The English Football Association (FA) on Wednesday confirmed that it will not be selling Wembley Stadium to billionaire Shahid Khan.
The owner of English Premier League side Fulham and the US NFL team the Jacksonville Jaguars has withdrawn the offer he made to buy what many consider the spiritual home of English football, reports Xinhua news agency.
“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,” confirmed FA Chief Executive Martin Glenn, who added that Khan had “informed us today that he will be withdrawing his offer to buy the stadium — and we fully respect his decision.”
Although some in the FA were thought to have favoured the bid to buy the Stadium, which was estimated to be worth close to 1.2 billion US dollars, not everyone in the organization was thought to be so positive about the deal which would have brought the FA money to strengthen the grassroots of the English game.
Some believed the offer was too low for the 90,000 capacity all-seater ground which cost almost a billion dollars to build and was opened in 2007, while some are reported to have had doubts that FA would have been able to spend its windfall wisely.
“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,” said Glenn.
Khan had hoped Wembley could be a home for his NFL team and had accepted conditions over how he would run the stadium and maintain it as the home for the England football team for their biggest matches.