National Hockey League owner submits £800m bid to buy Wembley Stadium


Wembley could fall into foreign ownership for the first time Credit Getty Images

The offer by the Pakistan-born tycoon could also see the NFL's Jacksonville Jaguars - also owned by Khan - relocate across the Atlantic to London.

Selling off Wembley would give the FA about 500 million pounds to invest in grassroots soccer, which could increase the chances of the England team winning its first World Cup title since 1966.

BC-SOC-Wembley-Future, 2nd Ld-Writethru, 474Jaguars owner Shahid Khan makes offer to buy Wembley StadiumAP Photo LON109, LON110Eds: Updates with more detail, quotes.

The club are commited to renovating Craven Cottage and the Championship side won't be upping sticks from south-west London to north-west.

A bid for Wembley will be seen as a step towards the Jaguars making London their permanent home and becoming the first National Football League franchise to make a long-term move overseas.

"It [the purchase of Wembley] would deliver another -- and very significant -- asset and local revenue source that would further strengthen our investment in London, which as everyone knows is crucial to the Jaguars' continued sustainability in Jacksonville".

The new Wembley was built for £757m after serious financial difficulties, after the FA took ownership because its England matches and FA Cup semi-finals and finals provide the bulk of the income, and it has been a financial and administrative burden.

England's Football Association revealed earlier today that they have received an offer to buy Wembley Stadium - the home of the English football team.

Tottenham have played their home Premier League games at Wembley this season while work on White Hart Lane takes place.

Schwab, writer for Yahoo's "Shutdown Corner" NFL blog, said: 'The NFL has always been interested in expanding its presence to London, and the Jaguars have been the team most often rumored to be the team most likely to go to London.

The potential sale of Wembley Stadium to the owner of Fulham FC and the Jacksonville Jaguars would be a landmark deal in United Kingdom sport.

FA chief executive Martin Glenn is said to have been in discussions with Khan for some months, although the full proposal was only put to the board of English football's governing body on Thursday.

Tottenham's new White Hart Lane ground will provide further evidence of London's importance to the NFL, as it is also set to include a retractable American football pitch, ahead of the start of a 10-year deal to host at least two NFL games a season.

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.

It so happens that Wembley is located in a part of London with a huge Indian-origin population.

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