Khan planning major Wembley refurbishment if bid is accepted

By Jamie Smith 27 April 2018 321
Khan planning major Wembley refurbishment if bid is accepted

Wembley will be given a major refurbishment if a deal to sell the stadium to billionaire Shahid Khan goes through.

Khan, owner of Championship promotion hopefuls Fulham and NFL side the Jacksonville Jaguars, has made an offer reported to be worth as much as £800million to purchase the national stadium.

The 67-year-old has pledged to allow England to continue using Wembley for home games, but will be making big changes if a sale is agreed with the Football Association (FA).

"It popped into my head a while ago," Khan told The Times of the idea of buying Wembley. "The Jaguars have played there five times now and won the last three so we've been looking for when there will be a time when this would make sense.

"It's been a process. We've had a relationship [with the FA] and as we've seen what our needs are and what their needs are - this was a logical conclusion a month or so ago.

"Wembley's new but it's not that new. There will be some major investments required, it's coming up to that time to upgrade a lot of the amenities, the scoreboard.

"If you look at what we did in Jacksonville those boards were around $60million. We re-did the club lounges for around $20million. We have to keep it fresh, to keep it a venue that people will keep coming to."

Khan said one of the main reasons for his interest is the fact the arena is not associated with one particular club.

"I'll tell you what I like about it. It's non-partisan, it's welcoming, it's accessible, it's a national stadium," he added. "It's a great stadium for sports, not tainted with tribalism or anything like that.

"It's an iconic stadium that secures NFL games in London. The FA can get to its core mission, their mission is not running a stadium, they can take the funds and invest them in English football.

"They keep the valuable part and dispose of the bricks and mortar. We can hopefully have more events there which will be good for the economy there."

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