The English Football Association has confirmed its plan to sell the prestigious Wembley Stadium.
According to an exclusive report by Daily Mail’s Matt Lawton, the stadium is up for sale for £800million and Shahid Khan, the billionaire owner of Fulham Football Club and the NFL’s Jacksonville Jaguars, has tabled a formal offer.
The report said Khan, who is worth an estimated £5.2billion, is prepared to pay more than £500m in cash and allow the FA to keep the Club Wembley debenture and hospitality business that is valued at a further £300m.
The FA has however set some conditions as part of any deal. Wembley will remain the home of English football as well as the governing body, although Khan would be able to sell sponsorship rights to the stadium.
Judging by the significance of Wembley to English football, fans have some questions. And Sportsmail’s Laura Lambert answers the burning questions:
Where would England play?
Wembley would remain the home of English football but England’s autumn internationals would have to be played elsewhere, to make way for NFL games at Wembley, which would be held between September and December.
Where would the £500million go?
The FA has still not finished paying for Wembley, having taken a sizeable loan to meet the cost, which it is still paying interest on. In January it was announced that the FA still had £142million of debt remaining, and was due to pay this off in 2024.
Part of the £500million would therefore be spent on paying off the loan, while the remainder would be split between Wembley’s stakeholders. However, the FA would be likely to invest a large proportion of the money it would make from the sale into grass-roots football.
What would happen to Club Wembley?
The FA would retain the rights to debenture and hospitality business Club Wembley, which is estimated to be worth around £300million. Club Wembley offers members premium seats for sports fixtures and priority access for entertainment events.
Would it still be called Wembley Stadium?
Wembley signed a multi-million pound, six-year deal with EE in 2014. The communications giant is the lead brand partner of the stadium, and it is not clear how this new deal would affect that contract.
Although the FA has stressed that the deal with EE is not strictly a naming rights deal, the official name of Wembley is Wembley Stadium connected by EE. This could, therefore, open the door for future naming rights deals.
Where would FA Cup, Challenge Cup Final and play-offs be staged?
The FA Cup final and semi-finals, The FA Community Shield, The FA Vase and Trophy Finals, EFL Cup Final, Rugby League’s Challenge Cup final and the Football League play-offs would continue to be played at Wembley.
It is only the fixtures at Wembley in the autumn that would be affected. It is understood Euro 2020 fixtures at Wembley, which includes the semi-final and final, would be able to go ahead as planned.
Who currently owns Wembley?
The FA bought Wembley in 1999, and owns it through its subsidiary Wembley National Stadium Ltd, but there are a number of stakeholders involved.
The £757million building project was funded in part by by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport (which put in £20million), Sport England (which put in £120million towards the purchase of the old Wembley Stadium), and the London Development Agency (which contributed £21million).