Wembley Stadium Will Not Be Sold By The FA After Shahid Khan Withdraws Offer.
The proposed sale of Wembley Stadium to Shahid Khan, owner of Premier League club Fulham and NFL franchise Jacksonville Jaguars will no longer go ahead after he withdrew his offer on Wednesday.
The sale of the FA’s centrepiece stadium would have provided a £600m boost to grassroots football with the FA keen to keep hold of the stadium’s Club Wembley business valued at around £250m.
In a statement FA Chief Executive, Martin Glenn, said: “Earlier this year, The FA received an unsolicited official offer from Shahid Khan to buy Wembley Stadium. It was a very credible offer and was given very serious consideration.
“Shahid Khan has informed us today that he will be withdrawing his offer to buy the stadium – and we fully respect his decision.
“Mr Khan believed that his offer to buy Wembley Stadium would release funds to help improve community football facilities in England and that it would be well received by all football stakeholders.
“At a recent meeting with Mr Khan he expressed to us that, without stronger support from within the game, his offer is being seen as more divisive than it was anticipated to be and has decided to withdraw his proposal.”
The FA Council’s 127 members were due to meet on the 24th October to vote on the plans.
Reacting to the news, the Football Foundation released a statement which read: “The news that Mr Khan has decided to withdraw his offer to buy Wembley Stadium should come as a huge disappointment to community footballers everywhere.
“Since 2000, the Foundation has used £650 million of direct funding from the Premier League, The FA and Government to draw in a further £850 million, which has allowed the Foundation to invest in projects worth £1.5 billion.
“An additional £600 million generated from the sale could have been turned into an additional £1.2 billion through working with local authorities, local education authorities and other organisations, which would have been added to a similar investment that is expected to be made over the next ten years – thereby doubling the investment, before any interest on the endowment fund was considered.
“Football participation in this country is huge. Unfortunately, those who play the game as a sport, simply for the love of doing so and for the health benefits are having to put up with a stock of community football facilities that is in a shameful state. This would have been a once in a life time opportunity to make considerable inroads into probably the most pressing issue facing football in this country.”
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