The Football Association (FA) has confirmed that the £600m (US$780m) sale of Wembley Stadium will not go ahead after the offer was withdrawn.
Fulham FC and Jacksonville Jaguars owner Shahid Khan, who made an unsolicited approach to buy the venue earlier this year, decided to withdraw his offer. Khan expressed to the FA that buying the venue had been more divisive than anticipated.
FA chief executive Martin Glenn said in a statement that Khan’s offer was “very credible and given very serious consideration, [however] Shahid Khan has informed us today that he will be withdrawing his offer to buy the stadium and we fully respect his decision”.
Had the sale gone through it was understood the funds would have gone toward grassroots soccer and helping to improve community facilities in England to help grow and support the game.
Khan also expressed that the sale of Wembley Stadium would have “amplified and strengthened” its commitment to hosting NFL games in the UK by officially making the venue an annual host to Jaguars games.
The collapse of the sale received mixed reactions, with some seeing it as a missed opportunity for much needed funds for development of soccer facilities across the country, while it is believed some FA Council members were against the idea of selling the iconic national stadium.
Khan said in a statement that there remains a possibility of a future sale.
“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,” he said.
“I cannot rule out revisiting the opportunity at another time when perhaps the Football Association family is unified in its views on the opportunity.”