The Football Association has announced it has received an offer to buy Wembley.
The London Evening Standard reported on Thursday that Fulham owner Shahid Khan, who also owns the Jacksonville Jaguars NFL team, had put in a £500m bid to buy the national stadium.
We will take excellent care of Wembley Stadium in every respect, and at all times be good citizens and neighbours here in London and beyond.Shahid Khan
The FA said in a statement: “We can confirm that the FA has received an offer to buy Wembley Stadium.”
The Evening Standard reported the offer was being put before the full FA board today, and that an outline agreement between Khan and FA chief executive Martin Glenn is already in place.
It also reports that the money raised would be ring-fenced for investment in grass-roots programmes.
The stadium opened in 2007 and has an official capacity of 90,000.
The NFL released a statement which read: “We are very happy for Shad Khan and the Jacksonville Jaguars.
“The potential purchase of Wembley Stadium is a further powerful sign of their commitment to the UK and their vision to help us grow the sport.
“Having stadium options in London has always been critical to the NFL and, in tandem with our 10-year partnership with Tottenham Hotspur, this new relationship would allow for even greater flexibility in scheduling future NFL games in London.”
Khan stressed that Wembley would remain “home to the England national teams” and that Fulham would keep playing at Craven Cottage in a message to the club’s fans.
In a statement on Fulham’s website, Khan said: “Wembley Stadium would return to private ownership and the Football Association would be able to focus on its core mission of developing players with the best player developers and facilities anywhere in the game, thanks in part to the vast financial benefit that would result from the transaction.
“I trust many, if not most of you, are also supporters of the England national teams, so I hope you welcome the potential of this becoming a reality.
“Always know Wembley would be home to the England national teams, and that we would strive every day of the year to be the best possible steward for a venue that is iconic and beloved here and throughout the world.”
In a further statement, Khan said: “I’ve enjoyed a rewarding relationship with The Football Association for years and my more recent exchanges and time spent with Martin Glenn have served to further strengthen a connection with the FA that made it natural and ultimately possible for both parties to consider this transaction.
“Working with Martin and his team has been a pleasure and clearly productive. Should we be fortunate to close on the purchase, it’s important to stress that the spirit and essence of Wembley would be unchanged. Wembley is a special place, beloved in London and known throughout the world.
“I understand the responsibility and accountability that would be ours to accept, and at all times we will be guided so the stadium and Wembley brand are both protected and enhanced.
“We will take excellent care of Wembley Stadium in every respect, and at all times be good citizens and neighbours here in London and beyond.
“I am grateful for all of my experiences and investments in London, and am privileged to have this opportunity with the FA to forge an agreement that I am certain will be a victory for everyone.”