Jaguars owner places offer to buy Wembley Stadium


England's Football Association (FA) is in negotiations to sell off Wembley Stadium, home of the country's national soccer team, to USA billionaire Shahid Khan, owner of the Jacksonville Jaguars football team.

The FA board discussed the approach at a meeting on Thursday.

"For the Jaguars, it would deliver another - and very significant - asset and local revenue source that would further strengthen our investment in London", Khan who is also the owner of English second tier soccer team Fulham, said.

A spokesperson for the Football Association said: "We can confirm that The FA has received an offer to buy Wembley Stadium".

It is understood the FA would still consider Wembley as the "home" of the national team and it is too early to say when England will or will not be able to play there, with NFL pre-season beginning in August and regular season games starting in September.

It was announced on Thursday that Khan has officially tabled a bid for the venue, which could be worth as much as £800million, according to reports.

Completed in 2007 at a reported cost of £800million, the 90,000-seater national stadium is one of the best sporting venues in Europe, and, despite the arch having long replaced the twin towers, remains steeped in nostalgia.

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Khan said a takeover of Wembley would "have no impact on Craven Cottage", which is his soccer team's current home in the Fulham district of west London by the River Thames. "The potential purchase of Wembley Stadium is a further powerful sign of their commitment to the United Kingdom and their vision to help us grow the sport".

Khan's move to buy Wembley is understood to be focused on strengthening the Jacksonville Jaguars' standing in the UK. If you sell Wembley you can sell Big Ben and Buckingham Palace?

FA bosses are believed to see the organisation's 10-year ownership of the country's "national stadium" as a historical aberration that is not replicated in other major footballing nations.

"And the stronger the Jaguars are in London, the more stable and promising the Jaguars' future will be in Jacksonville", Khan continued.

Former England captain and BBC Sport presenter Gary Lineker on Twitter: "If the money goes towards grassroots football, most importantly on pitches, artificial and otherwise, for youngsters to play then it could be a positive move".

Spurs also have a deal with the National Football League to stage a minimum of two games a season over 10 years once their new stadium is complete. "Everywhere you go in the world they talk about Wembley". Built on the site of the original Wembley Stadium, it has been the home of English soccer since then, and also hosted Tottenham Hotspur fixtures, rugby matches, boxing events and many high profile concerts.