Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shad Khan’s bid to buy London’s iconic Wembley Stadium rolled toward the goal Thursday when the nearly $800 million deal won approval from the board of English soccer’s governing body.
Our Florida Times-Union news partner reports that in a brief statement, England’s Football Association said, “The FA Board have approved the sale of Wembley Stadium. The sale of Wembley Stadium, the negotiated protections and an outlined plan to invest £600m into football community facilities, were presented and discussed at The FA Board meeting today. Following on from this discussion, The FA Board has agreed to take the presentation to The FA Council to get its input now that the full facts are known.”
The BBC reported that the FA’s 127-member council would consider the deal on Oct. 11. It said, “The FA Council — which includes representatives of the Premier League, Football League and county FAs — does not have the power to accept or reject the deal.”
Khan issued a statement, saying, “The news from today’s FA Board meeting is welcomed and encouraging. I understand the discussion was open and thorough. One cannot ask for more as we continue to work through the process with the FA Board, FA Council, Sport England, the Mayor of London’s office and DCMS toward reaching an agreement that will serve English football for generations to come. Today’s development has no effect on my plans to renovate Craven Cottage and, as such, has no impact on Craven Cottage continuing to be the permanent home of Fulham Football Club.”
Khan owns Fulham, which last year won promotion to soccer’s Premier League, as well as the Jaguars.
On Thursday afternoon, Khan issued a statement reminding everyone that his pending purchase doesn’t change his commitment to Jacksonville.
“As first stated in April, one of the many benefits of the Jaguars’ commitment to London has been our partnership with the FA and Wembley Stadium. It ultimately became evident to us and the FA that the idea of our purchase of Wembley Stadium made a lot of sense for all of us, including the Jaguars and our goal for long-term sustainability in Jacksonville.