Shad Khan Backs Out Of Bid For London's Wembley Stadium

Oct 17, 2018

Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan is withdrawing his offer to buy Wembley Stadium in London.

That decision came after last week’s FA Council meeting, where, according to Khan, only a slim majority of the council supported his bid. The FA, or Football Association, is the governing body of association soccer in England. FA Chairman Greg Clarke had asked for a conclusive majority of council support in order for Khan’s bid to move forward.

“The intent of my efforts was, and is, to do right by everyone in a manner that strengthens the English game and brings people together, not divides them,” Khan wrote. “Unfortunately, given where we are today, I’ve concluded that the outcome of a vote next week would be far from sufficient in expressing the broad support favored by the FA Chairman to sell Wembley Stadium. Until a time when it is evident there is an unmistakable directive from the FA to explore and close a sale, I am respectfully withdrawing my offer to purchase Wembley Stadium.”

Khan had submitted an unsolicited offer to the FA earlier this year worth £600 million, which comes out to about $786 million.

“Mr. Khan believed that his offer to buy Wembley Stadium would release funds to help improve community football facilities in England and that it would be well received by all football stakeholders,” said FA Chief Executive Martin Glenn. “At a recent meeting with Mr. Khan he expressed to us that, without stronger support from within the game, his offer is being seen as more divisive than it was anticipated to be and has decided to withdraw his proposal.”

“I cannot rule out revisiting the opportunity at another time when perhaps the Football Association family is unified in its views on the opportunity,” Khan said. “What is certain is seeing a proposal of this magnitude come to fruition would necessitate an extraordinary partnership, one capable of doing remarkable things for all our respective constituents well into the future.”

Khan’s spokesman, Jim Woodcock, tweeted the following statement from the Jacksonville Jaguars owner:

Brendan Rivers can be reached at brivers@wjct.org, 904-358-6396 or on Twitter at @BrendanRivers.