Deal Could Mean Some England Games Played Away From Wembley
Fulham owner Shahid Khan has made an £800million offer to buy Wembley Stadium from the Football Association.
Talks have taken place between the American billionaire and the FA over a deal that would see the national stadium transferred to foreign ownership. The bid was put before a full meeting of the FA board earlier today.
If it goes ahead, the deal could mean that some England games are played away from Wembley particularly during the autumn months when the NFL season currently takes place. The national side tend to play at least one home game – and sometimes two – in each of the international breaks in September, October and November.
Khan owns the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL franchise and it is thought that his purchase will lead to more American football games being played at the stadium. There could even be a permanent NFL franchise in the city – something that has long been mooted.
If the deal goes ahead it could lead to a radical overhaul of grassroots football in England. The £800million would be put into a fund, but it would lead to the construction of 1500 full-size artificial football pitches the length and breadth of England.
Khan approached FA chief Martin Glenn with the deal after the two men met at the Super Bowl in Houston, Texas in February 2017.
Glenn and the FA hierarchy are keen on the plan as it would give them the financial means to attend to the grassroots game, something that many people feel the Association has badly neglected at a time of multibillion pound Premier League TV deals.
But the deal would come as a blow to Tottenham Hotspur. The redeveloped White Hart Lane includes a full-size artificial-surface American football pitch beneath one of the stands.
Spurs are hoping that any English NFL franchise would be situated at their ground.