Fulham owner Shahid Khan moved a step closer to buying Wembley Stadium after the Football Association board agreed to let the Pakistani-American businessman’s £600 million (€674m) plan be considered by the governing body’s full council next month.
Wembley, in northwest London, is the spiritual home of football in England and the historic arena reopened in 2007 after a seven-year rebuilding project that cost £757m.
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But senior FA executives believe selling to American businessman Khan, who also owns the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team, could provide a huge cash boost for English football as well as an additional £300m in future revenues from the stadium’s hospitality business.
Now Khan’s proposal will be put before the FA council when it meets on 11 October.
“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 [Thursday],” said an FA spokesperson.
Reports in the British media before Thursday’s meeting suggested opposition from amateur football representatives and other grassroots groups could have scuppered the deal.
Board approval was forthcoming, however, although Khan’s plan will need to gain majority council support if it is to get off the drawing board.
Khan’s proposals also include basing the Jaguars at Wembley, where a succession of NFL games, several featuring his side, have been played in recent years