1. ITV Report

FA in talks to sell Wembley Stadium to Fulham owner Shahid Khan

Wembley could be changing ownership. Credit: PA

The Football Association has announced it has received an offer to buy Wembley Stadium.

The FA are in talks to sell to Fulham owner Shahid Khan in a deal worth over £500million, the NFL have confirmed.

Billionaire Khan, who has made his money from car parts, also owns American Football team Jacksonville Jaguars.

Seen as the Home of Football, Wembley is the national stadium and the venue for England games, so selling would be a controversial step.

Shahid Khan owns Fulham Football Club. Credit: PA
  • Who is Shahid Khan?
  • Born in Lahore, Pakistan, in 1950
  • Moved to America in 1967, earning citizenship in 1991
  • Has an approximate net worth of $8.7 billion, making him the 158th wealthiest person on earth
  • Founded Bumper Works
  • Owns Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham Football club

Khan stressed that Wembley would remain "home to the England national teams" and that Fulham would keep playing at Craven Cottage in a message to the club's fans.

In a statement on Fulham's website, Khan said: "Wembley Stadium would return to private ownership and the Football Association would be able to focus on its core mission of developing players with the best player developers and facilities anywhere in the game, thanks in part to the vast financial benefit that would result from the transaction.

"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.

"Always know Wembley would be home to the England national teams, and that we would strive every day of the year to be the best possible steward for a venue that is iconic and beloved here and throughout the world."

The proposed deal will be discussed at a FA board meeting on Thursday to see if any potential sale is granted.

An FA spokeswoman said: “We can confirm that The FA has received an offer to buy Wembley Stadium.”

Mark Waller, NFL Executive Vice-President of events and international said: "We are very happy for Shad Khan and the Jacksonville Jaguars. 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.

American Football matches have previously been played at Wembley. Credit: PA

"Having stadium options in London has always been critical to the NFL and, in tandem with our 10-year partnership with Tottenham Hotspur, this new relationship would allow for even greater flexibility in scheduling future NFL games in London."

Premier League side Tottenham have used the ground as their home stadium for the season due to work on White Hart Lane. Ironically, the new White Hart Lane which is currently under construction was hoping to host numerous NFL games but this could potentially be in jeopardy now.

The stadium has also played host to concerts, boxing matches and American Football. The later is the most critical when it comes to the purchase of Wembley as if Mr Khan is successful with his bid, it would allow more NFL games to be played in London in the future.

The 92,000 capacity stadium was completed in 2007 at a cost of over £800million, with around £150million still to be paid off by the FA.

The Evening Standard report than the money earned from a sale would be ring-fenced and would be invested in grassroots football. It is also anticipated that England would need to play more home games away from the venue in North London, something which would be welcomed by many who believe the national team should play on the road.