so.

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Alonso spun his shot over the wall with vigor, missing a leaping Toby Alderweireld‘s head by inches before dipping hard to beat a flying Hugo Lloris.

The goal gave Chelsea a 1-0 lead over hosts Tottenham Hotspur, and came after Alvaro Morata missed the match’s first best chance with a free header wide of goal.

It’s Alonso’s seventh goal for Chelsea, and could spur them away from the gloom and doom of last week’s season-opening loss to Burnley.