Wembley Stadium is set to be sold off to the owner of an American Football team for more than £500million, it emerged today.
The iconic home of English football could be handed to Shahid Khan, the billionaire owner of the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars and Fulham Football Club.
The stadium’s current owner, the Football Association, says the huge windfall could be pumped into grassroots football, but many fans are uneasy at the thought of their national stadium being privately owned.
Plans for the sale have also sparked a scramble to reclaim the £40million taxpayers’ money pumped into the development of the stadium and the £120million National Lottery funding.
Khan, who is worth an estimated £5.2billion, is prepared to pay more than £500m in cash and allow the FA to keep its hospitality business Club Wembley that is valued at a further £300m.
It is thought the English national football team may have to play home matches at other stadiums around the country while the NFL season is underway.
Mr Khan has tabled a formal offer that was being discussed for the first time by the FA board this morning.
If he is successful, it would open the door to the first NFL franchise outside the United States. The billionaire is keen to bring a permanent team to British shores, in what would be an unprecedented move.