The Football Association is all set to sell Wembley stadium to Shahid Khan, the billionaire owner of Fulham football club. The deal is worth almost £900m, reports indicate.
According to the Guardian, Shahid Khan, who owns the Jacksonville Jaguars American football team, has made an offer of a £600m lump sum and the Football Association would be allowed to retain the revenue generated by Club Wembley, whose business is valued at around £300m.
Khan told the publication that he hoped the deal would be completed within three months.
Although he does not want to change the name of the stadium, Khan, who is estimated to be worth £5.2bn, told the Guardian he has plans to make upgrades to the stadium.
“I love Wembley as a stadium, as an institution,” he said. “I think it’s under-utilised. The legacy of Wembley as the temple of English football is important. We want it to stay that way and to also have other events including NFL games. I think it needs investment and updating. Compared to American stadiums the video boards are something that need to be looked at. The lounges are a little bit dated. There are some standard issues that have to be dealt with.”
“But the name of Wembley will stay,” he added. “That is, to me, holy.”
Who is Shahid Khan?
The 67-year-old, originally from Pakistan, is today the 217th richest person in the world. He was born in Lahore in 1950 to Zakia, a maths professir, and Rafiq, a businessman who sold surveying equipment.
Right from an early age, Khan showcased his entrepreneurial skills by selling radios and renting out his comic books to his classmates.
At 16, Khan moved to the US to study mechanical engineering at the University of Illinois in Champaign-Urbana. He had just $500 to his name and he quickly became concerned that he would run out of money. This worry was the catalyst that got him his first job – washing dishes for just $1.20 an hour.
It wasn’t long before he started working at automotive manufacturing company Flex-N-Gate, and he bought the company for $800,000 about 13 years after he landed in the US.
In 1991, Khan became a US citizen. In 2010, he attempted to rekindle his passion for sports by trying to purchase 60 per cent of the NFL side St Louis Rams. However, he soon met a hurdle in the form of Arsenal owner Stan Kroenke. A year later, Khan purchased the Jacksonville Jaguars at a cost of $770m.