At least three other potential buyers have joined Shahid Khan in expressing an interest in purchasing Wembley stadium.
According to a report in UK tabloid The Daily Mirror, England’s Football Association (FA) is hoping to secure a deal worth UK£1 billion for the home of England’s national soccer team. The FA have told its advisers, investment bank firm NM Rothschild, to make it clear that it is open to offers for the stadium.
he report states that privately, the FA is neither desperate to sell the stadium, nor is it desperate to sell the venue to Khan, who also owns the National Football League’s (NFL) Jacksonville Jaguars and newly-promoted Premier League club Fulham. With interest from other parties, the FA is also aware that the price for Wembley can now be driven up towards the UK£1billion mark.
However, Khan’s cash offer of more than UK£500 million (US$700 million) apparently appeals to the English soccer body. The fact that his bid would allow the FA to keep the Club Wembley debenture and hospitality business – valued at a further UK£300 million (US$420 million) – also works in Khan’s favour.
The potential sale to Khan would also raise the prospect of an NFL franchise in London given his efforts to establish the Jaguars as UK’s favourite NFL franchise during the team’s annual visits as part of the league’s International Series.
Selling the stadium would enable the FA to relieve itself of a debt worth UK£142 million (US$198 million), which had previously been forecast to be cleared by 2024. The money saved could then be put towards England’s grassroots soccer programmes.